pancreatitis Treatment, Drugs, Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Pancreatitis is a form of rare disease that takes place when the pancreas becomes inflamed. The pancreas is a large organ that is located in the back of the stomach. Its primary duties are to release digestive enzymes into the small intestine to help with the digestion of food and release the hormones called insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. This disease can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term) and it affects about 80,000 Americans per year.

Pancreatitis Drugs

  • Pancreatic enzyme supplements
  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Opiate forms of pain relievers
  • Insulin
  • Antibiotics
  • Other forms of drugs as specified by doctor

Pancreatitis Symptoms

The symptoms that are associated with pancreatitis are varied. Pancreatitis can cause upper abdominal pain. This upper abdominal pain can range in description from being mild to very severe. This pain can come on a patient gradually or just hit them from out of the blue very intenseley. Abdominal pain is considered to be the hallmark for this disease. However, it does have other symptoms, in addition to stomach pain. Some of them do include the following. They are:

  • Upper abdominal pain that can be severe in some cases
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdomen that is swollen and tender to touch
  • Increased heart rate
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss that is unintentiional
  • Stool that is oily in appearance and has a foul smell
  • Presence of bad pain right after eating

Pancreatitis Causes

The causes of pancreatitis can range. One of the biggest of all causes of pancreatitis is this. Normally, the pancreases does release digestive enzymes, but these digestive enzymes don’t activate to break down any fats and proteins until they reach the small intestine. However, if these digestive enzymes are activated, while they are still within the pancreas itself. Local damage, as well as, for inflammation can take place in the pancreas from this. There are other causes of pancreatitis. Some of the causes of are:

  • Gallstones
  • High triglyceride levels
  • Smoking
  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Some medications
  • Exposure to certain types of chemicals
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Surgery of the abdomen or injury to it
  • Cause of pancreatitis can be unknown
  • Trauma
  • Metabolic disorders

Pancreatitis Diagnosis

The diagnosis of pancreatitis is done by a patient’s health care professional. This healthcare professional knows firsthand what to look for when it comes to this disease. There is a number of tests that are performed to confirm the presence of pancreatitis in a patient. These tests can either stand alone or be used in combination with other tests. What tests are used is strictly dependent on the decision of the attending doctor or highly skilled medical professional. Diagnosis does include the following steps. They are:

  • Medical professional asking patient about his or her lifestyle and habits
  • Medical professional also asks patient about their medical and surgical history
  • Medical professional does a thorough physical examination on patient
  • Laboratory tests will be ordered
  • Diagnositic imaging may be ordered for patient too

Pancreatitis Treatment

The treatment for pancreatitis can vary greatly. It usually is dependent on the form of pancreatitis that the patient has overall. Treatment plans are based on the severity of the disease and relieving symptoms for the patient in general. The treatment plan may also be dependent on the underlying cause for the disease as well. The management of it may be used to address the specific cause sometimes.

Some treatment plans do include the following. They are:

  • Hospital stay
  • Medication to relieve pain
  • Enzyme pills to rest pancreas
  • High carbohydrates and low fat diet
  • Surgery or other medical procedue as required
  • Fasting to help the patient rest and recover
  • IV fluids to prevent dehydration during fasting
  • Surgical intervention may be needed if pancreatitis is caused by obstructing gallstones