Making healthy choices with EPI
In addition to taking CREON to help manage your exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), you may also need to make changes to daily habits that affect your health—diet and lifestyle.2
Eating healthy with EPI
Everyone should eat a healthy, balanced diet. But because EPI affects how well you absorb nutrients, it’s even more important that the food you eat has lots of nutrients. You also need to remember to take your CREON with every meal and snack, because CREON replaces the enzymes your pancreas normally produces every time you eat.
Don’t forget to talk to your doctor, nutritionist, or registered dietitian about what you’re eating—they’ll help you make sure your diet meets your nutritional needs. The Diet Tracker will help you keep a record of what you’re eating and how you’re feeling. Make sure to share this information with your doctor or nutritionist during your next appointment.Download Diet Tracker
Taking vitamins and supplements
If you have EPI, you may not be able to properly absorb nutrients from food, especially fats. Having EPI also makes it more difficult to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K. In addition to CREON, your doctor may also prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements to keep your levels of these vitamins where they should be.
Making lifestyle changes
It’s important to adopt healthy habits that go beyond a well-balanced diet. This includes getting an appropriate amount of exercise. Think about your interests and abilities, then work with your doctor to develop a fitness plan that fits your lifestyle. Other lifestyle modifications include limiting how much alcohol you drink and quitting cigarette smoking.
Keeping a healthy diet with EPI and cystic fibrosis (CF)
People with EPI due to CF need to take pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy like CREON. Additionally, they need to eat foods high in fats, calories, proteins, and other nutrients.
This does not mean people with EPI and CF should eat unhealthy foods like french fries covered in cheese. Proper food intake needs to be well-balanced at meals and snacks. Maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. If you don't already have a nutritionist or registered dietitian as part of your CF healthcare team, talk to your doctor about adding one. A registered dietitian can help you develop a nutrition plan that contains foods that taste great, are healthy, and help meet your calorie needs.