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Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: Causes of the disorder

Affected by the inability of the pancreas, a digestive function and would be associated with what are known as maldigestion and hence poor absorption would alter the nutritional status.

exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Chronic pancreatitis, followed by cystic fibrosis, pancreatic tumor and diabetes are among the leading causes of this pathology. How and why does it appear?, What are its symptoms?, Can it be treated?

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. Behind this name hides complicated a disease whose causes, as experts say, may be primary – those directly related to the pancreas – or secondary – extrapancreatic.

Having a disease like chronic pancreatitis or cystic fibrosis increases the likelihood of risk of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and other conditions such as necrotizing pancreatitis, pancreatic tumor or diabetes (diabetes mellitus).

These would be called primary causes, including within the secondary pancreatic resection surgery, celiac disease or gluten intolerance, the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (high levels of the hormone that is responsible for producing stomach acid), and gastrectomy (operation to remove part of the stomach).

The pancreas plays an essential role in the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids, and does so by providing the gut enzyme complexes. When there is an alteration in the production of these enzymes, appears the so-called maldigestion and, with it, the poor intestinal absorption of these nutrients, which can result in severe consequences for the nutritional status of those who suffer from this disease. Anticipating the diagnosis as possible is critical to address potential nutritional consequences of this disease.

Symptoms of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Among the most characteristic symptom of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and at the same time of chronic pancreatitis – as one of the major triggers of this pathology, it is abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, malnutrition and the presence of fat in the stool. Not all symptoms are evident from the early stages of the disease.

Enzyme replacement therapy

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is synonymous with poor digestion, which in turn is associated with micronutrient deficiencies, minerals like calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, and fat soluble vitamins. This deficit makes patients with pancreatic insufficiency are in turn more likely to suffer from osteoporosis and cardiovascular risks.

To prevent these complications associated nutritional, specialists point to the oral administration of pancreatic enzymes, in order to allow patients with normal digestion.

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