GI Problems FAQs

Pancreatic Diseases


What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas.
What are the two types of Pancreatitis?

  • Acute
  • Chronic

What is Acute Pancreatitis?
Acute Pancreatitis is a sudden attack causing inflammation of the pancreas and is usually associated with severe upper abdominal pain. The pain may be severe and last several days.

What causes Acute Pancreatitis?

  • Gallstones
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  • Viral and Bacterial Infections
  • Hereditary Conditions
  • Trauma
  • Medications
  • Infections
  • Electrolyte Abnormalities
  • High Lipid Levels
  • Hormonal Abnormalities

What are the symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis?

  • Severe Abdominal Pain (Below the ribs). It usually builds up quickly (over a few hours) and may last for several days.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Fever

What is the treatment for Acute Pancreatitis?
The treatment for Acute Pancreatitis depends on how bad your attack may be. In most cases, Acute Pancreatitis settles over a few days, although symptoms can get worse before getting better.

What is Chronic Pancreatitis?
Chronic Pancreatitis is the progressive disorder associated with the destruction of the pancreas. The disease is more common in men and usually develops in persons between 30 and 40 years of age.

What causes Chronic Pancreatitis?

  • Chronic Alcohol Consumption
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Hereditary Disorders of the Pancreas
  • A significant number of patients have no known cause

What are the symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis?

  • Upper Abdominal Pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Over time patients can develop malnutrition and weight loss

What is the treatment for Chronic Pancreatitis?
The treatment for Chronic Pancreatitis depends on the symptoms. Most therapies center on pain management and nutritional support. Oral pancreatic enzyme supplements are used to aid in the digestion of food. Patients who develop diabetes require insulin to control blood sugar. The avoidance of alcohol is central to therapy.

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