As Memorial Day Weekend approaches, people around the country are preparing to fire up their grills and host backyard barbeques to spend time and share lots of great food and beverages with their family and friends. The cheeseburgers, hotdogs, yummy – but often greasy – side dishes and rich desserts could be enough to trigger indigestion for many – even for those without a chronic digestive condition.
But for those with persistent digestive issues, Memorial Day Weekend may be an opportunity to check in on your health.
Digestive discomfort could be the result of more than just overeating, and may be caused by an under-recognized condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), which is the inability to properly digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats due to a lack of enzymes produced by the pancreas.
Symptoms associated with EPI can include diarrhea, gas, bloating, stomach pain, frequent bowl movements, and unexplained weight loss. Because EPI is under-recognized and its symptoms are similar to other gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, diagnosis can be difficult to achieve. In fact, a 2016 survey revealed that 66% of individuals with chronic digestive symptoms have never heard of EPI, and 78% were not aware of its symptoms