The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach responsible for producing the hormones insulin and glucagon along with a series of enzymes necessary for the digestion of food. These enzymes do not exert their function in the pancreas but are activated once they reach the intestines. When these enzymes work by mistake in the pancreas, they can digest the tissue of this organ, which causes Pancreatitis: swelling, bleeding, and damage to the blood vessels.
This condition usually affects more men than women. However, some diseases, medications, and habits can increase a person’s risk of suffering from Pancreatitis. When this disease is diagnosed early, it can often disappear in a week; otherwise, the pathology can be fatal if the diagnosis is late and the pancreas tissue dies. Learn all about Pancreatitis in this FastlyHealarticle: symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Table of Contents
Causes of Pancreatitis
Although one of the risk factors for suffering from this disease is gender, some other diseases and habits can cause both men and women to develop this condition. Let’s see what the causes of Pancreatitis are:
- Drinking alcohol is one of the most common causes of Pancreatitis. Specialists assure that between 5 and 8 alcoholic drinks a day for five years can considerably affect the functioning of the pancreas.
- The second most common cause of Pancreatitis is gallstones because when one of these masses blocks the ducts through which bile and enzymes travel, these substances accumulate in the pancreas and cause swelling.
- Sometimes the cause of Pancreatitis is unknown and is associated with a person’s genetics.
- During surgery, damage to the ducts of the pancreas can occur, leading to Pancreatitis.
- Immune system disease.
- High triglycerides that have exceeded 1000 mg / dL.
- Injury to the pancreas by accident.
- Overactive parathyroid gland.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- Reye’s syndrome: sudden brain and liver damage with no known cause.
- Estrogens, corticosteroids, sulfa drugs, and diuretics.
- Viral infections
Symptoms of Pancreatitis
The most characteristic symptom of this condition is abdominal pain, which usually occurs in the upper left or middle region of the abdomen and can:
- Get worse right after eating or drinking high-fat foods.
- Be consistent and sharper as the days go by.
- It hurts more when we are lying on our backs.
- Radiate to the back or the left shoulder blade.
When a person has Pancreatitis, their discomfort is evident in their countenance since their face looks pale, and it is evident that they are ill. Other symptoms that accompany abdominal pain are:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal swelling and a feeling of fullness.
- Jaundice: yellowing of the skin and eyes.
- Abdominal distension.
Diagnosis of Pancreatitis
The first thing to do is see your doctor for a physical exam looking for abdominal pain, fever, low blood pressure, and problems with your heart and breathing rates. Depending on what the doctor finds at the checkup, they may order specific tests to determine if there is a secretion of enzymes from the pancreas, such as:
- Amylase level in blood: usually elevated.
- Stack level in blood: usually elevated:
- Amylase in urine: it is generally promoted.
Other tests that the medical specialist may prescribe are:
- Complete hematology.
- Metabolic tests.
- CT scan of the abdomen.
- Abdominal echo.
- Abdominal resonance.
Treatment of Pancreatitis
When a person is diagnosed with Pancreatitis, they must be hospitalized to receive adequate treatment and care and prevent the disease from progressing and a significant pancreatic injury. Treatment consists of taking analgesics for pain, serum to avoid dehydration, and temporary suspension of oral feeding to prevent the pancreas from working forcibly during Pancreatitis.
If the person has come to medical attention with a full stomach and vomiting and abdominal pain do not improve with treatment, it may be necessary to empty the organ through a tube inserted from the nose or mouth into the stomach cavity.
Also, if the cause of Pancreatitis is known, it is essential to treat it to prevent similar and recurrent episodes from occurring. Therefore, when the reason warrants it, it may sometimes be necessary:
- Drain the accumulated fluid in the pancreas.
- Remove gallstones.
- Try to relieve blockages in the pancreatic ducts.
When Pancreatitis is very advanced, and the tissue of the pancreas is damaged, dead, or infected, it is necessary to operate to remove it. After suffering from Pancreatitis, the person needs to limit the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and fatty foods to the maximum to maintain the health of the pancreas. When swelling or infection fails to heal completely, there are likely other episodes of Pancreatitis that eventually cause chronic damage to the pancreas.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Pancreatitis: symptoms, causes 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.