Pancreas fatigue: Autoimmune pancreatitis – Symptoms and causes
Autoimmune pancreatitis – Symptoms and causes
Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is a chronic inflammation that is thought to be caused by the body’s immune system attacking the pancreas and that responds to steroid therapy. Two subtypes of AIP are now recognized, type 1 and type 2.
Type 1 AIP is the pancreatic manifestation of a disease called IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD). This disease often affects multiple organs including the pancreas, bile ducts in the liver, salivary glands, kidneys and lymph nodes.
Type 2 AIP seems to affect only the pancreas, although about one-third of people with type 2 AIP have associated inflammatory bowel disease.
Type 1 AIP can be mistakenly diagnosed as pancreatic cancer. The two conditions have overlapping signs and symptoms, but very different treatments, so it is very important to distinguish one from the other.
Products & Services
Show more products from Mayo Clinic
Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is difficult to diagnose. Often, it doesn’t cause any symptoms. Symptoms and signs of type 1 AIP are similar to those of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms can include:
- Dark urine
- Pale stools or stools that float in the toilet
- Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
- Pain in your upper abdomen or middle part of your back
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness or extreme tiredness
- Loss of appetite or feelings of fullness
- Weight loss for no known reason
The most common sign of type 1 AIP, present in about 80% of people, is painless jaundice, caused by blocked bile ducts. Type 2 AIP can present with recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis. Pain in the upper abdomen, a common symptom of pancreatic cancer, is frequently absent in autoimmune pancreatitis.
Differences between type 1 and type 2 AIP are:
- In type 1 AIP, the disease may affect other organs in addition to the pancreas. Type 2 AIP affects only the pancreas, although the disease is associated with another autoimmune condition, inflammatory bowel disease.
- Type 1 AIP predominantly affects men in the sixth to seventh decade of life.
- Type 2 AIP affects both men and women equally and has a younger age of onset compared with type 1 AIP.
- Type 1 AIP is more likely to relapse after treatment is discontinued.
When to see a doctor
Autoimmune pancreatitis often doesn’t cause any symptoms. See your doctor, however, if you experience unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, jaundice, or other signs and symptoms that bother you.
Get the latest health information from Mayo Clinic delivered to your inbox.
Subscribe for free and receive your in-depth guide to
digestive health, plus the latest on health innovations and news. You can unsubscribe at any
Learn more about Mayo Clinic’s use of data.
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing
Your in-depth digestive health guide will be in your inbox shortly. You will also receive
emails from Mayo Clinic on the latest health news, research, and care.
If you don’t receive our email within 5 minutes, check your SPAM folder, then contact us
at [email protected]
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
Doctors don’t know what causes autoimmune pancreatitis, but as in other autoimmune diseases, it is thought to be caused by the body’s immune system attacking healthy body tissue.
The two types of AIP occur with different frequency in different parts of the world. In the United States, about 80 percent of people with autoimmune pancreatitis have type 1.
People with type 1 autoimmune pancreatitis often:
People with type 2 autoimmune pancreatitis:
- Are often over age 40 (one or two decades younger than those with type 1)
- Are as likely to be female as male
- Are more likely to have inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis
Autoimmune pancreatitis can cause a variety of complications.
- Pancreatic exocrine insufficiency. AIP may affect the ability of your pancreas to make enough enzymes. Signs and symptoms may include diarrhea, weight loss, metabolic bone disease, and vitamin or mineral deficiency.
- Diabetes. Because the pancreas is the organ that produces insulin, damage to it may cause diabetes and you may need treatment with oral medication or insulin.
- Pancreatic and bile duct stricture.
- Pancreatic calcifications or stones.
Treatments for autoimmune pancreatitis, such as long-term steroid use, also can cause complications. However, even with these complications, people who are treated for autoimmune pancreatitis have a normal life expectancy.
There is no established association between AIP and pancreatic cancer.
Jan. 22, 2021
Chronic Pancreatitis | Cedars-Sinai
Not what you’re looking for?
