One of the main functions of the pancreas is to create and release a number of enzymes that help the body to break down food and absorb nutrients. However, pancreatic cancer and its treatments may cause the pancreas to produce fewer of these essential enzymes – a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).
Patients with PPIs may experience malabsorption of nutrients from foods that can lead to persistent digestive problems such as stomach pain, weight loss, gas, stool changes, and diarrhea. EPI is common in patients with pancreatic cancer, but there are many resources to help you with the treatment.
Good nutritional care improves outcomes and is critical to a patient’s quality of life. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) strongly recommends that patients have access to pancreatic enzymes and visit a registered nutritionist.
Studies show that pancreatic enzyme supplements can be particularly helpful if taken right. Patient Central can provide information about these nutritional supplements and other nutrition and nutrition topics. Your health team can help you with the treatment of EPI and any nutritional problems. And your survivors are always ready to share their best tips.
Here are eight EPI management tips from survivors in the PanCAN community and reviewed by PanCAN’s chief physician, Victoria Manax Rutson, MD.
1) Eat small, frequent meals. “I got used to it and did not feel bloated.” Ralph Cheney.
2) Take digestive enzymes at the beginning of your meal or snack and the right amount of them. “Work with your oncologist and / or nutritionist.” Marie Durbin
3) Find out which foods work for you. “I try to stay away from spicy foods, and salads are not friendly to my system. But every individual has to figure out what works best to get a good balance. “Ralph Cheney
4) Eat your meal with minimal fluids. “This helps keep food in your digestive system for longer, increasing the chance of absorption. Wait about 20 to 30 minutes after eating, and then give hydration and hydration!
5) Exercise. “I enjoy yoga and go and find it helpful. I was surprised that getting out and taking a short walk contributed to my overall digestive problems. “Roberta Luna
6) Know where the next baths are. “When you’re away from home, it’s good to know where toilets are. There are a few apps that can help. You place your location and you get the locations of the nearest bathrooms. “Roberta Luna
7) Get resources. “I recommend everyone to contact PanCAN and talk to Patient Central as soon as possible. They can provide a wealth of information on many topics, and have been my focal point for many topics in recent years. “Ralph Cheney