Acute Pancreatitis Information

Acute pancreatitis is a rapidly-onset inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is an 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. These enzymes help digest fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body use the glucose it takes from food for energy. Acute pancreatitis usually occurs as a result of alcohol abuse or bile duct obstruction.

About 80,000 cases occur in the United States per year; some twenty percent of them are severe. Acute pancreatitis occurs more often in men than women. Symptoms and signs of acute pancreatitis is 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 to the pancreas. Antibiotics, usually drugs of the imipenem class, should be used in any case of pancreatitis. If the attack lasts longer than a few days, nutritional supplements are administered through an IV line. A high carbohydrate low fat diet; and eating smaller more frequent meals help prevent aggravating the pancreas.

If a person has trouble with this diet, pancreatic enzymes in pill form may be given to help digest the food. In some cases, surgery is needed to relieve pain. Surgery is usually required for patients with necrotizing pancreatitis to debride devitalized tissue and to provide external drainage. The surgery may involve draining an 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 abdominal trauma and genetic counseling may be advised for prospective parents with a family or personal history of cystic fibrosis. Immunize children against mumps and other childhood illnesses. Do not abuse alcohol. Taking enzyme supplements is also recommend.

Acute pancreatitis Treatment and Prevention Tips

1. Do not abuse alcohol.

2. Use proper safety precautions to avoid abdominal trauma.

3. Drugs and intravenous fluids control the pain.

4. Immunize children against mumps and other childhood illnesses

5. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove infected or damaged tissue.

6. Radiologic or endoscopic therapy is needed to remove gallstones.