The pancreas is a large and long gland behind stomach and next to small intestine in your body.
It releases enzymes and hormones that help in digestion and control how your body processes sugar.
Your pancreas can get damaged if the enzymes start to function before they are released. One of such pancreas ailments is pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis refers to a condition in which the pancreas gets inflamed.
In this blog, we shall look into pancreatitis in detail and understand its various concepts.
So let’s dive in.
Types of Pancreatitis
There are two forms of Pancreatitis – Acute and Chronic.
1.Acute pancreatitis: It is a sudden inflammation that lasts for less time. It can go from mild to severe and cause life-threatening complications. The severe condition can harm other body organs such as kidneys, lungs and heart.
Many patients can recover fully after proper treatment.
2.Chronic pancreatitis: It is an inflammation that lasts for a longer time. It usually occurs after a case of acute pancreatitis. Regular alcohol consumption is also a major cause.
Symptoms and signs of pancreatitis depend upon the type you have.
Acute pancreatitis symptoms include:
1.High heart rate
Chronic pancreatitis symptoms are:
1.Upper abdominal pain
2.Unexplained weight loss
Pancreatitis happens when the enzymes become activated in the pancreas before their release. This irritates the cells of your pancreas, which in turn, causes inflammation.
Circumstances that can result in pancreatitis are:
6.Injury to the abdomen
Pancreatitis can cause severe complications, such as:
1.Kidney failure: Pancreatitis can result in kidney failure. It can be treated with dialysis.
2.Diabetes: If pancreas damages the cells that produce insulin, then you can have diabetes.
3.Malnutrition: Pancreatitis can cause your pancreas to produce less enzymes required to dissolve and process nutrients from the food you consume.
4.Breathing issues: The chemical changes in your pancreas can affect your lungs too, causing oxygen levels to fall dramatically.
5.Pancreatic cancer: Inflamed pancreas is a major risk for developing pancreatic cancer.
Several tests are performed to diagnose pancreatitis, including:
1.Stool tests: This is done to measure the amount of fat to suggest your body isn’t absorbing nutrients properly.
2.Blood tests: These are performed to check for increased pancreatic enzymes levels, white blood cells, liver enzymes and kidney function.
3.Endoscopic ultrasound: This is done to look for blockages and inflammation in the pancreatic duct.
4.MRI or Resonance Image: It is done to identify abnormalities in the pancreas, ducts and gallbladder.
5.Abdominal ultrasound: It is done to look for pancreas and gallstones inflammation
6.Computerized tomography: This is performed to assess the extent of pancreas inflammation and gallstones.
In case you suffer from Pancreatitis, you need to seek the specialization of an expert. A healthcare expert who specializes in the digestive system (gastroenterologist) can treat your problem.
1.Acute pancreatitis: If you have acute pancreatitis, you may need to get your stomach drained with a tube through your nose. You may also be given strong doses of pain.
You can be admitted to the hospital, where your treatment plan may consist of:
3.Intravenous (IV) fluids
4.Low-fat diet or even fasting. Not eating might be needed for your pancreas to recover.
2.Chronic pancreatitis: In this situation, your doctor will prioritize treating pain and watching for complications that can impact digestion.
You might also be placed on pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy to bring back your digestion ability.
The treatment plan might include:
1.Enzymes to enhance digestion
4.Insulin (to control diabetes)
Can Pancreatitis Be Prevented?
The most effective way to prevent pancreatitis is to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Follow the tips mentioned below to lower your odds of a Pancreatitis attack.
1.Consume a nutritious rich diet: Eating a pro heart diet that contains fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help you avoid gallstones, a leading cause of pancreatitis.
Also limit fatty, fried or full-fat dairy products in your meals.
2.Be active: Obesity is also a greater threat in building pancreatitis. Losing those kilos by engaging in regular exercise can help prevent gallstones and, in turn, reduce your risks of pancreatitis.
3.Don’t smoke: People who smoke are more likely to develop pancreatitis than those who don’t. The same is true for those who consume alcohol, especially in large amounts.
Hence, it is better if you don’t smoke/drink at all! If you do, try your best to quit or at least limit the intake.
Pancreatitis is painful. But proper treatments coupled with healthy lifestyle can surely help you make a complete recovery.
If you develop any signs, start by consulting your family doctor. You may be referred to a gastroenterologist (digestive system expert) if your doctor suspects the possibility of pancreatitis.
At Neotia Getwel Healthcare Centre, our Gastroenterology specialists provide comprehensive treatment solutions for various gastrointestinal disorders such as pancreatitis. With modern instruments and advanced technology, one can easily receive state-of-the art diagnostic and therapeutic services.
To book your appointment, click here.
Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out.
It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.