• Tests

    Diagnosing PEI will likely begin with your doctor performing a physical examination and asking about your medical history and symptoms. Your medical history will provide important clues for diagnosing PEI. For example, PEI is more common in those who’ve had digestive tract surgery or have a history of pancreatic disease. Your doctor will also ask questions about your family’s medical history.

    Your doctor will also try to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms such as:

    • Celiac disease
    • irritable bowel syndrome
    • pancreatic cancer
    • Crohn’s disease
    • ulcerative colitis

    If you have symptoms of severe PEI, such as fatty, oily stools, unexplained diarrhea and weight loss, some doctors may diagnose you based on your physical exam and medical history alone. More likely, you’ll also undergo specific diagnostic tests to help your doctor identify any underlying condition that’s causing your PEI, such as pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. Finally, you doctor may consider a trial of pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) to assess how your respond to therapy.

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health