The Balancing Act

Don't Keep A Lid On It

Article: AbbVie, Inc.
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EPI: Don't Keep A Lid On It. (Talk To Your Doctor And Share All Your Symptoms)

EPI or Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is a condition affecting the pancreas. EPI is the inability of the pancreas to produce enzymes that help in the digestion (breakdown) of food. Join gastroenterologist Doctor Bob Etemad whose mission is to educate and build awareness about EPI. A patient dealing with the condition will also lend her perspective on the topic.

Don't Keep A Lid On It

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is a gastrointestinal condition that may go unrecognized and under-diagnosed.

When many people think of the pancreas, they think of insulin or diabetes; but the pancreas has another important function other than to produce insulin. A healthy pancreas produces proteins called enzymes that help break down foods into nutrients for the body.

In people with EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), the pancreas does not produce enough of its main enzymes - lipase (breaks down fats), amylase, (breaks down carbohydrates) and protease (breaks down proteins) - which help in the digestion, or breakdown, of food into nutrients.

The symptoms of EPI can vary, but common symptoms include: a type of diarrhea called steatorrhea (foul-smelling, oily stools that float and are hard to flush), gas, bloating, stomach pain, frequent bowel movements or unexplained weight loss.

More About Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

- EPI can cause improper digestion and absorption of nutrients in food such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI may be associated with the following diseases and conditions: chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), cystic fibrosis (a disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems), pancreatectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the pancreas), pancreatic cancer, or diabetes. If you have one of these conditions and symptoms of EPI, talk to your doctor.

- EPI is a manageable condition, so don't keep a lid on it. Talk to your doctor and share all your symptoms so that he/she may best help you.

- For more information about EPI, visit The Symptom Connect tool is one example of a valuable resource on the website to help people who are experiencing GI symptoms start a conversation with their doctor.

"AbbVie is committed to encouraging the public to seek medical attention to determine the cause of regular digestive issues. Symptoms, like those associated with EPI, can be related to other digestive issues and only a healthcare professional can determine if those unidentified GI symptoms warrant further attention," Maria Rivas, M.D., vice president, Global Medical Affairs, AbbVie.

Tune in on Tuesday, March 11th and 18th at 7:00 am (ET/PT) on Lifetime Television to hear gastroenterologist Dr. Bob Etemad talk about EPI and a patient who is dealing with the condition share her story in this first segment in a 3 part "Behind the Mystery: Rare and Genetic Diseases" series on EPI.

Newsletter article: Don't Keep A Lid On It

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