Natural Remedies for Exocrine
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for EPI

on Jun 13, 2023| Modified on Dec 21, 2023

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is a medical condition that can severely affect digestion and nutrition absorption. This disorder is characterized by a deficiency of the exocrine pancreatic enzymes, which are crucial for the breakdown of food in the gut. While it’s essential to consult with healthcare providers for professional treatment options, many natural remedies might be helpful as complementary therapies. This article explores natural remedies for EPI and how they can improve your quality of life.

Understanding Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

Before exploring the remedies for EPI, it's crucial to have a basic understanding of this condition. EPI occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough enzymes to aid digestion. This deficiency may result in undigested food passing through the gut, leading to malnutrition and weight loss, regardless of your food intake.

The Role of Diet in EPI Management

Diet is key in managing EPI symptoms and ensuring your body receives nutrients.

High-Protein, Low-Fat Diet

A high-protein, low-fat diet is often recommended for individuals with EPI. The body can absorb proteins easier than fats, which means fewer undigested nutrients pass through the gut.

Small, Frequent Meals

Unlike three large meals, eating smaller meals throughout the day can help ease the digestive process. This method allows the pancreas to work more consistently, easing the load at any given time.

Beneficial Dietary Supplements for EPI

Several dietary supplements can assist with the management of EPI. Always discuss with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Digestive Enzymes

These are often the cornerstone of EPI treatment, supplementing the body's low enzyme production. They help break down food and facilitate nutrient absorption.

Vitamin Supplements

Vitamin deficiencies are common with EPI, especially the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Supplementation can help to counter these deficiencies.

Probiotics

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut environment. They might enhance digestion and nutrient absorption while also improving overall gut health.

Mindful Lifestyle Changes for EPI

Certain lifestyle changes can help manage EPI symptoms besides dietary adjustments and supplements.

Hydration

Proper hydration is essential for individuals with EPI, as diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Aim to drink at least eight cups of water a day, more if you are active or live in a hot climate.

Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity can help stimulate digestion and nutrient absorption. It can also help maintain a healthy body weight, which is often challenging for individuals with EPI.

Stress Management

Stress can exacerbate EPI symptoms. Engage in stress-relieving activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

Final Thoughts

Living with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can be challenging, but the condition can be managed with professional medical treatment, diet, supplements, and lifestyle changes. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary or supplement regimen. With the right strategies and guidance, you can manage EPI symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Do you have a remedy for EPI? Please share it with the Earth Clinic community!




EPI Remedies

Posted by GertJr (Madison) on 06/13/2023

I have IBS-D so, when I had uncontrollable diarrhea for a week, it wasn't totally out of my normal. I became severely dehydrated and went to a walk-in clinic and got IV fluids, then consulted my gastro Dr.After numerous tests, he said I have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and need pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy. So, my question, is this reallyl something that just shows up without warning? Is the elastase test definitive for it or should I ask for a more definitive test? He says Creon is the only acceptable enzyme replacement, but it causes gout, diabetes and IBS-D--so I'm not inclined to go there. Plus, it's very expensive and I'm currently trying to see if Abbvie Assist will pay for it. Any thoughts? BTW, I've been taking supplements and eating clean for ages--could this be why I'm never really feeling good? (Because lack of the enzyme means you don't get the nutrients) Seems I do everything right and still never feel good. I don't remember ever feeling good, but I've had the ibs since early childhood. Are the epi and ibs related, caused by each other? I'm open to suggestions but cannot eat raw, period. It tears up my gut. There's a Dr Hazan in Calif that runs a research lab in Calif that says the older you get the less raw you should eat, it's hard on you for what benefit you get. I just want comments and any suggestions, please. I tend to not take pharmaceuticals, although I thing at times they're the way to go. Thanks

Replied by Art
(California)
06/14/2023
2173 posts

GertJr,

These two may be of interest to you :

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5454927/#:~:text=It is very likely that, the neural entero-pancreatic reflex.

A relevant quote :

' It is very likely that melatonin could play an essential role in the physiological stimulation of exocrine pancreatic function. Melatonin possibly acts as one of the mediators involved in the intestinal phase of pancreatic secretion via the activation of the neural entero-pancreatic reflex. l-tryptophan seems to function as a melatonin precursor, whereas role of AFMK in the regulation of pancreatic exocrine function remains to be clarified. '

And this one :

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26400188/

Here is a relevant quote :

' The effects of berberine hydrochloride on IBS-D, defined by a reduction of diarrhea frequency (P = 0.032), abdominal pain frequency (P < 0.01) and urgent need for defecation frequency (P < 0.01), were significantly more pronounced in the berberine group than the placebo group in the 8 weeks of treatment. A trend of improvement (P < 0.05) was observed with berberine hydrochloride for IBS symptom score, depression score and anxiety score and the IBSQOL, compared with placebo. At last, berberine hydrochloride was well tolerated. So we concluded that berberine hydrochloride is well tolerated and reduces IBS-D symptoms, which effectively improved patients QOL. '

Art

GertJr
(Madison)
06/14/2023

Thanks, Art. I'm already taking berberine and melatonin, but not in therapeutic doses. My melatonin tablets contain taurine, gaba and a few other things, so I'll have to get pure melatonin so I can up the dose. I'm taking 20 mg as it is, so will ramp it up.

