Select Page

The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body use the glucose it needs from food for energy. Acute pancreatitis usually occurs as a result of alcohol abuse or bile duct obstruction.

Acute pancreatitis is a rapid inflammation of the pancreas.

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a long gland, located behind the stomach, that secretes digestive enzymes and the hormones insulin and glucagon. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum. The duodenum is the upper part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine through a tube called the pancreatic duct. This enzyme helps digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates in food.

About 80,000 cases occur in the United States per year; some twenty percent of them severe. Acute pancreatitis is more common in men than women. Symptoms and signs of acute pancreatitis are severe upper abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite, chills and shock, hemodynamic instability. Vomiting, fever and generally feeling unwell are common. Medical treatment is usually focused on relieving symptoms and preventing further aggravation of the pancreas. Antibiotics, usually drugs from the imipenem class, should be used in the case of pancreatitis. If the attack lasts longer than a few days, nutritional supplements are given via an IV line. Low fat high carbohydrate diet; and eating smaller meals more frequently helps prevent worsening of the pancreas.

If a person has problems with this diet, pancreatic enzymes in pill form can be given to help digest food.

In some cases, surgery is needed to relieve pain. Discrimination is usually required for patients with necrotizing pancreatitis to debrides devitalized tissue and to provide external drainage. This surgery may involve draining the enlarged pancreatic duct or removing part of the pancreas. Prevention of acute pancreatitis is associated with prevention. Do not abuse alcohol, use proper safety precautions to avoid stomach trauma and genetic counseling may be recommended for expectant parents with a family or personal history of cystic fibrosis. Immunize children against goiter and other childhood illnesses. Don’t abuse alcohol. Taking enzyme supplements is also recommended.

Tips for Treatment and Prevention of Acute Pancreatitis

  1. Don’t abuse alcohol.
  2. Use proper safety precautions to avoid abdominal trauma.
  3. Medicines and intravenous fluids control pain.
  4. Immunize children against goiter and other childhood illnesses
  5. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove infected or damaged tissue.
  6. Radiology or endoscopic therapy is required to remove gallstones.