Pancreatitis is pathologic swelling and inflammation of the pancreas. Your pancreas lies behind your stomach.
LIFESTYLE NEWS - Pancreatitis is pathologic swelling and inflammation of the pancreas. Your pancreas lies behind your stomach. It secretes enzymes that help you digest food and regulates how your body breaks down sugars.
Pancreatitis can come and go quickly, or it can be a chronic problem. Treatment will depend on whether your pancreatitis is acute or chronic.
The onset of acute pancreatitis is often very sudden. The inflammation usually clears up within several days after treatment begins. Gallstones are the most common cause of acute pancreatitis. The pancreas and gallbladder share a bile duct, through which bile and other digestive enzymes pass during digestion. Alcoholism can also contribute to acute pancreatitis.
Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that occurs repeatedly. Patients with chronic pancreatitis can have permanent damage to their pancreas. Scar tissue develops from long-term inflammation. Extensive scar tissue may cause your pancreas to stop making the normal amount of digestive enzymes. As a result, you're likely to have trouble digesting fats. Alcohol abuse is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis in adults.
Most people who have acute or chronic pancreatitis experience upper abdominal pain as their primary symptom. Some of those who have chronic pancreatitis may show inflammation on imaging scans, but otherwise may show no symptoms.
Other symptoms of pancreatitis may include:
pain that wraps around the upper body and involves the back in a band-like pattern
nausea or vomiting
unintentional weight loss
bloating with a distended (swollen) stomach
People who have chronic pancreatitis may also experience steatorrhea, or fatty stools that give off a foul odour. Steatorrhea can be a sign of malabsorption.
Your doctor will likely use a combination of blood tests and imaging scans to make a diagnosis.
Treatment for acute or chronic pancreatitis often involves hospitalisation. The pancreas is key to your digestive process and needs to rest to heal.
This article is for informative purposes only. Please see your doctor if you experience any symptoms. Questions can be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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