20% off probiotics and enzymes. Shop now.
plus get free shipping on orders over $25. Order by 6 p.m. ET Ships same day. Learn more.
Reorder products. See your order history.
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 or more.

How to get FREE Shipping:
1. Place your online order of $25 or more*
2. Ship to an address within the United States (including U.S. territories)
3. Your shipment should arrive within 2-6 business days from your order

* Your total purchase must reach the designated amount after any discounts are applied and prior to the costs of shipping and tax.
Order by 6, We'll Ship the Same Day

Domestic orders placed Monday - Friday by 6 p.m. Eastern Time will be packed and shipped the same day, pending verification of billing information and the shipping method selected. International orders and orders containing gift cards, out-of-stock items or refrigerated items will be processed as quickly as possible, but won't necessarily be shipped out the same day.

Excludes all orders placed on major US holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day).


Health Guides
Health Concerns
Vitamin Guide
Herbal Remedies
Weight Control
Sports & Fitness
Women's Health
Men's Health
Safety Checker
Food Guide
Personal Health Tools
 Print this article

Pancreatic Insufficiency

Also indexed as:Pancreatitis (Acute and Chronic)
Gas, bloating, and other symptoms can surface when the pancreas doesn't secrete enough of the enzymes needed for normal digestion. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Pancreatic Insufficiency: Main Image

About This Condition

Pancreatic insufficiency occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough chemicals and digestive enzymes for normal digestion to occur.

When pancreatic insufficiency is severe, malabsorption (impaired absorption of nutrients by the intestines) may result, leading to deficiencies of essential nutrients and the occurrence of loose stools containing unabsorbed fat (steatorrhea).

Severe pancreatic insufficiency occurs in cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, and surgeries of the gastrointestinal system in which portions of the stomach or pancreas are removed. Certain gastrointestinal diseases, such as stomach ulcers,1celiac disease,2 and Crohn's disease,3 and autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE),4, 5, 6 may contribute to the development of pancreatic insufficiency. Mild forms of pancreatic insufficiency are often difficult to diagnose, and there is controversy among researchers regarding whether milder forms of pancreatic insufficiency need treatment.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that reduces the function of the pancreas, causing pancreatic insufficiency, malabsorption, and diabetes.7 Acute pancreatitis is usually a temporary condition and can be caused by gallstones, excessive alcohol consumption, high blood triglycerides, abdominal injury, and other diseases, and by certain medications and poisons.8 Chronic pancreatitis is a slow, silent process that gradually destroys the pancreas and is most often caused by excessive alcohol consumption.


People with pancreatic insufficiency may have excess oil in the stool (steatorrhea), which is associated with symptoms of pale, foul-smelling, bulky stools that stick to the side of the toilet bowl or are difficult to flush, oil droplets floating in the toilet bowl after bowel movements, and abdominal discomfort, gas, and bloating. People with pancreatic insufficiency may also have bone pain, muscle cramps, night blindness, and easy bruising.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Since alcoholism is one known cause of pancreatitis, total abstinence from alcohol is generally recommended to people with this disease.9 In a study of alcoholic chronic pancreatitis patients, pancreatic function declined to a greater degree in those who continued to drink alcohol.10 Another study found that abstinence from alcohol had a significant long-term beneficial effect on some of the problems associated with chronic pancreatitis.11

Cigarette smoking decreases pancreatic secretion12 and increases the risk of pancreatitis13 and pancreatic cancer,14 providing yet another reason to quit smoking.

In a large international study, the major risk factors for early death in a group of patients with chronic alcoholic and nonalcoholic pancreatitis included smoking and drinking alcohol.15

Copyright 2014 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Aisle7.com

Learn more about Aisle7, the company.

Learn more about the authors of Aisle7 products.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

sign up. save 10%

invalid email address entered. please try again.

almost there! click sign me up for exclusive coupons, great deals, early access to sales and info on how to stay healthy & fit.  view our privacy policy.
*first time customers only