Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas. The pancreas is a long, flat gland that sits tucked behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. The pancreas produces enzymes that help digestion and hormones that help regulate the way your body processes sugar (glucose).
Pancreatitis can occur as acute pancreatitis — meaning it appears suddenly and lasts for days. Or pancreatitis can occur as chronic pancreatitis, which is pancreatitis that occurs over many years.
Mild cases of pancreatitis may go away without treatment, but severe cases can cause life-threatening complications
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis:
- Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back; it may be aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat.
- Swollen and tender abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart rate
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis:
The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are similar to those of acute pancreatitis. Patients frequently feel constant pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back. In some patients, the pain may be disabling.
Other symptoms are weight loss caused by poor absorption (malabsorption) of food. This malabsorption happens because the gland is not releasing enough enzymes to break down food. Also, diabetes may develop if the insulin producing cells of the pancreas are damaged.
Tests and procedures used to diagnose pancreatitis include:
- Blood tests to look for elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes
- Stool tests in chronic pancreatitis to measure levels of fat that could suggest your digestive system isn't absorbing nutrients adequately
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan to look for gallstones and assess the extent of pancreas inflammation
- Abdominal ultrasound to look for gallstones and pancreas inflammation
- Endoscopic ultrasound to look for inflammation and blockages in the pancreatic duct or bile duct
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look for abnormalities in the gallbladder, pancreas and ducts
Your doctor may recommend other tests, depending on your particular situation.
Treatment for acute or chronic pancreatitis often involves hospitalization. Depending on your situation, chronic pancreatitis may require additional treatments.
Consult your Gastroenterologist at Aadil hospital for treatment.