What is EPI?
EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) is the medical term for a condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t release enough digestive enzymes. As a result, the body cannot properly digest food and absorb nutrients.
EPI and digestion
Click through the steps below to explore how EPI can affect the way your body digests food.
EPI is a condition that affects the pancreas
The pancreas is an organ that makes 3 types of enzymes—lipase, protease, and amylase—which help the body digest food into nutrients.
Food isn’t digested properly with EPI
In people with EPI, the pancreas does not make enough enzymes to properly digest food. Fats are especially hard to break down, and the fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E, and K—may not be properly absorbed.
There are consequences of EPI
When people have EPI, nutrients may not be properly absorbed by the intestines. Unabsorbed food can lead to diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, and oily, foul-smelling stools (steatorrhea).
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