The pancreas is an organ located in the abdominal area, behind the stomach, whose task is to produce a series of chemicals, specifically hormones such as insulin and glucagon or enzymes such as trypsin and chymotrypsin. The latter participate in the digestive process, helping to digest food when it reaches the small intestine.
The chronic pancreatitis is a process that occurs slowly and in which a disturbance occurs both the morphology of the functioning of the pancreas irreversibly preventing the organ properly produce their pancreatic juices and difficult, therefore digestion of certain food. On the other hand, if the damage falls on the creation of insulin, it could lead to diabetes. Learn all the details about chronic pancreatitis , such as its causes, symptoms, and treatments , in this FastlyHealarticle.
Table of Contents
Causes of chronic pancreatitis
Mainly, chronic pancreatitis is caused by habitual and excessive alcohol consumption for years. In some cases genetically predisposed to the condition, moderate alcohol consumption can also cause it, especially when accompanied by certain dietary habits or drug use. For example, diets very high or very low in protein or fat can be a risk factor in such people. Repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis can also lead to chronic.
Other less frequent causes are some nutritional and genetic factors that predispose such as: autoimmune problems, cystic fibrosis, hyperparathyroidism or high levels of fat in the blood.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis
This condition usually manifests itself as severe abdominal pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back. It can last from hours to days and eventually become continuous and worsened by ingesting food or drink, especially alcohol. The pain usually improves when bending the trunk forward or when lying on the stomach.
With the progressive deterioration of pancreatic function, digestive disorders such as nausea and vomiting also appear that are accentuated by drinking alcohol, weight loss due to poor digestion and diarrhea with lumpy stools, due to the presence of fat in them.
As we have discussed previously, if chronic pancreatitis affects insulin secretion , an increase in blood sugar levels may occur and diabetes mellitus may develop . In addition, pancreatic calcifications may occur, which help diagnose the disease by a plain x-ray of the abdomen.
Treatment of chronic pancreatitis
Being a chronic disease, there is no cure . Therefore, the treatment is aimed at achieving an improvement in the quality of life of the patient, trying to alleviate possible complications, relieve pain and avoid malnutrition caused by malabsorption. For this, it is recommended to eat a light diet that gives little work to the pancreas and, of course, the complete elimination of alcohol consumption.
The mild painkillers can be a good support to control pain in some cases it decreases if the correct diet is followed. In more severe cases, stronger pain relievers or tranquilizers and opiates may be recommended. When the pain is very intense, it is chosen to block the nerves that lead it to the brain through radiological or endoscopic techniques or surgery.
Over time, it will be necessary to make up for the lost function of the pancreas by orally administering enzymes that the organ no longer makes. This will contribute to better digestion and weight gain.
The chronic pancreatitis is a slow, progressive condition with a slightly uncertain prognosis, but the abandonment of alcohol and a good track treatment significantly improve symptoms and risk of death.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Chronic pancreatitis: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Endocrine System category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.