Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on October 23, 2019
National Pancreas Foundation: "Nutrition Advice & Recipes," "Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency."<br>Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Processed Foods: What's OK and What to Avoid."<br>CDC: "Travelers with Chronic Illnesses."
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Before you make a travel schedule, come up with a game plan to manage EPI symptoms on the road. These tips may ease some of the anxiety of traveling to a new place.
If you’re newly diagnosed, take comfort in knowing it typically takes weeks, if not months, to get your diet and enzyme dosing dialed in to where EPI symptoms may be under control. Don’t get too worried by bad days early on.
'No alcohol' goes without saying. If you’re socializing, try virgin drinks or simple club soda and lime. Fluid intake is important. I don’t go anywhere without my water bottle. I drink coffee on good mornings, tea in the evening, and ginger ale on tough days.
When you're away from home, it’s good to know where restrooms are. There are apps out there like "Sit or Squat" and "Flush". You put in your location and it gives you the nearest bathrooms. Keep or carry an extra set of clothes in case of emergency.
Look for a good support system -- friends, family, other survivors. Keeping positive people around you helps you get through the tougher days. It’s important to remain hopeful. I’m a 14-year pancreatic cancer survivor. A positive attitude and keeping my faith helps.
It’s easy to feel isolated with food restrictions. I eat before we go so I’m not hungry and tempted to eat something that may make me sick. With family or close friends, I bring my own meal. They’re happy to let me heat it up, and it takes pressure off them.
It's not always easy, but a positive attitude really helps. Find a quote, write it down, and carry it with you. When things get tough, read it. My favorite is: Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.
Some days are better than others -- and symptom severity can be influenced by our mental health and how we relate to the pain and discomfort. Meditation and deep breathing exercises have gotten me through some pretty intense episodes.
Help others with EPI find inspiration and guidance.
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