6 Ways to Relieve Constipation From Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

Loss of bowel control and oil in the stool are symptoms of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), a disorder in which the pancreas does not produce adequate digestive enzymes. Nevertheless, intermittent constipation is a symptom seen by some persons with EPI.

Constipation is when you have three or fewer bowel movements each week, and your stools are firm or dry and possibly uncomfortable to pass. The ailment is usually short- lived and mild. A lack of fiber in the diet, dehydration, certain drugs (antidepressants, blood pressure regulators, and even antacids), irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, and other medical conditions can all contribute to this issue.

Constipation is a common problem for those dealing with EPI, and you may do a few things to alleviate the discomfort. The following listed six ways can help you relieve constipation from exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

Consume More Fibrous Foods

Your doctor may have advised you to cut back on fiber if you have EPI. This is because the fiber in the diet might block digestive enzymes. Getting enough dietary fiber is crucial for proper digestion and bowel function. Constipation from EPI can be eased by eating a high-fiber diet. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are all excellent sources of fiber. Constipation can be alleviated by progressively increasing fiber consumption rather than all at once.

It can be difficult to determine the optimal amount of fiber and digestive enzymes to control EPI symptoms on your own; thus, you may wish to consult a physician or qualified dietitian for advice.

It's best to increase your fiber intake if you need to gradually. Keeping yourself well-hydrated is another benefit.

Consume 8-10 Glasses of Water Daily

Constipation often results from not getting enough fluids in the body. Most adults need between eight and ten cups of water daily, spread out throughout the day, while smaller people may get by on six to eight cups. Bowel motions can be aided by drinking a hot beverage. Try some hot beverages like coffee, tea, or lemon water.

But remember that caffeinated drinks, such as coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, increase urine production, so you should drink plenty of water to compensate for it. Take an extra water bottle with you if you plan on venturing out on a hot summer day, as you will lose more fluid than usual through perspiration.

Use a Natural Laxative

Prunes have been used historically to relieve constipation. Constipated persons with a low fiber intake benefitted from eating prunes, as they enhanced the frequency of their bowel movements while being well tolerated.

You can increase your fiber intake by using ground flaxseed in your diet. You won't get the same benefits from eating whole flaxseeds since your body will flush them out.

Maintain a regular exercise routine

Constipation due to EPI can be alleviated via regular exercise. Physical activity improves colon transit by stimulating the muscles of the digestive system. Constipation can be alleviated with any activity, from walking to yoga.

Intestinal muscular contractions can be prompted by aerobic exercise, which raises breathing and heart rates. This can hasten the transit time of food through the colon, reducing the discomfort of constipation.

Certain yoga positions may also help with constipation. Twisting yoga poses, for instance, have been shown to speed up the rate at which food is processed by stimulating the digestive tract muscles.

Supplement with Enzymes

Enzyme supplements can aid digestion and ease constipation in those with EPI. The enzymes the pancreas isn't creating enough of are included in these supplements so the body can digest food more efficiently. Enzyme supplements should be taken only when prescribed by a doctor.

Therapize Enzyme Modification

Constipation could be caused by using too many digestive enzymes or incorrectly taking them. Your doctor may recommend reducing your dose if you suffer constipation. But, if the dose is too low and loose stools return, you may need to increase it.

The dose can be adjusted to suit the individual's dietary needs. If you know you'll eat many fatty, creamy foods at a party, you might want to take an extra pill to help your pancreas. There may be a decrease in enzyme requirements for low-fat diets.

See your doctor about adjusting your enzymes if you're experiencing digestive problems like constipation.


Constipation is a rare EPI side effect, typically resulting in diarrhea. Using digestive enzymes for gas and bloating relief may cause this.

The stools you pass while taking PERT may be firmer than usual, although this may not always indicate real constipation. But, constipation might set in if you have fewer than three bowel movements weekly and are having pain and difficulties passing stool.

Changing your PERT dose, drinking more water, and gradually increasing your fiber intake will help alleviate constipation caused by EPI enzyme therapy.

Someswar Pal
Someswar Pal

Studying Mtech/ AI- ML

Updated on: 24-Apr-2023


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