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Pancreas Issues

Sam Weissman, MD

Gastroenterologist located in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NY

Every year, more than 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreas issues like acute and chronic pancreatitis. At his practice in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, board-certified gastroenterologist Sam Weissman, MD, uses advanced diagnostics and treatment techniques to pinpoint and manage pancreas-related health problems. To make an appointment at the practice in New York City, call the office today, or schedule online.

Pancreas Issues Q & A

What is the pancreas?

The pancreas is an essential organ in your abdomen responsible for converting the food you eat into energy. Specifically, your pancreas makes insulin which helps regulate your blood sugar. It also secretes enzymes that help you digest food and absorb its nutrients.

What are the symptoms of pancreas issues?

Common symptoms of pancreas issues include:

  • Abdominal tenderness, swelling, or pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Excess gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Foul-smelling stool
  • Light-colored stool
  • Fever

If you have a pancreas-related health problem, you might also experience unexplained weight loss or malnutrition.

What are some common pancreas issues?

Dr. Weissman works with adults and teens to diagnose and treat various pancreas issues, including:


Pancreatitis causes sudden, severe inflammation of the pancreas. It can be acute or chronic and is characterized by symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and fever. Common causes of pancreatitis include chronic alcohol abuse, cystic fibrosis, and certain hereditary disorders.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

EPI occurs when your pancreas doesn’t produce enough enzymes, resulting in malnutrition. The most common symptom of EPI is having excess fat in your bowel movements. This makes your stools pale, foul-smelling, and difficult to flush.

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that affects your lungs and digestive tract, including the pancreas. Most people with cystic fibrosis are diagnosed during infancy or childhood. Common symptoms include frequent respiratory infections, coughing, and gas.

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a potentially life-threatening condition that causes the cells in your pancreas to divide and multiply uncontrollably. When caught in the early stages of development, it’s much easier to manage and treat.

How are pancreas issues diagnosed?

To diagnose pancreas issues, Dr. Weissman conducts a physical exam and asks about your symptoms, including when they started, their severity, and if any activities like drinking alcohol or smoking make them worse.

If these measures don’t provide enough insight into your condition, Dr. Weissman orders stool tests and a computerized tomography (CT) scan. Stool tests can measure the level of fat in your bowel movements, while a CT scan can identify gallstones or inflammation of the pancreas.

How are pancreas issues treated?

Treatment of pancreas issues depends on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause. Following an exam, Dr. Weissman might recommend:

  • Fasting
  • Pain medications
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Pancreas surgery
  • Treatment for alcohol dependence

You might also benefit from healthy lifestyle changes like taking digestive enzymes or eating a more balanced, nutritious diet.

To receive treatment for pancreas issues, make an appointment at the practice of Sam Weissman, MD, by calling the office today or scheduling online.