Pancreatitis is swelling or redness in the pancreas. However, the pancreas is a long flat gland that locates behind the stomach in the overlying abdomen. The pancreas builds enzymes that support digestion and hormones that support regulate the way your body processes sugar (glucose).
However, pancreatitis may occur as acute pancreatitis that means it seems suddenly and lasts for days. Or, it may occur as chronic pancreatitis, which is pancreatitis that may occur over several years. Fewer cases of pancreatitis may go away without proper treatment, but many cases can cause life-threatening complications.
Symptoms of Pancreatitis
Signs and symptoms of pancreatitis may differ, depending on which type you feel. However, acute pancreatitis signs and symptoms may include:-
- Upper abdominal pain
- Abdominal pain that experiences worse after eating
- Rapid pulse
- Tenderness when touching the abdomen
However, chronic pancreatitis signs and symptoms may include:-
- Upper abdominal pain
- Losing weight without doing exercises
Causes of Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis may occur when digestive enzymes become started while still in the pancreas, irritating the cells of your pancreas and creating inflammation. With replicated bouts of acute pancreatitis, harm to the pancreas can occur and guide to chronic pancreatitis. However, scar tissue builds in the pancreas, creating loss of function. A poorly functioning pancreas can cause digestion problems and diabetes. However, conditions that can guide to pancreatitis may include:-
- Abdominal surgery
- Certain medication
- Cystic fibrosis
- The high amount of calcium in the blood, which may be affected by an overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism)
- Injury to the abdomen
- Pancreatic cancer
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) a method used to cure gallstones. Also can guide to pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis can cause sensitive health complications:-
- Pseudocyst: Acute pancreatitis can create fluid and debris to gather in cystlike pockets in your pancreas. However, a large pseudocyst that breaks can cause complications like internal bleeding and infection.
- Infection: Acute pancreatitis can build your pancreas vulnerable to bacteria and infection. However, pancreatitis infections are sensitive and need intensive treatment like surgery to remove the infected tissue.
- Kidney failure: Acute pancreatitis can cause kidney failure, which can be diagnosed with dialysis if the kidney failure is more and persistent.
- Breathing problems: Acute pancreatitis can cause chemical swaps in your body that damage your lung function, creating the level of oxygen in your blood to fall to dangerously low levels.
- Diabetes: Harm to insulin-producing cells in your pancreas from chronic pancreatitis can guide to diabetes, a disease that harms the way your body uses blood sugar.
- Malnutrition: However, both acute and chronic pancreatitis can create your pancreas to assemble fewer of the enzymes that are required to break down and process nutrients from the food you eat.
- Pancreatic cancer: Permanent inflammation in the pancreas affected by chronic pancreatitis is a risk factor for building pancreatic cancer.
Tests and methods used to diagnose pancreatitis may include:-
- Blood tests to seek for elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes
- Stool tests in chronic pancreatitis to estimate levels of fat that could recommend your digestive system isn’t absorbing nutrients adequately
- CT scan to seek for gallstones and assess the extent of pancreas inflammation
- Abdominal ultrasound to seek for gallstones and assess the extent of pancreas inflammation
- Endoscopic ultrasound to seek for inflammation and blockages in the pancreatic duct or bile duct
- MRI to seek for abnormalities in the gallbladder, pancreas, and ducts
Your consultant may recommend other tests, depending on your particular situation.
Some initial treatment in the hospital may include:-
- Fasting: You will stop eating for a couple of days in the hospital to give your pancreas a chance to recover. However, once the inflammation in your pancreas is managed, you may start drinking clear liquids and eating bland foods. With time, you can return to your normal diet. However, if your pancreatitis keeps on and you still feel pain when eating, your consultant may recommend a feeding tube to support you get nutrition.
- Pain medications: Pancreatitis can create severe pain. Your medical team will give you medications to help manage the pain.
- Intravenous (IV) fluids: As your body allocates the energy and fluids to repairing your pancreas, you may suit dehydrated. For this reason, you will collect extra fluid through a vein in your arm during your hospital stay.
Once your pancreatitis under control, your medical team can cure the underlying cause of your pancreatitis. Based on the cause of your pancreatitis, treatment may include:-
- Methods to remove bile duct obstructions
- Gallbladder surgery
- Pancreas surgery
- Treatment for alcohol dependence