More than 85 percent of patients with CF have pancreatic insufficiency. This can lead to varying difficulties with digesting and absorbing nutrients from food. As a result, many people with CF find it a challenge to maintain and gain weight. It can also lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies which can affect many different systems in the body.
Supplementing with enough pancreatic enzyme replacement can be a tricky thing. Your Dietitian, Pharmacist and Doctor will help to optimize your pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) to help you digest your food properly. Some of the symptoms of inadequate PERT are bulky stools, loose stools, foul smelling stools, greasy stools, pale looking stools, abdominal cramping, bloating, flatulence and difficulty with maintaining or gaining weight despite adequate intakes. The CF Dietitians across Canada wrote an excellent information page.