Pancreas insufficiency:

Pancreatic insufficiency ( )

Pancreas insufficiency means that there is a deficiency in the production of the enzymes responsible for digestion of food (exocrine pancreatic enzymes) in the pancreas. This may be cause by various diseases. Lacking exocrine pancreatic enzymes may cause poor digestion, diarrhea and growth problems. Treatment consists of replacing the pancreatic enzymes and also treating the underlying disease if possible.

Full Description

Pancreas insufficiency is a deficiency in the production of the exocrine pancreatic enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for breaking down components, such as proteins and carbohydrates, in food. A lack of these enzymes can result in poor digestion, fatty diarrhea and growth problems.


Urination during the night, Dribbling after urination, Delayed start to urination, Bloody cough, Vomiting blood, Nosebleed, Cough, Eye blinking, Tic, Difficulty in swallowing, Burning in the throat, Bone fracture, Hard defecation, Bloated feeling in the stomach, Tiredness, Back pain, Pain in the limbs, Less than 3 defecations per week, Abdominal pain, Vomiting, Nausea, Reduced appetite, Increased urine quantity, Flatulence, Mood swings, Increased appetite, Hot flushes, Protrusion of the eyes, Palpitations, Nervousness, Mood swings, Sweating, Tremor at rest, Sleeplessness, Weight loss, Hair loss, Cold sweats, Diarrhea, Itching eyes, Brittleness of nails, Difficulty in swallowing, Irregular heartbeat, Muscle weakness, Eye pain, Dry eyes, Night sweats, Flatulence, Diarrhea, Fatty defecation, Weight gain, Foul smelling defecation

Medical Conditions

The cause of pancreas insufficiency is usually damage to the pancreas. There are many factors that may damage the pancreas. Alcohol abuse is thought to be the most common reason as it causes an inflammation of the pancreas. Chronic pancreatic inflammation, cystic fibrosis or tumors may be factors also resulting in damaged pancreatic tissue. People with pancreas insufficiency may experience poor digestion, fatty or foul-smelling stools and weight loss. Destruction of pancreatic tissue may also lead to insufficient insulin production and therefore cause diabetes, which is named endocrine pancreas insufficiency.


The treatment for pancreas insufficiency consists of pancreatic enzyme replacement to support the digestion of food, medications to reduce the level of blood fat and avoiding alcohol consumption. Surgery might be necessary in some cases e.g. to remove a tumor.