What does EPI stand for?

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition that happens when there’s a problem with your pancreas, mainly with how well it helps you digest food. Your pancreas makes enzymes that break down the fats, proteins, and starches you eat so your body can use them.

What are EPI symptoms?


  • Diarrhea. A symptom of fat malabsorption, diarrhea is commonly experienced by people with EPI.
  • Gas and bloating.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Foul-smelling, oily stools (steatorrhea)

What is EPI diagnosis?

The 3 main EPI tests used to aid in diagnosis are: This test measures the amount of elastase, an enzyme produced by the pancreas, in your stool. A deficiency of elastase could be an indicator of EPI. It may be harder to diagnose milder EPI using this test.

How serious is EPI?

But it’s important to see your doctor to get the right diagnosis (or if you’ve already gotten a diagnosis, to keep tabs on your treatment to make sure it’s working) because EPI can have long-term and serious effects, especially if it goes untreated or isn’t treated adequately.

What causes EPI?

What causes EPI? EPI occurs when your pancreas stops releasing enough enzymes to support normal digestion. There are a variety of conditions or events can damage your pancreas and lead to EPI. Some of them, such as pancreatitis, cause EPI by directly damaging your pancreatic cells that make digestive enzymes.

Can you gain weight with EPI?

Few people with EPI are likely to gain too much weight, even after they find a combination of foods they can tolerate. Should you gain more weight than you need to, though, focus on portion control, Lupu says. Portion sizes are good to keep in mind if you’re trying to gain weight or maintain a healthy weight.

What triggers EPI?

Chronic pancreatitis is the main cause of EPI in adults. As many as 8 in 10 adults with this disorder develop EPI. Pancreatitis causes inflammation and swelling of the pancreas. Over time, chronic inflammation can damage the pancreatic cells that make digestive enzymes.

Where does EPI hurt?

But stomach pain can also be caused by EPI itself. “The inability to break down the nutrients in the food you consume can result in the development of bloating and gas,” Dr. Forman says, “which can cause abdominal discomfort and pain.”

What happens if EPI goes untreated?

If left untreated, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can lead to feeling malnourished, fatigued and weak. This is due to the poor absorption of vitamins and nutrients. Eventually, it can lead to thinning bones (osteoporosis) or anemia (a deficiency of red blood cells).

Does EPI ever go away?

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) may be managed, but it cannot be cured. EPI is treated by a combination of lifestyle changes and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT).

Is yogurt good for EPI?

On the EPI Menu: Breakfast Other choices include fruit with protein-rich Greek yogurt or whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, almond milk, or rice milk. If you drink tea or coffee with cream, choose nonfat milk instead.

Categories: Common