Submit a review for Fortis Escorts Heart Institute & Research CentreYour feedback matters!
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency or EPI is also known as pancreatic deficiency, a disorder where the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient amount of enzymes that are required to digest food. The pancreatic enzymes help to break down and absorb nutrients from the food in the small intestine. So, this disease causes nutritional deficiencies.
Causes of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency :
This condition is generally caused as a complication of other diseases because EPI develops only as a result of severe damage to the pancreas. The following reasons can cause EPI:
- Inflammation of the pancreas: After surgery in the pancreas, stomach or the intestines, there may be inflammation in the pancreas as a post-surgical complication. A high content of triglyceride fat in the blood can also cause pancreatic inflammation and hinder the secretion of the enzymes.
- Chronic Pancreatitis: In this disease, the pancreatic ducts are swollen and blocked and so the digestive enzymes cannot be passed into the small intestine. This condition is often caused by a heavy consumption of alcohol.
- Cystic Fibrosis: The digestive fluids and enzymes become thick and sticky and block the passageways of the pancreas and other organs like the lungs and the kidneys. This can obstruct secretion and passage of enzymes afterwards.
- Shwachman-Bodian-Diamond syndrome or SBDS: SBDS is an autosomal recessive genetic condition where enzyme producing pancreatic cells is not formed properly. This rare disorder causes a number of associated disorders like bone marrow diseases, skeletal defects and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.
Symptoms of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency:
Symptoms of EPI often appear in the middle stages of the disease when the process of absorption of nutrients has already been affected. The common warning signs are:
- Digestive problems like gas, diarrhea and indigestion because the food remains mostly undigested.
- Severe and frequent stomach pain in the lower abdominal region
- Greasy stools due to the excretion of undigested fat
- Rapid loss of weight and body mass due to malabsorption of nutrients
- Constantly feeling bloated and full even if you have not eaten anything
- A general sense of fatigue and exhaustion
- Excessive bleeding from small wounds because protein deficiencies hamper blood clotting
- Pain in the muscles and bones
- Increased susceptibility to infections of the body system
- Joint pain
- Abnormal swelling of the limbs or edema
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gastroenterologist.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS includes a group of medical symptoms. These include abdominal pain and changes in the pattern of bowel movements. The symptoms mostly continue for a long period of time and are divided into four types depending on diarrhoea or constipation symptoms.
Irritable bowel syndrome causes several negative effects on our health and should be treated as soon as possible. IBS is caused because of various reasons and factors. They are as follows:
- Digestive problems: Food is moved through the digestive system with the help of squeezing and relaxation movement of the intestinal muscles in a certain rhythm. In case of IBS, this process is altered and food moves through the digestive system very fast or very slow. When the food moves too fast, diarrhoea is caused as there is not enough time for absorption of water from food. In case of slow food movement, constipation occurs as a result of too much absorption of water. Disorders such as malabsorption of bile acid may also cause IBS in some cases.
- Psychological factors: Psychological factors also play a vital role in IBS. When a person is overtly emotional or is suffering from intense stress or anxiety, then these emotions trigger chemical changes in the body which affect the proper functioning of the digestive system. This is not likely in all people who get IBS. People who did not have IBS before, may undergo changes in bowel movements because of immense stress and tension. Many people who have undergone a traumatic experience such as abuse, neglect or a childhood disease can get IBS. These traumatic events or experiences in the past made these people more sensitive to stress, which may result in IBS.
- Several triggers of IBS: There are several food items and drinks, which may trigger the symptoms of IBS in a person. These triggers vary from person to person. The most common ones include alcohol, aerated drinks, chocolates, drinks which contain caffeine like coffee or cola, processed snacks such as crackers and biscuits and fried foods, which contain a lot of fat. You should maintain a food diary for identification of triggers that may lead to IBS in your everyday diet. Stress is also an important trigger which may lead to IBS. You should try to find ways to get rid of stress and must avoid over stressing.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS results due to several reasons which may be physical or psychological. If you experience symptoms of IBS, you must try to detect or diagnose the reason and then look for proper treatment while consulting with gastroenterologist.
A stomach ulcer or gastric ulcer refers to the defects or breakdown in the mucosal lining in the stomach. The stomach contains acid, which helps in digestion and any break in the tissue lining may result in severe pain or bleeding in some cases. The pain is usually felt in the abdomen. Also, check out Stomach Aches and Pains in Kids.
Stomach ulcers cause great discomfort and should be treated effectively. Here are the primary ways for treating stomach ulcers:
Antibiotics: In the case of H. pylori infection, you should take a course of more than two antibiotics, to be taken twice a day and must be continued for a week. Antibiotics such as amoxicillin, clarithromycin or metronidazole may be used in case of such stomach ulcers. However it is always recommended to consult a specialized doctor before consuming any of these medicines. After several weeks of using the antibiotics, you should get a test done for detection of H. pylori bacteria. If they are still present, you have to take different antibiotics.
Proton Pump Inhibitors: Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs helps in the reduction of the amount of acid produced by the stomach. This prevents damage to the ulcer and lets it heal naturally. PPIs are generally taken for four to eight weeks. The most common PPIs which are used for treating stomach ulcers are omeprazole, pantoprazole and lansoprazole.
H2 Receptor Antagonists: H2 receptor antagonists reduce the production of stomach acid and function the same as PPIs. The most common H2 receptor for treating stomach ulcers is ranitidine. Consult a doctor for all stomach related problems.
Antacids/ Alginate: All measures to treat stomach ulcers take several hours to show results. Your doctor may prescribe antacid medications for neutralizing the stomach acid. This will provide relief for the moment, but the relief is quite temporary and for a short span of time. By this time, the strong medicines most likely start working. There is a certain antacid medicine known as alginate. This develops a protective coating on the stomach lining. Antacids are available at all over the counter medicine stores and you should consult your doctor to get the best antacid which would work effectively on your stomach ulcer symptoms. You should take antacids before going to sleep or after taking meals.
Natural Remedies: Stomach ulcer can also be treated at home using natural remedies. Medicines may sometimes cause further digestive complications, so home remedies are much more easy to follow and do not have side effects. The best way is to follow a proper diet, which is comprised of certain food items that help in curing stomach ulcers. You should consume bananas, honey, garlic, green leafy vegetables like cabbage, licorice and capsaicin.
Stomach ulcers cause great pain and also bleeding in several cases. Proper treatment procedures should be taken in case of stomach ulcer. There are many medical remedies, as well as home remedies for treating stomach ulcers.