The pancreas is an organ of the digestive system that produces digestive enzymes and hormones that regulate protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism. It is located in the lower part of the abdominal cavity, behind the stomach, near the duodenum, at the level of the 1st-2nd lumbar vertebrae. The length of the organ is up to 22 cm, weight – 70-80 g. It is covered with a thin connective capsule, the main substance under it is divided into segments, between them there are connecting cords with excretory ducts, vessels, and nerves. For the withdrawal of produced digestive enzymes and other substances, it has a main and additional duct.
If the normal functioning of the pancreas is disturbed, an inflammatory process develops in it. A group of diseases that are characterized by inflammation in the tissues of this organ, a violation of its work is called pancreatitis. Inflammation of the pancreas is a dangerous disease, accompanied by severe pain, and disruption of the digestive and endocrine systems. If a person does not receive timely medical care, complications may develop, up to a fatal outcome.
How to treat inflammation of the pancreas
If you have symptoms of pancreatic disease, consult a doctor. He will identify the causes of the disease and prescribe medication, and diet. If the inflammatory process is caused by blockage of the excretory ducts, urgent surgery may be required to save the patient’s life.
Patients with an acute form of pancreatitis are hospitalized in a hospital, where doctors constantly monitor their condition, and changes in indicators in the general and biochemical blood tests, and urine tests.
For the human body to defeat the disease, drug treatment is not enough. For a successful recovery or the removal of seizures in the chronic course of the disease, cold, hunger, and peace are needed. The patient is benefiting from bed rest. In the first three days, a complete refusal of food is recommended, and nutrients are administered intravenously. To relieve pain symptoms, a cold compress is placed on the stomach.
Causes of the disease
Inflammatory processes in the pancreas can occur:
due to alcohol abuse – the most common cause of the disease in men;
after injuries to the abdomen, operations, when the tissues or ducts of this organ were damaged;
due to malnutrition – inflammation can develop if fast food, fatty, spicy, smoked, or fried foods predominate in a person’s diet;
with cholelithiasis – in women, it develops 3-5 times more often than in men, and gallstones can clog the ducts, which disrupts the outflow of digestive enzymes and they begin to digest gland tissues;
due to impaired metabolism in obesity, diabetes, during pregnancy or after childbirth;
due to prolonged use of antibiotics, corticosteroids, and hormonal drugs;
due to genetic predisposition – in some men, and more often in women, the pancreas produces a thicker secret, it is more slowly excreted through the ducts, and even a single abuse of alcohol, fatty, fried foods can provoke an attack of pancreatitis;
after poisoning – food, alcohol, when working with varnishes, paints and inhaling their vapors, other toxic substances.
Forms of pancreatitis
At the first attack, the doctor diagnoses acute pancreatitis. If you follow a diet, other medical prescriptions, and take medications, inflammation can go away without consequences. If a person is responsible for his health, eats right, refuses alcohol, or smoking, and monitors weight, the attack may not recur.
But with systematic violations, the pancreas works with increased load, its condition worsens and the disease becomes chronic. If a second attack occurs less than 6 months after the first, acute recurrent pancreatitis is diagnosed. If the attacks recur for more than 6 months, the diagnosis is chronic pancreatitis. It has two phases: exacerbation and remission. If the diet is followed, the use of maintenance therapy, remission lasts for years, and there are no acute attacks.
Symptoms of inflammation of the pancreas
Acute and chronic pancreatitis have different symptoms.
In an acute attack, the patient feels severe pain in the hypochondrium. Depending on the location and size of the focus of inflammation, it can be right-sided, left-sided, or encircling.
Other signs indicating an inflammatory process in the pancreas:
belching with a rotten smell, hiccups;
persistent nausea repeated vomiting;
loose stools several times a day or constipation;
feeling of dryness in the mouth;
drops in blood pressure;
unhealthy skin color, brown spots, and bruises above the navel or on the back in the lumbar region may appear.
Most of these signs, in addition to acute pain, are also observed with alcohol intoxication. The disease in men is not always diagnosed promptly – patients relieve pain symptoms for some time with painkillers and hope to feel better when the hangover passes. It can be life-threatening. If after drinking large doses of alcohol there is pain in the lower back, and hypochondrium, check the pancreas.
Knowing how the pancreas hurts, you can not miss the first signs of the development of a chronic inflammatory process. Timely access to a doctor will help to avoid complications, infection, and hormonal disorders in the body.
Signs of pain in the pancreas:
felt in the upper abdomen;
can give to the chest, lower back, and lower abdomen;
aggravated after drinking alcohol, fried, smoked, spicy, fatty foods, marinades, an attack can provoke a cup of coffee, a cigarette smoked on an empty stomach;
aggravated after stress.
It is difficult to make a diagnosis based on the nature of the pain symptoms alone. With pancreatitis, other signs of disturbances in the functioning of the body appear. Consult a doctor if you often feel an aching pain in the back or abdomen, the skin has acquired a yellowish tint, your appetite has disappeared, and your weight is decreasing. Similar signs in women can be observed during pregnancy, and are mistaken for manifestations of toxicosis. In order not to miss a dangerous disease, from the first weeks of pregnancy, women need to regularly attend antenatal clinics and take blood and urine tests.
If chronic pancreatitis is not treated, inflammation can spread to other organs of the digestive system, and the endocrine system is disrupted, which increases the risk of developing diabetes and cancer.
A pancreatitis is a group of diseases in which inflammatory processes develop in the pancreas. To effectively treat it, the doctor must determine the nature and localization of inflammation and the cause that caused the attack. After providing first aid and removing acute pain, an examination is carried out.
To confirm the diagnosis and assess the patient’s condition, the gastroenterologist uses laboratory and instrumental diagnostic methods:
general and biochemical blood tests – reveal signs and show quantitative characteristics of inflammation, determine the level of bilirubin, and enzymes;
urinalysis – shows the level of enzymes;
analysis of feces for parasites – is prescribed if it is suspected that the pancreatic ducts are clogged with parasites;
Ultrasound – shows the size of the gland, seals, and fibrous areas;
radiography (if possible, a more informative examination is prescribed – endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) – is prescribed to detect stones or other bodies that clog the ducts;
probing – characterizes the exocrine function of the gland;
MRI or CT – reveal tissue necrosis, the boundaries of the affected areas.
Features of therapy
In case of an acute attack, the patient is hospitalized in a hospital, where detoxification, bowel, and peritoneal cleansing are carried out.
To relieve acute pain, antispasmodic and analgesic drugs are used, and a cold compress is placed on the stomach. Limit physical activity. To reduce the secretion of hormones with a decrease in the patency of the ducts or their blockage, Platifillin or Atropine is prescribed. Antibiotics are used to prevent infection and relieve inflammation. In the first days, a complete refusal of food is shown, and nutrients are administered intravenously. After 3-5 days, liquid cereals are introduced into the diet, simultaneously with the intake of enzymes: Pancreatin, Mezim-Forte. To save the patient from nausea, Motilium or Cerucal is prescribed.
Prevention of new exacerbations
To avoid new exacerbations of pancreatitis, you need to eat right, give up alcohol, and cigarettes, and avoid stress. You need to eat in small portions 5-6 times a day. Eliminate fried, fatty, smoked foods, spices, and marinades from the diet. Boil, bake, or steam food. Give up coffee, and sugary carbonated drinks. Take your pancreas-supporting medications prescribed by your doctor regularly.
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