What is pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. The inflammation may be sudden (acute) or ongoing (chronic). Acute pancreatitis usually involves a single "attack," after which the pancreas returns to normal. Severe acute pancreatitis can be life threatening. With chronic pancreatitis, permanent damage occurs to the pancreas and its function, often leading to fibrosis (scarring).
What causes pancreatitis?
The most common causes of pancreatitis are:
- gallstones that block the pancreatic duct
- alcohol abuse, which can lead to blockage of the small pancreatic ductules
What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?
The following are the other most common symptoms of pancreatitis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- fast pulse
- feeling ill
- swelling in the upper abdomen
- ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity)
- dropping blood pressure
- severe abdominal pain in upper abdomen (with acute pancreatitis)
The symptoms of pancreatitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult a physician for diagnosis.
How is pancreatitis diagnosed?
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for pancreatitis may include:
- abdominal x-rays or scans
- endoscopic exam of the pancreatic ducts
- blood tests
Treatment for pancreatitis:
Specific treatment will be determined by your physician, based on:
- your overall health and medical history
- extent of the disease
- your tolerance of specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
- hospitalization for observation and intravenous feeding
- avoiding alcohol (if the pancreatitis is caused by alcohol abuse)
For more information or to make an appointment, please call 855-979-8667.