What Is The Main Cause Of Pancreatitis


Treatment And Medication Options For Pancreatitis

Symptoms and Causes of Pancreatitis: Dr. Emily Winslow

Acute pancreatitis that is mild can be treated with rest and pain medication taken at home. You may have to follow a low-fat, no-alcohol pancreatitis diet, as high-fat foods and alcohol can irritate the pancreas and cause pain. Other recommended lifestyle changes could include quitting smoking and losing weight.

Depending on how severe the case is, it may require a hospital stay, where youll receive intravenous fluids, and possibly insulin if your blood sugar or triglyceride levels are high. If a secondary infection is discovered, youll be prescribed antibiotics. If gallstones are determined to be the cause, you may have to have your gallbladder removed.

In both acute and chronic pancreatitis, surgery may be needed if there is dead or infected pancreatic tissue. In chronic pancreatitis, you may also need to take medicines and vitamins due to the impaired absorption of nutrients.

Who Is At Risk For Getting Chronic Pancreatitis

Abusing alcohol increases your risk of developing chronic pancreatitis. Smoking is believed to increase the risk of pancreatitis among alcoholics. In some cases, a family history of chronic pancreatitis can increase your risk.

Chronic pancreatitis most frequently develops in people between the ages of 30 and 40. The condition is also more common among men than women.

Children living in tropical regions of Asia and Africa may be at risk for developing tropical pancreatitis, which is another type of chronic pancreatitis. The exact cause of tropical pancreatitis is unknown, but it may be related to malnutrition.

At first, you may not notice any symptoms. Changes in your pancreas can become quite advanced before you begin to feel unwell. When symptoms occur, they may include:

  • pain in your upper abdomen
  • diarrhea

You may experience more severe symptoms as the disease progresses, such as:

  • pancreatic fluids in your abdomen
  • jaundice, which is characterized by a yellowish discoloration in your eyes and skin
  • internal bleeding
  • intestinal blockage

Painful episodes can last for hours or even days. Some people find that eating or drinking can make their pain worse. As the disease progresses, the pain may become constant.

How Do You Prevent Pancreatitis

Because many cases of pancreatitis are caused by alcohol abuse, prevention often focuses on limiting how much you drink or not drinking at all. If your drinking is a concern, talk to your doctor or health care professional about an alcohol treatment center. A support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous could also help.

Stop smoking, follow your doctor’s and dietitian’s advice about your diet, and take your medications so youâll have fewer and milder attacks of pancreatitis.

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What Are The Types Of Pancreatitis

The two forms of pancreatitis are acute and chronic.

  • Acute pancreatitis is sudden inflammation that lasts a short time. It can range from mild discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. Most people with acute pancreatitis recover completely after getting the right treatment. In severe cases, acute pancreatitis can cause bleeding, serious tissue damage, infection, and cysts. Severe pancreatitis can also harm other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
  • Chronic pancreatitis is long-lasting inflammation. It most often happens after an episode of acute pancreatitis. Another top cause is drinking lots of alcohol for a long period of time. Damage to your pancreas from heavy alcohol use may not cause symptoms for many years, but then you may suddenly have severe pancreatitis symptoms.

Acute Pancreatitis Risk Factors

Pancreatitis Guide: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Among the risk factors of acute pancreatitis is increasing age and abuse of alcoholic beverages. Some studies show that Type 2 Diabetes and Celiac Disease can increase the risk of acute pancreatitis 3-fold versus the general population. Obesity not only is considered a risk factor but being significantly overweight could increase the severity of intense pain and symptoms.

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What Are The Possible Complications Of Chronic Pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis has the potential to cause numerous complications. Youre at greater risk of developing complications if you continue to drink alcohol after youve been diagnosed.

Nutrient malabsorption is one of the most common complications. Since your pancreas isnt producing enough digestive enzymes, your body isnt absorbing nutrients properly. This can lead to malnutrition.

The development of diabetes is another possible complication. Pancreatitis damages the cells that produce insulin and glucagon, which are the hormones that control the amount of sugar in your blood. This can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels. About 45 percent of people with chronic pancreatitis will get diabetes.

Some people will also develop pseudocysts, which are fluid-filled growths that can form inside or outside of your pancreas. Pseudocysts are dangerous because they can block important ducts and blood vessels. They may become infected in some cases.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Acute pancreatitis is a serious disorder, and the most effective way to manage the disorder is with a team of healthcare professionals that includes a surgeon, radiologist, endocrinologist, pulmonologist, intensivist, gastroenterologist, pharmacist, nurse, and addiction specialist. The three major causes of acute pancreatitis are gallstones, alcohol, and medications. The emphasis should be on prevention. The nurse and pharmacist are in the prime position to educate the patient on lowering their risks of acute pancreatitis by abstaining from alcohol, losing weight, eating a low-fat diet, and lowering their lipid profile. In addition, the pharmacist can re-evaluate all the medications and recommend discontinuation of those associated with pancreatitis.


