What causes exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)?
Most researchers and doctors classify the causes of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency into either pancreatic or non-pancreatic causes, with the most common cause being chronic pancreatitis because that leads to the damage or loss of pancreatic exocrine cells.
Pancreatic causes of EPI
Pancreatic causes of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency are:
- Chronic pancreatitis (recurrent inflammation of the pancreatic tissue)
- Cystic fibrosis (inherited genetic disorder that effects mucous, digestive enzymes and secretions)
- Obstruction of the pancreatic duct
- Swachman-Diamond syndrome (rare congenital disorder that includes exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and other problems)
Non-pancreatic causes of EPI
Non-pancreatic causes of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency are:
- Celiac disease (autoimmune disorder resulting in problems with gluten digestion)
- Crohn's disease (inflammatory bowel disease)
- Autoimmune pancreatitis
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (overproduction of gastric acid with recurrent peptic ulcers)
- Surgical procedures that may directly or indirectly effect the pancreas