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What Is Pancreatitis?

  By posted Jan 17th 2013
Healthy Living

What is Pancreatitis?


According to pubmedhealth, Pancreatitis is defined as “inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach. It releases the hormones, insulin and glucagon, as well as digestive enzymes that help you digest and absorb food.”


Pancreatitis can be caused by gallstones that become lodged at the opening to the pancreas.

Bending forward or curling in a fetal position may ease the pain, while eating or drinking tends to make it worse. Usually the blockage is temporary, lasting a few days, and the symptoms disappear when the gallstone is dislodged.

Chronic Pancreatitis is as a result of heavy alcohol use. It’s unclear how alcohol causes pancreatitis. This involves chronic abdominal pain that can go from months to years. Every meal one eats can make the pain worse.

 

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include painful episodes of abdominal pain, a chronic dull ache in the middle of the abdomen, unexplained weight loss, and oily, smelly stools.

 

How Bad is Pancreatitis

  • Mild cases of acute pancreatitis generally improve within a week. Moderate to severe cases may take longer to resolve.
  • The chronic Pancreatitis usually causes permanent damage to the pancreas.
  • Loss of pancreatic function can lead to the inability to properly digest nutrients.

 

Treatment
Acute pancreatitis patients are admitted to the hospital to avoid dehydration, monitoring and control pain. If gallstones are the reason behind the pancreatitis than they may be removes surgically or through laparoscopy.

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Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images

 

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