Pancreas produces digestive juices that help in digestion and releases insulin that regulates blood sugar levels.
Chronic Pancreatitis is the result of long standing inflammation of this organ.
Alcoholic consumption is one of the main causes of Chronic Pancreatitis.
In many cases it is observed that the treatment controls from further damage but does not provide complete cure to the underlying problem.
Causes of Chronic Pancreatitis:
There are varied causes for Chronic Pancreatitis as listed below:
- Long-term alcohol abuse. (Majority of cases are linked to alcohol consumption).
- Hereditary Pancreatitis
- Autoimmune diseases
- A blockage in the pancreatic duct
- Cystic Fibrosis
Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis:
The most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is a severe pain in the abdomen. At times the chronic pancreatitis might lead to acute pancreatitis due to sudden inflammation of the pancreas and the pain might even worsen.
Due to chronic pancreatitis the pancreas loses its ability to produce enough insulin required by the body, leading to diabetes. Also people suffering from this condition find it difficult to digest fat in the food they consume. This also causes vitamin and nutrient deficiencies leading to weight loss.
Complications created due to Chronic Pancreatitis:Chronic Pancreatitis could lead to a series of complications as below:
- Blocking of the ducts that drains the pancreas and gallbladder. This could lead to jaundice and further worsen pancreatitis.
- High chances of pancreatic cancer
- Blockage of the upper intestine.
If you are suffering from chronic pancreatitis, it is recommended you consult with a gastroenterologist. The initial stages of treatment begin with lifestyle changes and pain management. This will help in slowing down the disease from causing further damages.
The first and foremost thing to do is to quit smoking and drinking, if not it will lead to severity of the condition. Also, it is recommended that you switch to a low-fat diet and consume plenty of water.
Pain Management: Long term pain management is a tiresome process. Your gastroenterologist will help you understand different medications and procedures that will work for you. It’s very important to keep your healthcare provider updated with your conditions and symptoms especially when the pain keeps recurring.
Patients with stones in their pancreatic ducts will benefit from endoscopic surgery. This procedure is called lithotripsy, where shock waves are used to break the stones into smaller pieces. Later an endoscope is used to access the pancreatic duct and remove the pieces, Pancreatic duct stenting might reliev pain in some patients.
Pancreatic duct drainage operations (LPJ/ Frey’s operation)
Pancreas resection: In conditions where specific parts of the pancreas are inflamed and causing severe pain, they can be surgically removed. This process is called pancreas resection. It’s important you speak to your surgeon to understand the procedure and its benefits before you opt for the procedure.
In very severe cases of chronic pancreatitis, when the surgeon notices that the entire pancreas is damaged, they recommend total pancreatectomy. In this process the entire pancreas will be removed.
It’s very important that you consult an experienced gastroenterologist, who can help you understand your condition better and recommend personalized treatment options. Our experienced doctors at Sahasra Hospital come with over two decades of experience backed by state-of-the-art technology. We believe in helping our patients recover from any kind of ailment at ease, less pain and trauma.
For consultation contact us on +91 8880837000, +91 98801 05829.