Pancreatitis: symptoms, causes and treatment

Among the most important organs of our body, but what surprising we tend to forget, the pancreas is probably one of the most outstanding, which we only remember when a related illness arises (as for example is the case of the diabetes or more serious conditions such as pancreatitis).

Basically consists of an organ that we find located in our digestive system. Its head is located in the concavity formed by the second portion of the duodenum, and can reach between 20 to 30 centimeters, a thickness of 5 centimeters and an approximate weight of between 70 to 150 grams.

It is more specifically a large gland, which is located behind the stomach and near the first part of the small intestine. Among its main functions we can mention the segregation of digestive juices in the small intestine - through a tube known by the name of pancreatic duct-, as well as the release of hormones such as insulin and glucagon in the blood.

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, which tends to happen when the different digestive enzymes begin to digest the pancreas. Therefore it is considered a serious condition, which if not treated quickly and conveniently can cause several complications.

Types of pancreatitis

Basically, two types of pancreatitis can occur:

  • Acute pancreatitis: is a type of inflammation of the pancreas that occurs suddenly, producing the appearance of intense and very painful symptoms abruptly and without warning. Usually, when the proper medical treatment is administered, it tends to disappear in a few days.
  • Chronic pancreatitis: tends to be a type of inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or does not improve, getting worse over time and causing permanent damage.

The symptoms of pancreatitis

Depending on whether it is acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis, its symptoms tend to vary a bit, especially if we take into account that, in general, the symptoms of acute pancreatitis start abruptly, in a hasty manner, characterized in turn by being tremendously painful and annoying.

Symptoms of acute pancreatitis

Your symptoms happen suddenly, which are also characterized by disappearing in a few days when the most appropriate medical treatment is administered. Among its most common symptoms we can mention: intense pain that is located in the upper part of the abdomen, accompanied by nausea, dizziness and vomiting.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis

Your symptoms do not heal -As it does with acute pancreatitis- or improve, getting worse over time. This inflammation is what most damage tends to cause in the pancreas, being permanent. Its most common symptoms are: nausea and dizziness, vomiting, stools with greasy appearance and weight loss.

What are your causes?

It is usual that, in most cases, The main cause of acute pancreatitis is the presence of gallstones (what is popularly known as stones in the gallbladder). Its symptoms appear especially when the stones move from the gallbladder to the bile ducts. Although usually the gallstones usually dissolve spontaneously and do not present symptoms, when this does not happen they are the main cause of great painful attacks.

In the case of chronic pancreatitis, its causes may be due to other conditions and habits. For example, maintain a regular excessive consumption of alcohol over time It can cause permanent inflammation of the pancreas, which also happens with the liver. It can also be due to cystic fibrosis Y autoimmune diseases. Diet also influences: consume large amounts of fat or calcium.

Treatment of pancreatitis

When the existence of an inflammation of the pancreas is diagnosed, whether acute or chronic, the usual medical treatment consists in the fluid administration, analgesics to calm the pain and antibiotics intravenously for a few days while the person remains hospitalized, in addition to maintaining a artificial nutrition.

On the other hand, in the case of acute pancreatitis, it is necessary take a special diet and the consumption of enzymes.

Images | ISTOCKPHOTO / THINKSTOCK This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesPancreas

Pancreatitis - Acute (May 2022)