Pancreatic Disorder

The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach, responsible for producing enzymes for digestion.

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  • Stomach pain1
  • Bloating1
  • Frothy stools1
  • Gassy1
  • Diarrhoea1
  • Weight loss1
  • Tiredness2


What is the pancreas and what does it do?

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The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach, responsible for producing enzymes for digestion.3

In addition, the pancreas produces hormones to regulate blood sugar levels in the body.3

Although a healthy pancreas is only roughly the size of a hand,3 it produces enough enzymes to break down food so that it can be absorbed by the gut into the bloodstream and used by the body.3 It therefore plays a major role in maintaining a healthy nutritional status.1,3,4

What is Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency (PEI)?

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A disorder called Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency (PEI) can occur when your pancreas does not produce enough enzymes to break down the food you eat.6

Without these enzymes, nutrients from food are not absorbed by the body.6

What can cause PEI?

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Although impaired pancreatic function could be hereditary, there are other conditions that could affect the pancreas, preventing it from producing the enzymes needed to function properly.2

These conditions include inflammation of the pancreas, cystic fibrosis or if your pancreas has been removed or affected by surgery.2

How could PEI affect me?

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Loss of pancreatic function usually results in poor fat, carbohydrate and protein absorption. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble, these are also poorly absorbed.2

  • This deficiency could lead to: Malnutrition7
  • Failure to thrive in children due to weight loss6
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis, which causes bones to become weak and brittle7,8
  • Possible heart problems7
  • Sarcopenia, which means loss of skeletal muscle mass and function7,9

What are the symptoms of PEI?

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Can PEI be treated?

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Yes, PEI can be treated!
The main goal of treating PEI is to replace the enzymes that your pancreas is not producing, to ensure correct digestion of the food you eat, and absorption of the nutrients.6

This treatment is known as pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT).6

Achieve healthy nutrition the smart way

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CREON® capsules should be taken at the start of meals and snacks

Capsules should be swallowed whole, not chewed

Alternatively open the capsule, pour the pellets onto a spoon and swallow without chewing

The correct dose of CREON® depends on your condition and symptoms.6

Your doctor or pharmacist will advise on the appropriate dose for you.

1. Nikfarjam M, Wilson JS, Smith RC, et al. Diagnosis and management of pancreatic exocrine
insufficiency. MJA 2017;207(4):161-165. 2. Imrie CW, Connett G, Hall RI, et al. Review article: enzyme supplementation
in cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic and periampullary cancer. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2010;32(1):1-
25. 3. Columbia Surgery. The Pancreas Center. Pancreas Functions, Location & Disease. Available from: https:// Accessed date: 5 April 2022. 4. NIH. Your Digestive
System & How it Works. Available from:
how-it-works. Accessed date: 5 April 2022. 5. MSD MANUAL. Pancreas – Digestive Disorders. Available from: Accessed date:
7 April 2022. 6. Toouli J, Biankin AV, Oliver MR, et al. Management of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency: Australasian
Pancreatic Club recommendations. Med J Aust 2010;193(8):461-467. 7. Domínguez-Muñoz JE. Diagnosis and
treatment of pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. Curr Opin in Gastro 2018;34(5):1-6. 8. Mayo Clinic. Osteoporosis –
Symptoms and causes. Available from:
syc-20351968. Accessed date: 7 April 2022. 9. Santilli V, Bernetti A, Mangone M, et al. Clinical definition of sarcopenia.
Clin Case Min Bone Metabol 2014;11(3):177-180.
Creon® 10000. Each capsule contains Pancreatin 150 mg. Reg. No.: 33/11.1/0340; Mauritius POM Reg. No.:
R7435/02/16; Namibia: Reg. No.: 04/11.1/1015. Creon® 25000. Each capsule contains Pancreatin 300 mg.
Reg. No.: 28/11.1/0645; Namibia: Reg. No.: 04/11.1/1016.
For full prescribing information refer to the Professional Information approved by the Medicines Regulatory Authority.
Abbott Laboratories S.A. (Pty) Ltd. 1940/014043/07. Abbott Place, 219 Golf Club Terrace, Constantia Kloof, 1709.
Publication date: July 2022. Promotional review number: SAF2235118.

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