Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is an inflammation in the pancreas which can be either acute or chronic.


Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is sudden swelling and inflammation of the pancreas, resulting in tissue damage.
  • Symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis
    • Severe and sudden abdominal pain that may radiate to the back and which usually lasts for 2-3 days
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Fever
  • Diagnosis of Acute Pancreatitis
    • Review of patient history and a physical examination
    • Laboratory testing: amylase and lipase tests
    • X-ray computed tomography


Chronic Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis becomes chronic when the inflammation of the pancreas does not heal or improve and gradually worsens, usually due to factors such as alcohol consumption.

  • Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis
    • Abdominal pain, which may come and go or be continuous
    • Pale or clay-colored stool, fatty or oily stool
    • Unexplained weight loss
  • Diagnosis of Chronic Pancreatitis
    • Review of patient history and a physical examination
    • Laboratory testing: amylase and lipase tests
    • Ultrasound to check for other possible causes of the symptoms, such as gallstones
    • X-ray computed tomography


Pancreatitis Risk Factors

  • Gallstones, which can block the pancreatic duct, causing inflammation of the pancreas and eventually leading to pancreatitis
  • Alcoholism


Treatment Options

  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of food or drink in order to reduce the work pressure of the pancreas
  • Take fluids intravenously to prevent dehydration and maintain an appropriate balance of fluids in the body
  • Take pain-killing medication
  • Avoid the consumption of alcohol
  • Undergo gallbladder surgery. If the pancreatitis was caused by gallstones, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder.


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