Pancreatitis is a disease that disturbs the function of the pancreas. It is extremely painful, and can take weeks to recover from. While not every patient will find out the exact reason why they developed the ailment in the first place, most specialists have a way of determining what the cause was. Alcohol abuse, genetics, gallstones, and even eating fatty foods too much can develop the disease. Once you have it, you never forget what it was like recovering from it, it’s one of those hospital trips you recall for years to come. The good news is, in most cases it can be controlled by changing a few lifestyle habits in the vast majority of cases. Testing for the disease is also rather simple, as most doctors can tell immediately just by a blood sample if your enzymes are elevated too high, or via a urine sample. You can also endure imaging tests of the abdomen region, to get a closer inside view of the stomach area and see what the pancreas looks like through dye imaging screens.
Treatment for Pancreatitis-
- Start taking note of what you eat on a daily basis. If you consume fatty foods, foods that are deep fried, foods that are high in sugar, or greasy you can aggravate your pancreas. Drink lots of water, at least four regular sized water bottles each day. Do not eat anything heavy and then go to bed for the evening, this will not only annoy the pancreas, but often cause acid reflux to occur all night while you’re trying to sleep. Eating late at night also causes weight gain, so this is a tip to remember for years to come. Drink a glass of water before going to bed and when you wake up before you eat anything, even your morning bagel or juice. The stomach loves to be flushed out, and water helps the organs digest your meals.
- A lot of pancreatitis patients are overweight, and as a result of poor eating choices they develop issues with their liver and pancreas. Aim to stay within your healthy weight range for your height, and if you need help finding out what that may be just Google it or consult with your family doctor.
- Take it easy on self-medicating, as all of those over the counter meds you’re popping each day will come back to haunt you. Pain killers have to go through somewhere in your body to be broken down, and that is just what the pancreas does with everything you eat food or medications.
- Stop the drinking; even if you feel you don’t drink more than some of your peers, when you’re faced with pancreatitis alcohol can literally kill you. There isn’t a fine wine on the planet worth sacrificing your life for, so aim to be the designated driver if you must but don’t put your health on the line for a measly cocktail.
- Surgeries such as removing the gallbladder can often greatly decrease pancreatitis symptoms. This is a very common surgery these days, and often as a result of pancreatitis.
- Prescription medications such as ones that decrease acid in the stomach, and severe pain medications can often help alleviate the symptoms related to pancreatitis.
- Tube feeding is something we all have faced living with pancreatitis, and even though it is awful it does start working in about a day. Usually while in the hospital a nurse will place a PICC line into your arm and work it into the body until it gets to the heart region. This is used for various reasons such as chemotherapy patient care, but commonly practiced for pancreatitis patients to provide them with nutrition for the day while bypassing the stomach and the entire digestive process as a whole. In doing so, the patient gives their pancreas a well-needed rest from breaking things down and the pancreas begins to heal itself in most cases.
I know firsthand how dreadful living with this disease can be, but it you follow the advice of your medical team it will get better in most cases.