Art
(California)
06/14/2023
2173 posts

GertJr,

If you are tolerating 20 mg with no issues, you likely can handle more. I take 132 mg/night.

Berberine is usually around 1500 mg per day in three divided doses, but I believe that study only used 800 mg /day.

You didn't say if you know the cause of your EPI, but vitamin D deficiency is common in EPI and if you aren't already taking higher dose vitamin D you might consider it to try to get near the top of the reference range which is 30 to 100 ng/ml. If your EPI is caused by pancreatitis, you might also consider supplements that are used for that purpose of which both berberine and melatonin are on that list.

Since you have a diagnosis of IBS-d, you may be a candidate for FMT if the IBS-d is severe enough. You can talk to your doctor about that option.

Art

GertJr
(Madison)
06/15/2023

I did a fecal test and my elastace was low-so they say epi. I don't know if this is definitive or not, will ask at my appointment. I've been taking only 800 mg berberine, so will increase it, and then increase my melatonin as well. They said due to pancreatitis, but it came on suddenly with no warning and I wonder if that's really it or if it's something else, but am researching how to strengthen my pancreas--they say it cannot be healed but I disagree. Don't really know how to fix it, but eating clean and hydrating are always first, then supplements that detox and provide requirements so your body can do it's thing are next.

GertJr
(Madison)
06/15/2023

I just read an article at a local tv station about Cyclosporiasis, which sounds a lot like what I had/have. I'm still not convinced I have epi. This cyclo thing has a list of symptoms and I had every single one of them. Regardless, all the tips from EC people are always welcome and helpful--after all, if you keep your various systems healthy, you can usually overcome whatever illness comes your way. Thanks again.

Art
(California)
06/16/2023
2173 posts

GertJr,

Two others to consider are,

Grape Seed Proanthocyanidin Extract (GSPE) due to its highly potent antioxidant activities as well as its anti inflammatory effects :

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11351148/

Here is a relevant quote :

' Treatment with narcotic analgesics and pancreatic enzyme supplements had failed to control their symptoms. The addition of a commercially available IH636 grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (commercially known as ActiVin) to their treatment regimen led to a reduction in the frequency and intensity of abdominal pain as well as resolution of vomiting in 1 patient. '

And Astaxanthin :

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9143310/

Here is a relevant quote :

' Astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant significantly reduces oxidative stress and protects from pancreatic damage. Inhibition of PPAR-α does not block the effect of ATX in cerulein-induced AP. The antioxidant effects of astaxanthin are related to its scavenging activity and its increasing effect on antioxidant defense enzyme. Astaxanthin can be used as a valuable therapeutic approach in AP.'

It is also worth noting that vitamin D deficiency is thought to be a contributing factor to AP and CP. Making sure that your 25 OH d level is well into the reference range (30 to 100 ng/ml) would be important and your doctor should check your level so you can make it so.

I use this GSPE at the label recommended dose of 3 capsules per day:

https://www.amazon.com/Carlyle-Grape-Extract-Equivalent-Capsules/dp/B07G7K522Q/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1TKHQP05U5ZH9&keywords=grape+seed+extract&qid=1686892450&sprefix=grape,aps,135&sr=8-5

I use this Astaxanthin at the label recommended dose of one soft gel per day :

https://www.amazon.com/Astaxanthin-Supplements-Absorption-Antioxidant-Supplement/dp/B09VX787GV/ref=sr_1_18?crid=3M4TQNLS8461K&keywords=astaxanthin&qid=1686892531&sprefix=astaxanthin,aps,185&sr=8-18

Art

Art
(California)
06/16/2023
2173 posts

GertJr,

The following animal study shows that colloidal silver (CS) has a very negative impact on this parasite :

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31610183/

Here is a relevant quote :

' The animals that received these nanoparticles showed a statistically significant decrease in the oocyst burden and number of viable oocysts in stool and a statistically significant increase in serum gamma interferon in comparison to the corresponding group receiving the standard treatment and to the infected non-treated control group. '

I think EC sells CS (AgNPs) or used to sell it. I don't see it on the home page anymore, so I'm not sure.

On a related note, Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (FGDE) is known to be an intestinal parasite killer.

Art

Replied by GertJr
(Madison)
12/21/2023

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

My ibs-d has apparently progressed to EPI. The dr put me on creon, which is supposed to help digest fats in my diet. Any thoughts on what I could do to rejuvenate my pancreas? My symptoms are horrible diarrhea that is very fatty (think oil slick in the toilet). I've always known fats caused diarrhea, but lately it's been greasy, pale and really stinky. I really don't want to take another medicine if I can help it, especially such a pricy one. Suggestions?



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