Chronic pancreatitis

11. Chronic pancreatitis blog
  • Chronic pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve—it gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage. Calcium stones and cysts may develop in your pancreas, which can block the pancreatic duct that carries digestive enzymes and juices to your stomach (as per pancreas stone doctor) . The blockage may lower the levels of pancreatic enzymes and hormones, which will make it harder for your body to digest food and regulate your blood sugar. This can cause serious health problems, including malnutrition and diabetes.

At first, you may not notice any symptoms. Changes in your pancreas can become quite advanced before you begin to feel unwell. When symptoms occur, they may include:

Pain in your upper abdomen

Diarrhoea

Fatty stools, which are loose, pale, and don’t flush away easily

Nausea and vomiting

Shortness of breath

Unexplained weight loss

Excessive thirst and fatigue

You may experience more severe symptoms as the disease progresses, such as:

Pancreatic fluids in your abdomen

Jaundice, which is characterised by a yellowish discolouration in your eyes and skin

Internal bleeding

Intestinal blockage

Painful episodes can last for hours or even days. Some people find that eating or drinking can make their pain worse. As the disease progresses, the pain may become constant.

There are numerous different causes of chronic pancreatitis. The most common cause is long-term alcohol abuse. Approximately 70 percent of cases are linked to alcohol consumption.
Other causes include:
  • Autoimmune disease, which occurs when your body mistakenly attacks your healthy cells and tissues
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Genetic mutations
  • High blood levels of calcium, which is called hypercalcemia
  • High level of triglyceride fats in your blood, which is called hypertriglyceridemia
  • Idiopathic, when the cause is unknown (as per pancreas stone doctor)

The different treatment options for management of chronic pancreatitis are medical measures, therapeutic endoscopy and surgery. The treatment is usually provided by a chronic pncreatitis specialist doctor also called pancreas stone doctor.

Treatment is directed, when possible, to the underlying cause, and to relieve pain and malabsorption.

Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus may occur and need long-term insulin therapy.

The abdominal pain can be very severe and require high doses of analgesics , sometimes including opiates . Alcohol cessation and dietary modifications ( low-fat diet ) are important to manage pain and slow the calcific process.

Antioxidants may help but it is unclear if the benefits are meaningful.

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Dr. Harsh J Shah