Chronic Pancreatitis: Excellent physical condition is everyone’s golden dream. However, some conditions hinder the realization of this dream. Chronic pancreatitis is one such condition. Constant inflammation of the pancreas leads to irreparable corrosion of the pancreatic structure and function.
Characteristics of Chronic pancreatitis
To adequately comprehend the complication, it is important to examine various aspects of the condition. It is vital to understand as to what according to the experts are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis. How this condition is diagnosed, and what are its causes and treatments?
Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by persistent and sporadic abdominal pains. This is due to poor absorption of fats in the food that you eat. Considerable weight loss may also be observed in patients. Nevertheless, patients show these symptoms differently with some appearing really sick, while others do not appear unhealthy at all. Some patients may have pains after taking high fat and protein meals.
Doctors diagnose chronic pancreatitis based on your symptoms or history of acute pancreatitis, heat-ups, or excessive alcohol use. Tests on pancreatic structure and function are done to establish any malfunction. Blood tests are less useful in diagnosing chronic pancreatitis. However, they may indicate high level of glucose in the blood. The high levels of glucose imply that your pancreas might not be in a position to produce enough insulin to regulate sugar levels in the body.
The highest percentage of chronic pancreatitis in adults is caused by alcohol abuse. Most patients have had a history of long time alcohol consumption. However, a few cases of chronic pancreatitis are inherited, while others have no known cause. The unknown causes are referred to as of idiopathic origin. Chronic steroid and anti-inflammatory use may be another cause but it is less frequent. In children, cystic fibrosis is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis. In other parts of the world like tropical regions, acute protein and energy malnutrition is a widespread cause of chronic pancreatitis.
Management of Chronic Pancreatitis
Management of chronic pancreatitis ranges from medical measures to therapeutic endoscopies and surgery. Therapeutic endoscopy means performing a treatment inside your intestine using special instruments that go through the scope. One effective preventive treatment is that as a patient you should avoid alcohol. This applies to all chronic pancreatitis patients with no regard to underlying causes of the complication.
Avoiding alcohol makes management easy and averts worsening of the situation. Treatment is directed towards the underlying cause and focused to rest the pancreas and intestine so as to relieve painful heat- ups. This can be done with the patient receiving only intravenous fluids instead of solid oral foods.
However, all these might not adequately address severe abdominal pains. High doses of analgesics therefore become necessary to ease the pain. Chronic pancreatitis may lead to diabetes which can be treated by long term insulin therapy.
As has been established, chronic pancreatitis is a complication of the pancreas. This creates insufficient absorption of fat in your diet. The major cause of the complication is alcohol abuse. The outstanding symptom is constant abdominal pains while treatment ranges from medical measures to surgery and use of herbs. All these when put into proper use will enhance your health and avoid chronic pancreatitis. However, preventive measures remain the best way to avert the complication.