Pancreatic exocrine dysfunction

What is Pancreatic Exocrine Dysfunction?

Pancreatic exocrine dysfunction is a physical disorder affecting the pancreas which affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly, made worse by the lack of essential enzymes needed to break down and digest food. People suffering from this condition have difficulty digesting food, resulting in symptoms such as diarrhea and bloating. The condition is often hereditary, but can be caused by blockage or injury to the pancreas.

Pancreatic Exocrine Dysfunction Symptoms

The symptoms experienced by patients with this condition depend on the severity and include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Malnutrition
  • Jaundice

Diagnosis and Treatments for Pancreatic Exocrine Dysfunction

The diagnosis of pancreatic exocrine dysfunction is made by a combination of blood tests, ultrasound, and a biopsy of the pancreas. Treatment may include dietary changes and medications to assist with digestion, as well as medications to reduce inflammation. Surgery may be necessary to remove blockages that prevent normal production of enzymes. Finally, patient may need to take supplements to replace the essential enzymes the body needs to digest food effectively.

Living with Pancreatic Exocrine Dysfunction

Managing pancreatic exocrine dysfunction can be a difficult process. Patients should maintain a healthy diet, avoiding foods that are difficult to digest. Additionally, staying hydrated is paramount, as dehydration is a major risk factor in this condition. It may also be helpful to gain a better understanding of the condition so that you are better able to understand the underlying causes and the treatments that may be available to you.