Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency: Symptoms of Low Pancreatic Enzyme

Lack of Pancreatic Enzyme

The pancreas is a gland which produces two types of secretions, one is meant for digestion and the other is for regulating glucose (carbohydrate) level in the blood.

The secretion meant for digestion is called pancreatic enzyme, these enzymes along with other digestive enzymes break down fats, proteins and carbohydrate from the food that we eat.

Pancreatic enzyme deficiency results when these enzymes do not reach the intestine, for the process of food digestion.

There are three types of pancreatic enzymes:

  • Trypsin and chymotrypsin is meant for digestion of proteins.
  • Amylase is meant for digestion of carbohydrates.
  • Lipase is meant for digestion of fats.

Deficiency of Amylase Enzyme

Causes of Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency

  • Acute and chronic pancreatitis.
  • Surgical removal of pancreas.
  • Pancreatic cancer.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Autoimmune disorder.
  • Obstruction due to gall stone.

Low Pancreatic Enzyme Symptoms

  • Pale colored stools also called steatorrhea.
  • Gaseous distension of abdomen.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Muscles cramps.
  • Loss of weight due to malabsorption and faulty digestion.
  • Diarrhea with excess of fat and undigested meat fiber in stools.

Pancreatic enzyme deficiency treatment is done by supplementing artificial pancreatic enzyme as prescribed by the doctor. It may be given before meals. These enzymes work in the same manner, as the natural enzymes secreted by the pancreas.

They break down carbohydrate, fat and protein in to simpler form for better absorption.

Eat low fat diet.

It is imperative for a patient to abstain alcohol permanently, if he is suffering from pancreatic enzyme deficiency.