The pancreas, located in the retroperitoneal cavity located at the bottom of the stomach, is responsible for various functions, including the function of secreting digestive enzymes necessary for digestion and absorption of ingested food, and the secretion of hormones that regulate body metabolism such as glucagon and insulin. . Pancreatitis means that the pancreas, which is responsible for these exocrine and endocrine functions, is destroyed by enzymes such as trypsin or the pancreas is inflamed either locally or globally. will be classified as
The main cause of pancreatitis is excessive alcohol intake or gallstones, and among them, chronic pancreatitis is known to occur in chronic drinking patients in most cases. And the occurrence of gallstones is caused by blockage of gallstones in the gallbladder and liver at the end of the common bile duct, preventing the flow of bile and pancreatic juice, and increasing the pressure in the pancreas, resulting in inflammation. In addition, several factors, such as abdominal trauma, taking certain medications such as steroids, high levels of triglycerides in the blood, and high concentrations of calcium, have been reported to influence the occurrence of pancreatitis. Now, let’s take a closer look at the main symptoms that appear when pancreatitis occurs, and various information about treatment and prevention.
Pancreatitis main symptoms
When pancreatitis occurs, the most common and representative symptom is severe pain, and this pain mainly appears severely in the upper abdomen below the medius. The pain can also spread to the flanks and back. It is sometimes worse when lying down, and tends to be somewhat relieved when sitting or arching the back. In addition, various symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, low fever, and increased blood pressure are also major symptoms that can occur during the development of pancreatitis. When these symptoms of pancreatitis occur acutely, sudden severe pain, nausea, and vomiting begin, peak within 1 hour, and may persist for more than 24 hours.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis cause abdominal pain like acute pancreatitis, and can be accompanied by symptoms such as indigestion, weight loss, and malnutrition due to a decrease in digestive function. In addition, in the case of chronic pancreatitis, the frequency and intensity of occurrence vary slightly from individual to individual, and some chronic pancreatitis does not cause pain even though it has progressed to a considerable extent.
If the treatment of acute pancreatitis is delayed and progresses to severe symptoms, the risk of systemic complications such as pancreatic necrosis, pulmonary insufficiency, abscess, and hypotensive shock increases. In addition, chronic pancreatitis can cause problems such as diabetes and fatty stools due to decreased secretion of digestive enzymes and insulin when the damage to the pancreas is severely reduced. And above all, the biggest problem with chronic pancreatitis is that, unlike the acute form, the pancreatic function does not return to normal. Symptoms often do not appear until the degree of damage to the pancreas reaches 80%.
In addition, if chronic pancreatitis progresses further, it can have fatal consequences leading to pancreatic cancer. According to statistics, chronic pancreatitis is reported to be about 8 times higher than the risk of pancreatic cancer compared to normal people. Therefore, it can be said that it is very important to prevent the progression to severe disease and to prevent chronicity to receive an accurate diagnosis and examination through an early visit when various signs suspected of early symptoms occur.
Pancreatitis Treatment and Prevention
1. Accurate diagnosis and treatment
Pancreatitis goes through a process of closely diagnosing pancreatic inflammation, digestive enzyme levels, and bile duct disease through CT, abdominal ultrasound, and blood tests. Afterwards, depending on the diagnosis result, if it is acute, the pancreas is rested and the pancreas is fasted to reduce the level of inflammation, and at the same time, fluid therapy for nutrition and hydration is performed. With these treatments, improvement is usually achieved within 7 days of hospitalization. However, it can recur at a rate of about 25%, so it is important to find and treat the cause and prevent complications. In particular, acute renal failure, respiratory dysfunction, hypotension, and systemic complications such as blood clotting are classified as severe acute pancreatitis. It is very important to prevent and treat secondary infection when this complication occurs, and it is sometimes performed in consideration of antibiotic administration and surgical treatment.
Because chronic pancreatitis patients already have impaired ability to secrete digestive enzymes in the pancreas, it is important to implement a thorough diet and take digestive drugs at the same time as meals. In addition, alcohol consumption is mandatory, and medications such as pancreatic enzymes and insulin administration may be administered to compensate for the impaired pancreatic function and control pain. In addition, endoscopic or surgical treatment can be considered for accompanying complications. In particular, since chronic pancreatitis is known to be closely related to the occurrence of pancreatic cancer, it is very important to conduct regular check-ups.
2. Abstinence from alcohol and smoking
Excessive drinking habits are known to be the risk factor that has the greatest influence on the occurrence of pancreatitis, so it is important to refrain from drinking alcohol.
In particular, in the case of acute cases, it is important to abstain from alcohol because there is a high possibility of recurrence if drinking alcohol even after treatment is finished. In addition, smoking is also known to be a major trigger influencing the development of pancreatitis, so it is important to quit smoking.