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Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis Treatment
- If you have chronic pancreatitis, you may need to take pain medication and follow a strict pancreatitis diet to reduce flare-ups.
- Acute pancreatitis treatment requires hospitalization and an IV to administer fluids, medications, and nutrition for up to seven days.
- Pancreatitis problems can also upset insulin production and chronic bouts may lead to a need for insulin shots.
Pancreatitis is a serious and painful condition that requires medical treatment to get the symptoms under control. Without proper treatment, this disease can be fatal. However, appropriate pancreatitis treatment depends on whether you are suffering from an acute or chronic form of the problem.
What is Pancreatitis?
The pancreas plays two important roles in the body. First, it creates digestive juices that help push food from the abdomen into the small intestine (the pancreas is located in the middle of these two parts of the body). Second, it produces insulin, which is used by the body to “unlock” cells so they can take in glucose from food consumed for energy. This is why developing and implementing a special diet for pancreatitis is so important.
When you suffer from pancreatitis, however, the pancreas becomes inflamed. This inflammation is a result of those digestive enzymes beginning to attack the pancreas instead of going after the food they are meant to digest. Pancreatitis pain from inflammation can be severe and often causes serious problems involving the appropriate release of insulin into the body. So one of the causes of pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas due to the abnormal function and operation of digestive enzymes.
Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and is often brought about by too much drinking, gallstones, some types of medication, previous damage to the pancreas, pancreatic cancer and some diseases. This is a very severe form of the condition and must be treated as such.
On the other hand, chronic pancreatitis is less severe but includes ongoing abdominal pain that can reduce one’s qualify of life. Over time, enzymes destroy part of the pancreas so it can no longer function properly, making it important to start a chronic pancreatitis diet.
Pancreatitis Treatment Methods
Chronic pancreatitis treatment typically involves a special pancreatitis diet designed to minimize aggravation of the organ so a flare-ups will not be triggered, which is why pancreatitis diets are crucial if the condition develops. Along with the special diet, patients must refrain from drinking alcohol, which is one of the primary culprits in the development of this condition. The pancreatitis diet includes very low levels of fat, but high levels of carbohydrates. Additionally, pain medication and insulin shots may be required. The latter may be required after the pancreas has become damaged by prolonged inflammation, due to the hindrance of insulin production.
(If you are interested in learning more about how to deal with pancreatitis and all of its forms, specifically how to implement a healthy diet that can help you fight off the symptoms and even treat the disease, click on the following link: Pancreatitis Diet.)
With acute pancreatitis, you would need to be immediately hospitalized. With this condition, vomiting and digestive upset make it impossible for you to keep food or water down. Dehydration can become a serious health threat, so you would need to receive fluids by IV in a hospital to reduce this possibility. For the next several days, you would not be given anything to eat or drink by mouth so the intestines can rest and the pancreas can have the time to heal. Pain medications and nutritional supplements can be given via IV, as well, if needed.
In some severe cases of acute pancreatitis, a nasogastric tube is inserted into the nostrils and into the stomach so some of the digestive juices can be sucked out. By removing these juices, the pancreas and intestines are able to rest and start healing faster.
A pancreatitis low fat diet and pancreatitis herbal treatments can also help with pancreatitis symptoms.
Another excellent treatment for pancreatitis, and an example to illustrate the importance of why pancreatitis and diet go hand-in-hand, is the power of antioxidants. Resveratrol is one of these antioxidants, which comes from grapes and is often found in wine. If you’re not so keen on drinking a glass or two of wine per day, the all-natural dietary supplement route provides an excellent alternative, with products like Red Wine Alternative and Best French Wine.
If gallstones are the cause of your pancreatitis, you may need to have surgery so they can be removed. Following your recovery, you may need to have your gall bladder surgically removed to prevent additional problems.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Pancreas Problems24 Apr 2009|