What is Pancreatitis?
Inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis.The pancreas is a long, flat gland located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. It helps to digest food. It produces enzymes that help with digestion and hormones that control how your body processes sugar (glucose).
Pancreatitis can occur in two ways: as acute pancreatitis, which appears suddenly and lasts for a few days, or as chronic pancreatitis, which occurs over many years.
Pancreatitis is a medical condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach that produces enzymes that help with digestion. Pancreatitis can be acute, meaning it comes on suddenly and lasts for a short period of time, or chronic, meaning it develops over time and can last for months or years. Pancreatitis can be mild or severe.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, a glandular organ located behind the stomach that produces digestive enzymes that help the body break down fats and proteins. The enzymes are normally released into the small intestine, where they help the body absorb nutrients from food. Pancreatitis can be acute, meaning it comes on suddenly and lasts for a short time, or chronic, meaning it develops over time and can last for years. Acute pancreatitis is often a medical emergency that requires hospitalization, while chronic pancreatitis is a long-term condition that can lead to serious complications, including diabetes and pancreatic cancer.
The signs and symptoms of pancreatitis can vary depending on the type you experience.
Some signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:
Upper abdominal pain
If you have abdominal pain that spreads to your back, it may be a sign of a serious health problem.
Tenderness when touching the abdomen
Some signs and symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include:
Upper abdominal pain
If you experience abdominal pain that worsens after eating, it might be a sign of a food allergy.
Losing weight without trying
Oily, smelly stools (steatorrhea)
When to see a doctor
If you experience acute abdominal pain, make an appointment with your doctor. If your pain is severe and makes it difficult for you to sit or stay still, then seek medical help right away.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that can occur when digestive enzymes remain active in the pancreas and cause irritation to the cells.
Chronic pancreatitis can occur if repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis damage the pancreas. This can lead to scar tissue forming in the pancreas, which can reduce its function. A poorly functioning pancreas may cause problems with digestion and diabetes.
Acute pancreatitis can occur if the conditions are right, such as:
High triglyceride levels in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia) are a problem.
High calcium levels in the blood may be caused by an overactive parathyroid gland.
Injury to the abdomen
ERCP can be used to treat gallstones, which can also lead to pancreatitis.
There is no known cause for pancreatitis, which is known as idiopathic pancreatitis.
Risk factors Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a condition that can occur if certain factors are present. These factors include:
Excessive alcohol consumption.According to research, people who consume a lot of alcohol are at increased risk for pancreatitis.
Cigarette smoking.Smokers are three times more likely to develop chronic pancreatitis than nonsmokers. Quitting smoking reduces your risk by about half.
Obesity.If you're obese, you're more likely to get pancreatitis.
Diabetes.Diabetes increases your risk of developing pancreatitis.
Family history of pancreatitis.Genetics is becoming increasingly recognized as a factor in chronic pancreatitis. If you have family members with the condition, your chances of developing it are increased - especially when combined with other risk factors.
Pancreatitis can lead to serious complications, including:
Kidney failure.Acute pancreatitis can cause kidney failure, which may be treated with dialysis if the kidney failure is severe and persistent.
Breathing problems.Acute pancreatitis can cause chemical changes in your body that impair your lung function and cause the level of oxygen in your blood to fall dangerously low.
Infection.If you have pancreatitis, your pancreas may be more vulnerable to bacteria and infection. Pancreatic infections are serious and require intensive treatment, such as surgery to remove the infected tissue.
Pseudocyst.Acute pancreatitis can cause fluid and debris to accumulate in cyst-like pockets in your pancreas. If a pseudocyst (a large, cyst-like structure) ruptures, it can cause complications such as internal bleeding and infection.
Malnutrition.If you have acute or chronic pancreatitis, your pancreas may stop producing the enzymes needed to digest food. This can lead to malnutrition, diarrhea, and weight loss even though you are eating the same foods.
Diabetes.Chronic pancreatitis can damage insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, which can lead to diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to use blood sugar is impaired.
Pancreatic cancer.Chronic pancreatitis is a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer. This means that if you have had long standing inflammation in your pancreas, you are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer.
Tests to diagnose pancreatitis involve:
Blood testsIt is important to look for elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes, white blood cells, and kidney function when monitoring a person's health.
Abdominal ultrasoundTo look for gallstones and pancreatic inflammation, you should check for redness or swelling around the gallbladder or pancreas.
Computerized tomography (CT) scanTo look for gallstones and assess the severity of pancreatitis inflammation.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)To check for abnormalities in the gallbladder, pancreas, and ducts, a doctor may do a scan.
Endoscopic ultrasoundTo look for inflammation and blockages in the pancreatic and bile ducts.
Stool testsIn cases of chronic pancreatitis, doctors may measure levels of fat in the digestive system to determine if the body is able to absorb nutrients adequately.
Your doctor may recommend additional tests based on your situation.
In the hospital, initial treatments may include:
- Early eating.Previously, it was advised to stop eating for a few days in the hospital in order to allow your pancreas to heal. However, this practice has changed and now it is believed that eating as soon as you are able is more helpful.If your pancreatitis is resolving and you are experiencing less pain, drink clear liquids and eat bland foods. As your pancreatitis improves and the pain symptoms lessen you can gradually resume your normal diet.If your pancreatitis symptoms continue and you still experience pain when eating, your doctor may recommend a feeding tube to help you get sustenance.
Pain medications.If pancreatitis causes severe pain, your health care team will give you medications to lessen the pain.
Intravenous (IV) fluids.During your hospital stay, your body will use energy and fluids to repair your pancreas. As a result, you may become dehydrated. This is why you will receive extra fluids through a vein in your arm.
