Investigating Pancreatic Dysfunction
Pancreatic dysfunction, or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a condition that results in poor digestion and malabsorption of some key nutrients including fats, carbohydrates and proteins. The loss of pancreatic function and subsequent deficiency of digestive enzymes leads to a range of symptoms including diarrhoea and weight loss.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is associated with numerous clinical conditions that predispose to the condition including Chronic pancreatitis and Cystic fibrosis.
Symptoms of Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency often mimic those of other common gastrointestinal conditions making diagnosis difficult based on clinical assessment alone. Testing stool samples for Pancreatic Elastase is useful in the investigation of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and can be used along side faecal calprotectin testing to exclude other organic causes of symptoms such as inflammatory bowel disease.