Acute pancreatitis is a serious disorder that still carries a mortality of 5 to 15%, depending on the cause, patient age, and comorbidity. In general, patients with gallstone pancreatitis tend to have higher mortality than patients with alcoholic pancreatitis. In addition, the presence of type 2 diabetes significantly increases the risk of complications and death. In patients with multiorgan involvement, the mortality can be as high as 20%. Most deaths are due to multiorgan failure and hypotensive shock. Various classifications have been developed to assess the prognosis of patients with acute pancreatitis, but most are cumbersome for practical use.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Acute Pancreatitis

Common symptoms of acute pancreatitis can include:

  • sudden severe upper abdominal pain
  • severe pain that might also be felt in the back
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever and chills
  • racing of the heart

Symptoms are often severe enough as to require immediate medical attention and usually admission to hospital for pain medicines and intravenous fluids.

Assessment Of Severity And Prognosis

The Role and Anatomy of the Pancreas

Tools have been developed to predict the severity of pancreatitis and the likelihood of complications and mortality. They have been shown to be superior to clinical judgment alone, and should be used in conjunction with typical clinical criteria, such as presence of comorbid conditions, age, and first episode of pancreatitis.

The Atlanta criteria use early prognostic signs, organ failure, and local complications to define disease severity24,25. Early prognostic signs include a Ranson score of 3 or greater, or an acute physiology and chronic health evaluation score of 8 or greater. Organ failure is defined as shock, hypoxemia , creatinine level greater than 2 mg per dL , or gastrointestinal bleeding . Local complications include necrosis, abscess, or pseudocyst.24,26

  • No local complications

  • No systemic complications

  • Typically resolves in first week

  • Moderate

  • Transient organ failure

  • Severe

  • Persistent organ failure

The Ranson score evaluates 11 factors within 48 hours of hospital admission to predict severity of pancreatitis and risk of mortality. However, the sensitivity for predicting poor outcome is only 70%.27 The APACHE II scoring system uses 12 criteria to predict the severity of pancreatitis, with the risk of death increasing as the score increases.28 It has been shown to have a sensitivity of up to 95% when used daily for reassessment of patients in the intensive care unit,29,30 although other study results have demonstrated notably lower sensitivity.31

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Icky But Interesting Facts About Poop

The EUS test involves inserting a lighted tube into your mouth and down into your intestine to check for blockage or damage.

The MRCP is a form of MRI in which you are injected with a dye that illuminates the pancreas and surrounding areas.

Chronic pancreatitis is diagnosed in the same way. The doctor may order different blood tests, because in chronic pancreatitis, the digestive enzyme levels may appear normal. Stool tests are also common, because chronic pancreatitis compromises the organ’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients, which creates changes in stool, per Medline Plus.

Will There Be Any Long

“Most dogs recover without any long-term consequences.”

Most dogs recover without any long-term consequences. However, with severe or repeated episodes of pancreatitis, one or more of the following problems may develop:

  • If a significant number of cells that produce digestive enzymes are destroyed, a lack of proper food digestion may follow. This is known as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and can be treated with daily administration of an enzyme replacement powder.
  • If a significant number of cells that produce insulin are destroyed, diabetes mellitus can result.
  • In rare cases, painful adhesions between the abdominal organs may occur as a consequence of pancreatitis.

Dogs with chronic pancreatitis are more likely to develop the secondary conditions listed above. Management of these conditions is a very important factor in treatment success.

Contributors: Ernest Ward, DVM Updated by Amy Panning, DVM

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Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Another common complication of severe acute pancreatitis is systemic inflammatory response syndrome . SIRS develops in an estimated 1 in 10 severe cases of acute pancreatitis.

In SIRS, the inflammation affecting the pancreas spreads throughout the body, which can cause one or more organs to fail. It usually develops during the first week after the symptoms start, with most cases developing on the same day.

Symptoms of SIRS include:

  • a rise in body temperature to above 38C or a fall in body temperature to below 36C
  • a rapid heartbeat of more than 90 beats a minute
  • an unusually fast breathing rate

There’s currently no cure for SIRS, so treatment involves trying to support the body’s functions until the inflammation has passed. The outcome depends on how many organs fail. The higher the number of organs affected, the greater the risk of death.

How Is Pancreatitis Treated

Pancreatitis: Symptoms, Causes and Natural Support Strategies in 2020 ...

If you have pancreatitis, your primary care provider will probably refer you to a specialist. A doctor who specializes in the digestive system should oversee your care.

Doctors use one or more of these methods to treat acute pancreatitis:

  • Hospitalization with supportive care and monitoring.
  • Pain medication to provide comfort.
  • Endoscopic procedure or surgery to remove a gallstone, other blockage or damaged part of the pancreas.
  • Supplemental pancreatic enzymes and insulin, if your pancreas isnt functioning well.

Procedures used to treat pancreatitis

Most pancreatitis complications like pancreatic pseudocyst or infected pancreas tissue are managed through endoscopic procedure . Gallstones and pancreas stones are removed with an endoscopic procedure.

If surgery is recommended, surgeons can often perform a laparoscopic procedure. This surgical technique involves smaller cuts that take less time to heal.

