Rare Disease Report

Dietary Considerations for Cystic Fibrosis and Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

JULY 08, 2014
Guest post from The Balancing Act

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) are inherited chronic diseases affecting the lungs and digestive systems of nearly 30,000 children, and young adults here in the U.S. Among other symptoms, CF clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. Join Registered Dietitian, Raquel Durban, who will educate about CF and EPI conditions and proper dietary choices to help improve the lives of patients living with these diseases. For more information: http://www.abbvie.com OR http://www.identifyepi.com/

Dietary Do's And Don't's For CF And EPI

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness month.

CF, or cystic fibrosis, is an inherited disease that affects the lungs, pancreas and other organs. CF is a condition that can be associated with EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency).

In people with EPI due to CF, the pancreas does not produce enough of its main enzymes - lipase (breaks down fats), amylase, (breaks down carbohydrates) and protease (breaks down proteins) - which help in the digestion, or breakdown, of food into nutrients.
  • Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States
  • In people with CF, a thick sticky mucus is produced in certain organs throughout the body, most commonly the lungs and digestive system. The mucus build-up in the lungs can cause difficulty breathing and may lead to life-threatening lung infections. In the digestive system, the thick mucus may prevent proper food digestion
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or EPI occurs in approximately 90 percent of people living with CF Symptoms of EPI may include a type of diarrhea called steatorrhea (foul-smelling, oily stools that are hard to flush), gas, bloating, stomach pain, frequent bowel movements or unexplained weight loss
A nutritionally well-balanced diet is important and can help with the management of EPI.

For more information about EPI, visit www.IdentifyEPI.com. The Symptom Connect tool is one example of a valuable resource on the website to help people who are experiencing GI symptoms start a conversation with their doctor.

"AbbVie is committed to encouraging the public to seek medical attention to determine the cause of regular digestive issues. Symptoms, like those associated with EPI, can be related to other digestive issues and only a healthcare professional can determine if those unidentified GI symptoms warrant further attention," Maria Rivas, M.D., vice president, Global Medical Affairs, AbbVie.

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