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Home > Pancreas Diseases and Treatments > Diseases of the Pancreas > Pancreatic Cancer > Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer > Digestive Difficulties

Digestive Difficulties


In Pancreatic Cancer: Digestive difficulties including indigestion, nausea, weight loss, a poor appetite, and diarrhea, can arise as a result of pressure from a pancreatic cyst or tumor on the stomach or the small intestine that causes a block in the digestive tract. When a tumor grows, it can wrap around the far end of the stomach, causing a partial block. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and pain which may worsen after eating.

Diarrhea results when the nutrients in food are not absorbed properly. When this occurs, stool can become loose, watery, oily and foul-smelling. Pancreatic enzymes are responsible for digesting fatty foods. If a tumor blocks the pancreatic duct, insufficient pancreatic juices in the intestines can lead to poor absorption and diarrhea, as the undigested food passes quickly through the digestive tract. If this happens, stool may float due to the higher fat content, appear bulky, greasy, and unusually pale.

Other Causes: Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can be caused by a number of conditions. You should consult your physician if you are experiencing these symptoms. Oily stools can also be caused by autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, where absorption in the intestines is affected.

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