Acute pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas, as a result of the destructive action of enzymes on the gland tissue.
The pancreas is located in the upper abdomen, above and behind the stomach. The gland performs essential functions for life. Without the pancreas, a person cannot exist.
One of the functions of the pancreas is digestive: the pancreas produces all types of digestive enzymes that break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Why is iron not digested by its own enzymes? Because they are produced in an inactive form (proenzymes) and, only once they get into the intestinal tube, they are activated by bile and begin to digest food.
Under various conditions it is possible to throw already active enzymes back into the pancreatic ducts. In this case, self-digestion of the gland tissue develops, which is accompanied by clinical manifestations of acute or chronic pancreatitis.
Causes of pancreatitis
The main reason is alcohol consumption.
Often pancreatitis develops against the background of existing chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and liver: mainly against the background of cholelithiasis, as well as gastritis, peptic ulcer, hepatitis and hepatosis, intestinal pathology.
Additional factors are malnutrition: irregular food intake, abuse of fatty, fried, spicy, smoked, overeating or starvation.
Less commonly, the cause of pancreatitis can be a viral infection, surgery on the abdominal organs.
Read more: Acute pancreatitis: what to do?
Main symptoms: intense burning pains in the upper abdomen, radiating to the back, right and left hypochondrium, sometimes taking on a girdle character. Nausea and vomiting without relief. Cold sweat, pallor, tremor of the limbs. Diarrhea.
Swelling of the head of the pancreas can lead to jaundice.
As a result of the entry of pancreatic enzymes into the blood, severe intoxication develops, body temperature may rise, pressure decreases, heartbeat and respiration become more frequent, and severe weakness is observed.
Against the background of intoxication, shock, cerebral edema, and renal failure may develop, which is the cause of death in acute pancreatitis. Another dangerous complication is infection.
Treatment of acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is a surgical pathology. The condition is very serious, requiring hospitalization in a surgical hospital and, at times, surgical intervention on the abdominal organs.
In acute pancreatitis, fasting is recommended. Any food, even thoughts about food, causes a reflex release of pancreatic enzymes and aggravates the condition.
Conservative therapy is aimed at combating toxic shock. To do this, special solutions are administered intravenously, which have an antitoxic effect and replenish fluid losses.
Used drugs that inhibit the synthesis of pancreatic enzymes, painkillers, antispasmodics.
If surgery cannot be avoided, laparoscopy is used. During a surgical operation, doctors have the opportunity to wash the abdominal cavity from enzymes and toxins, install drains through which harmful contents will be removed from the abdominal cavity, remove part of the destroyed gland, and stop possible bleeding from the vessels of the pancreas damaged by enzymes.