Pancreatic Insufficiency

When the pancreas does not produce enough of the enzymes the body needs to break down food in the small intestine, it is called pancreatic insufficiency. With a variety of possible causes (pancreatitis, pancreas surgery, pancreatic cancer, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, and more), this condition prevents food from digesting properly and stops the body from absorbing essential nutrients.

What are symptoms of pancreatic insufficiency?

  • Weight loss
  • Pain in your belly or back
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Fatty stools

How is pancreatic insufficiency diagnosed?

  • Blood and stool tests
  • CT scans an MRIs
  • ERCP

How is pancreatic insufficiency treated?

  • Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding fatty foods, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding smoking, and adopting a well-balanced diet
  • Vitamin supplementation (primarily vitamins A, D, E, and K)
  • Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) to normalize your gut's absorption of nutrients
  • Treatment of diseases causing pancreatic insufficiency if possible

If you have concerns about pancreatic inefficiency, request an appointment at San Bernardino Gastroenterology Associates.