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French-Canadians At Higher Risk For Pancreatitis?


Pancreatitis is a painful illness that occurs when the pancreas is inflamed, and it can come in the form of an acute attack or something that can haunt patients for years, those who’ve developed the illness in a chronic fashion. The episodes can come on fast and furious and generally require a hospital stay. Any time you suffer from a serious health challenge involving your pancreas, you could very well be in big trouble, as pancreatitis can be fatal.

Some commonalities can be found in many pancreatitis patients that often can be the root cause of the disease. For example, if you happen to be a heavy alcohol drinker, you can quickly become a patient for this painful illness. Some that are addicted to drugs of all sorts can also develop pancreatitis, in addition to anyone who may have a fatty liver problem, or anyone who is suffering from obesity.

Generally speaking, it has never been noted in previous medical studies that pancreatitis can be common in certain geographical areas, but until now, maybe there is some truth to that theory. A recent piece of research concluded that there was a high number of pancreatitis patients that were of French-Canadian decent. Those residing in the Quebec area for instance, have a large pancreatic following, which has now been determined as a result of something called “Familial Chylomicronemia Syndrome”, or otherwise known as FCS. This classification of people have been noted as developing the genetic disease of FCS where the human body has great difficulty breaking down any fast consumed. Basically, if someone living with FCS decides to have a few doughnuts for breakfast with one of those fattening yet delicious Frappuccino’s, their bodies will truly struggle trying to process what they have just consumed. Ordinarily, if you want to know the chances of developing the FCS condition, your odds are roughly 1 in literally a million. If you happen to be of French-Canadian decent, your chances are between 20 to 40 in one million, which doesn’t exactly sound like a huge difference, but enough that those residing in the Quebec area are without question being diagnosed with the pancreatic ailment more than anywhere else in the world.

NHPR reports that this is enough evidence to presume that if you have French-Canadian you will at some point be diagnosed with FCS. But, it doesn’t set you free from the possibility that if you already have FCS that you do have much higher chances of being diagnosed with pancreatitis at a later time. The FCS disease in itself can also sometimes be linked to other ailments such as diabetes, or thyroid disease. The same heritage of folks (French Canadians) can also develop Familial Hypercholesterolemia which obviously causes an increase in the cholesterol levels. This is just another example of a genetic disease that is passed down by a high population of French Canadians, but not as popular in other countries.

Some experts proclaim the reason for these diseases staying within one central area is directly due to their level of isolation. One specialist by the name of Dr. Dervilla McCann of the Central Maine Medical Center advises that many genetic diseases were created this way in a private community as they only reproduced with others in their local space, hence, initiating a gene pool that was totally unique and all theirs. Dr. McCann explains that she personally has several patients that possess higher triglyceride numbers that reside in or nearby the Lewiston-Auburn area. She firmly believes this is purely due to them possibly having a higher amount of FCS patients just from her past research.

A lot of patients have a genetic form of pancreatitis, so you could easily have a case of pancreatitis without having any French- Canadian roots or live near Quebec. Try locating a solid gastro physician to confide in for your routine appointments, and one that you can trust getting your treatment from.

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