What is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency?

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What is Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency?

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, or EPI, is the medical term for a condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes. As a result, the body cannot properly digest food into nutrients, which can lead to malabsorption.

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, your body is missing the enzymes it needs to digest food, which causes important nutrients to pass through the body unabsorbed.

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 include:

If you have one or more of these symptoms, make sure you let us, or your doctor, know.

EPI can occur in people with certain diseases and conditions that affect the pancreas. These diseases may be present when you’re born or develop over time.

Conditions that may be associated with EPI include:


If you think you could have EPI, the first step you should take is to make an appointment to talk to us here at Palmetto Endocrinology. It's important that you open up and tell us about any and all symptoms you may be experiencing.

You should remember to share the following information:

Joseph W. Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD Joseph Mathews, MD, FACP, FACE, ECNU, CCD Joseph W. Mathews M.D., a board certified Endocrinologist and Medical Director of Palmetto Endocrinology, was born and raised in South Carolina. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the College of Charleston, Cum Laude. He then achieved his M.D. at the Medical University of South Carolina where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a Fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. Dr. Mathews is also a Fellow of both the American College of Endocrinology and the American College of Physicians, holds an Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU) and is a Certified Clinical Densitometrist (CCD). He has extensive experience performing ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration biopsies. His practice includes a range of specializations including prescribing and fitting patients with insulin pumps. Dr. Mathews' practice has drawn patients from out of state to benefit from his expertise in thyroid disorders, diabetes, cortisol problems and their Endocrine disorders.

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