During laparoscopic surgery, your surgeon inserts a laparoscope into keyhole-sized cuts in your abdomen. The laparoscope sends images of your organs to a monitor to help guide the surgeon during the procedure.

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What Is Seth Johnson’s Cause Of Death And Obituary

Despite having many health problems, Seth Johnson ultimately passed away from severe pancreatitis and maybe sepsis. Everyone was shocked to learn of Seth’s passing, and his supporters were heartbroken. Everyone has been severely harmed by the lack of so much knowledge at such an early age.

In the US, Johnson played baseball professionally with the Baltimore Orioles. He officially started his skilled occupation when Tampa Bay first added him to their team.

In the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft, he was selected with the 40th overall pick. When Seth passed away, he still had the rest of his career ahead of him. His funeral arrangements and online obituary are still secret.

His family should be responsible for making the arrangements because they deserve some privacy during these trying times. Seth’s death has been extremely heartbreaking for many of his fans, especially his family, as their beloved son died at such a young age.

Even though death is a normal process, it is painful when young individuals pass away. Johnson was a tremendously talented individual who passed away suddenly.

What Is Pancreatitis Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, a gland that sits behind the stomach and near the first section of the small intestine, the duodenum.

The pancreas has two main, essential functions in the body:

  • It secretes digestive enzymes to help the intestines digest food.
  • It helps regulate blood sugar levels by producing the hormones insulin and glucagon.

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas’s enzymes start digesting pancreatic tissues. This can cause swelling, bleeding, and damage to the pancreas. Gallstones, alcoholism, and certain kinds of medication can cause pancreatitis.

There are two main types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. “Pancreatitis” is often used synonymously with “acute pancreatitis,” because this form of the disease which appears suddenly and is short lived is the most common.

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Fast Facts On Acute Pancreatitis

  • Pancreatitis is split into acute and chronic types.
  • The pancreas carries out many tasks, including the production of digestive enzymes.
  • Symptoms include pain in the center of the upper abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • The most common causes of acute pancreatitis are gallstones and alcohol abuse.

Typically, a person has a sudden onset of pain in the center of their upper abdomen, below the breastbone, or sternum. The pain may intensify and become severe, and it may spread into the back. Leaning forward may ease it, but lying down or walking can make it worse. Anyone with unrelenting pain should receive medical attention.

The following symptoms may also occur:

  • vomiting

of rest and treatment. In severe cases, the risk is significant.

What Happens In Acute Pancreatitis

What causes chronic pancreatitis?

The digestive chemicals that are made in the pancreas become activated and start to ‘digest’ parts of the pancreas. They are normally only activated after they reach the part of the gut just after the stomach . This leads to a range of chemical reactions that cause inflammation in the pancreas. How the above causes actually trigger this sequence of events is not clear.

  • In most cases , the inflammation is mild and settles within a week or so. Symptoms may be bad for a few days but then settle and the pancreas fully recovers.
  • In some cases the inflammation quickly becomes severe. Parts of the pancreas and surrounding tissues may die . Pancreatic enzymes and chemicals may get into the bloodstream and cause inflammation and damage to other organs in the body. This can lead to shock, respiratory failure, kidney failure and other complications. This is a very serious situation which can be fatal.

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What Causes Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is caused directly or indirectly. Direct causes affect the pancreas itself, its tissues, or its ducts. Indirect causes result from diseases or conditions that originate somewhere else in your body.

Gallstones are one of the major causes of acute pancreatitis. Gallstones can lodge in the common bile duct and block the pancreatic duct. This impairs fluid from flowing to and from the pancreas and causes damage.

What Are The Clinical Signs Of Pancreatitis

The most common clinical signs include nausea, vomiting, fever, lethargy, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and decreased appetite. During an attack, dogs may take a ‘praying position’, with their rear end up in the air while their front legs and head are lowered onto the floor. If the attack is severe, acute shock, severe depression, and even death may occur.

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What Is The Outlook For Acute Pancreatitis

As mentioned, acute pancreatitis is classified as mild if no complications develop . In this case the outlook is very good and full recovery is usual.

Severe acute pancreatitis means that one or more complications develop. Despite intensive care treatment, up to a quarter of people with severe acute pancreatitis die.

Heavy Drinking And Acute Pancreatitis


Heavy drinking can lead to repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis. Over time, this can cause permanent damage to your pancreas, causing chronic pancreatitis.8,9

If youre diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, you should stop drinking alcohol and eat a low-fat diet to reduce your risk of another attack and of developing chronic pancreatitis. Consuming alcohol once youve recovered from acute pancreatitis can make a future episode more serious.

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Diagnosis Of Acute Pancreatitis

To exclude other causes of abdominal pain and to diagnose metabolic complications of acute pancreatitis, a broad range of tests is usually done at initial evaluation. These include laboratory and imaging tests.

How Is Chronic Pancreatitis Treated

Treatment for chronic pancreatitis focuses on reducing your pain and improving your digestive function. The damage to your pancreas cant be undone, but with the proper care, you should be able to manage many of your symptoms. Treatment for pancreatitis can include medication, endoscopic therapies, or surgery.

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