Signs and Symptoms of EPI

Symptoms of EPI are similar to other conditions that affect your stomach and digestion

Many people do not realize the pancreas plays an important role in digestion and that problems with the pancreas can result in digestive issues. When you have Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI), your body is missing the enzymes it needs to digest food, which causes important nutrients to pass through the body unabsorbed.2

This can lead to a number of signs and symptoms that may vary from person to person. People with EPI may have one, two, or several of the symptoms listed.

EPI symptoms may include2,3:

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Foul-smelling, greasy stools (steatorrhea)

People with EPI cannot absorb all of the fat that they eat. The undigested fat that passes through the digestive system may cause oily or greasy-looking stools. These stools may also smell really bad, float, and be difficult to flush.

Not all people experience steatorrhea, but it is the most common sign of EPI. Tell your doctor if you notice oil droplets in the toilet bowl or if your stools have the appearance of salad dressing or motor oil.

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Unexplained weight loss

People with EPI cannot properly digest or absorb the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates found in food, which can result in weight loss.

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Gas and bloating

Because people with EPI cannot properly digest food, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as gas and bloating.

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Stomach pain

The gas and bloating that sometimes happen with EPI can cause stomach pain.

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Frequent diarrhea

A symptom of fat malabsorption, diarrhea is commonly experienced by people with EPI.

If you have one or more of these symptoms, make sure you let your doctor know. Download the Doctor Discussion Guide to keep track of any symptoms you may be experiencing, and share them with your doctor.

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What is EPI?

Find Out More
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Underlying conditions and
procedures that may cause EPI

Learn More
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Your medical history and tests can help determine if you have EPI

See How