Caution, pancreatitis: how not to miss dangerous symptoms and when you need to urgently run to the doctor

Health Tips

The main causes of the disease

If you ask in a search engine a question about the origin of pancreatitis, then in the first place will be: cholelithiasis and alcohol abuse. Plus, in most cases, overweight. And this is true, our expert confirms. At the same time, the development of pancreatitis with cholelithiasis and the action of alcohol is somewhat different.

If during cholelithiasis and other diseases of the gallbladder the pancreatic duct is blocked – mechanically or against the background of increased pressure in the duct – then its enzymes, and sometimes the contents of the gallbladder (bile) when food enters the body, do not go into the duodenum to digest food but remain inside the pancreas. Digestion processes are activated in the gland itself. Thus, their own enzymes digest pancreatic tissue, causing chronic pancreatitis. With excessive alcohol consumption, the outflow of pancreatic juice slows down, stops, and in the future the mechanism for the development of pancreatitis is similar to the diseases described earlier, that is, it remains in the tissues of the gland itself or in the ducts, not reaching the duodenum, thereby causing acute pancreatitis.

When do you need to urgently go to the doctor?

So, if you are worried about heaviness in the upper abdomen (epigastric region), belching is a reason to contact a gastroenterologist to exclude pathology from the gastrointestinal tract. Perhaps everything will cost a power adjustment. But if there are:

  • severe pain in the epigastric region;
  • nausea;
  • vomiting (not bringing relief);
  • liquid stool;
  • increase in body temperature, it is necessary to urgently consult a doctor or call an ambulance team!

“For the diagnosis of chronic and acute pancreatitis, at least an examination by a therapist, a gastroenterologist and a surgeon is needed to exclude acute pathology from the gastrointestinal tract. Laboratory studies – clinical and biochemical blood tests (mandatory indicators: alpha-amylase, pancreatic alpha-amylase, lipase), coprogram (general fecal analysis), pancreatic elastase in feces. Instrumental diagnostics is an ultrasound examination of the abdominal organs and preferably a study of the stomach (the pancreas is adjacent to the walls of the stomach and when it is inflamed, changes can be seen on the walls of the stomach).

What is the difference between acute and chronic pancreatitis?

Acute reactive pancreatitis is curable. Chronic pancreatitis is not treated. People with this disease are forced to follow a diet for life and adhere to certain rules to maintain remission and improve the quality of life.

“Acute pancreatitis can be diagnosed at any age, regardless of gender, race, nationality. The disease occurs against the background of malnutrition (alcohol, fatty, fried foods, certain drugs), but is more often diagnosed in young men who abuse alcohol. Chronic pancreatitis in most cases is associated with diseases of the gallbladder and biliary tract, usually occurs at the age of 40-50 years, more often in women. It must be remembered that in case of chronic pancreatitis or its exacerbation, not to mention the signs of acute pancreatitis, a doctor’s consultation is mandatory! It will help to adjust the diet, select therapy, which will improve the quality of life with such a diagnosis.”

Photo: vostock-photo

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