If your pancreatitis has been controlled, your health care team will evaluate and treat the underlying cause. Treatment may include:
- There are procedures to remove bile duct obstructions.If pancreatitis is caused by a narrowed or blocked bile duct, it may require procedures to open or widen the duct.A procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) uses a long tube with a camera at the end to examine your pancreas and bile ducts. The tube is passed down your throat and pictures of your digestive system are sent to a monitor. Anesthesia is used for this procedure.ERCP can be used to diagnose problems with the bile and pancreatic ducts, as well as removing obstructions such as gallstones. In some people, ERCP can also lead to acute pancreatitis.
Gallbladder surgery.If gallstones caused your pancreatitis, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove your gallbladder (cholecystectomy).
Pancreas procedures.Endoscopic procedures may be necessary to remove fluid from your pancreas or to remove damaged tissue.
Treatment for alcohol dependence.If you have pancreatitis, drinking several drinks a day can cause it. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend that you enter a treatment program for alcohol addiction. Drinking alcohol would only make your pancreatitis worse and lead to serious complications.
Medication changes:If a medication is thought to be the cause of acute pancreatitis, your doctor may stop taking it and work with you to find other options.
There are a few additional treatments for people with chronic pancreatitis.
Chronic pancreatitis may require additional treatments, including: -Additional treatments to prevent or treat other health problems that may be caused by chronic pancreatitis -Treatments to improve the patient's quality of life
- Pain management.Chronic pancreatitis can cause persistent pain in the abdomen. Your doctor will examine you and may prescribe medications to control your pain. If necessary, you may be referred to a pain specialist.Possible relief from severe pain may include endoscopic ultrasound or injections to block nerves that send pain signals from the pancreas to the brain.
Enzymes to improve digestion.If you have chronic pancreatitis, which can lead to diarrhea or weight loss, pancreatic enzyme supplements can help your body digest the nutrients in the foods you eat. These supplements are taken with each meal.
Changes to your diet.Your doctor might recommend that you see a dietitian who can help you make healthy, nutrient-rich meals.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Once you leave the hospital, you can take steps to improve your recovery by doing things such as:
Stop drinking alcohol.If alcohol was not the cause of your acute pancreatitis, you should stop drinking alcohol while you're recovering. If you can't stop drinking on your own, ask your doctor for help. Your doctor can refer you to local programs that can help you quit drinking.
Stop smoking.If you want to quit smoking, do it on your own. If you can't quit on your own, talk to your doctor about getting help. quitting smoking with medication and counseling can be very effective.
Choose a diet that is low in fat.Avoid foods high in fat and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Drink more fluids.Pancreatitis can cause dehydration, so drink lots of fluids throughout the day. It may help to keep a water bottle or glass of water with you.
People with chronic pancreatitis may experience pain that is not easily controlled with medications. Using complementary and alternative medicine therapies, in addition to medications prescribed by your doctor, may help you feel more in control of your pain.
There are many alternative therapies that may help you cope with pain, including:
Preparing for your appointment
If you have any worrisome symptoms, such as pain or changes in your bowel habits, see your family doctor or general practitioner. If your doctor suspects pancreatitis, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in the digestive system (gastroenterologist).
It is a good idea to be well-prepared for your doctor's appointment. This includes having information about what to expect so you're not surprised or feeling rushed.
What you can do
Make sure you are aware of any pre-appointment restrictions.Make sure to ask if there are any special preparations you'll need to make before your appointment, such as eating a restricted diet.
Make a list of any symptoms you're experiencing.Make sure to bring any materials or objects that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
Write down key personal information,Things that might stress you out or have recently happened should not be included in the artwork.
Make a list of all medications,Make sure to take any vitamins and supplements that you are taking with this decoupage.
Take a family member or friend along.Sometimes it is hard to remember everything that is said during an appointment. A friend or family member who attends the appointment with you may help you remember what was discussed.
Write down questions to ask your doctor.
If you have pancreatitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
What could be causing my symptoms or condition?
What are some other possible reasons for my symptoms or condition?
What kinds of tests do I need?
Can my condition be treated in a short amount of time or is it likely to be a long-term problem?
What is the best course of action?
What are some other ways to do this project?
I have other health conditions. What can I do to best manage pancreatitis along with my other conditions?
Do I need to follow any specific guidelines?
Should I see a doctor? How much will it cost and is my insurance willing to cover it?
What are some generic alternatives to the medicine you're prescribing?
Can I take any brochures or other printed material with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
What will determine whether I should schedule a follow-up appointment?
Don't hesitate to ask any questions you have about your health. Also, be sure to ask questions about anything you're curious about.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask you a number of questions. Being prepared to answer them may allow more time to discuss topics you want to address. Your doctor may ask:
What were the first signs that you had the flu?
Has your illness been continuous or sporadic?
How severe are your symptoms?
What are some things you think may help improve your symptoms?
What should I do if my symptoms seem to get worse?
Have you had these symptoms before?
Do you have a history of pancreatitis?
How much alcohol do you drink? And how often do you drink it?
Have you been taking any new medications recently?
Does anyone in your family have a history of pancreatic disease?
Pancreatitis is a term referring to inflammation of the pancreas - a large gland located behind the stomach. The pancreas produces enzymes that help the body digest food and produces hormones that help control blood sugar levels. Pancreatitis can be acute, meaning it develops suddenly and lasts for a short period of time, or chronic, meaning it develops slowly and can last for months or years. Pancreatitis can be deadly if not treated properly.
Pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas. The pancreas is a small organ located behind the stomach that produces enzymes that help with digestion. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that can last for a few days.
Pancreatitis is a disease that affects the pancreas. The pancreas is a small organ located behind the stomach. It produces enzymes that help the body digest food. Pancreatitis occurs when these enzymes are activated while still in the pancreas.