What is chronic pancreatitis?
pancreas is an organ with many important functions. It makes enzymes that help you
digest food. It also makes insulin to keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Short-term (acute) pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of your pancreas. This can
very painful. You may have nausea, vomiting, and fever. If your acute pancreatitis
doesn’t get better and slowly gets worse, you may have chronic pancreatitis.
What causes chronic pancreatitis?
you have chronic pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes that would normally travel by
inside your pancreas and empty into your upper intestine, become trapped inside your
pancreas. This causes pain and scarring. The trapped enzymes slowly cause severe
to your pancreas.
most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking a lot of alcohol over a long
period of time. . Other causes include:
- An attack of acute pancreatitis that damages your pancreatic ducts
- A blockage of the main pancreatic duct caused by cancer
- Certain autoimmune disorders
- Hereditary diseases of the pancreas
cause in some cases
What are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis?
Early symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are similar to acute pancreatitis. Symptoms
occasional and include:
- Pain in
the upper belly that spreads into the back
- Pain in
the belly that gets worse when you eat or drink alcohol
- Diarrhea or oily stools
- Nausea and vomiting
belly (abdominal) pain that may be constant or that comes back
- Weight loss
Chronic pancreatitis causes severe damage to your pancreas. This means that your
won’t be able to make needed enzymes and hormones. This can result in malnutrition,
because you won’t be able to digest foods. Chronic pancreatitis can also cause diabetes.
This happens because your pancreas can’t make insulin. Insulin controls blood sugar.
How is chronic pancreatitis diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will diagnose you with chronic pancreatitis if:
- You have a history of acute pancreatitis that comes back or doesn’t get better
- You have symptoms of chronic pancreatitis
healthcare provider will examine your belly. You will also be asked about your drinking
history and any family history of pancreatic disease or cystic fibrosis. Blood and
imaging tests are an important part of your diagnosis. They can include:
They will look for high levels of two pancreatic enzymes, amylase and
lipase. These may spill into your blood. Other tests may show blockage or damage of
your gallbladder. They can also be used to check for certain inherited conditions.
You may need vitamin levels and other lab tests.
- Abdominal ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to create an image of your pancreas.
This test uses a long, thin tube (endoscope) that is put through
your mouth and into your stomach and upper intestine. An ultrasound on the scope
makes images of the pancreas and gallbladder ducts.
ERCP. This test uses a long, thin tube (endoscope) that is
put into the pancreas drainage area if treatment needs to be done.
This test makes images using radio
waves, a strong magnet, and a computer. In some MRI tests, you will need to have dye
injected to show a more detailed image of your pancreas and the ducts of your
How is chronic pancreatitis treated?
Day-to-day treatment includes:
- Pain medicine
- Pancreatic enzyme supplements with every meal
- Insulin, if you develop diabetes
supplements, if needed
acute pancreatitis or a flare-up, you may need to stay in the hospital for treatment.
Your exact treatment will depend on the cause of your chronic pancreatitis, how severe
the symptoms are, and your physical condition. Acute treatments may include:
- Feeding through a tube through the nose into the stomach
What are possible complications of
Chronic pancreatitis damages the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. This may
cause these complications:
- Calcification of the pancreas. This means the pancreatic tissue hardens from
deposits of calcium salts.
- Long-term (chronic) pain
- Kidney failure
of fluid and tissue debris (pseudocysts)
- Pancreatic cancer
flare-ups that keep coming back
How can I help prevent chronic
best way to prevent chronic pancreatitis is to drink only in moderation or not at
Moderate alcohol drinking is considered to be no more than 1 drink per day for women
2 drinks per day for men. Quitting smoking is also very helpful. It eases pain and
Living with chronic pancreatitis
If you have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, your healthcare provider may
suggest these lifestyle changes:
- Don’t drink alcoholic drinks.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Don’t smoke.
clear of caffeine.
- Stick to a healthy diet that’s low in fat and protein.
- Eat smaller and more frequent meals.
When should I call my healthcare
your healthcare provider when you start to have short-term (acute) symptoms, including:
- Severe pain that can’t be eased at home
- Vomiting and are unable to keep down fluids
Key points about chronic
- Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of your pancreas. If
your acute pancreatitis doesn’t get better and slowly gets worse, you have chronic
- If you have chronic pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes that
would normally travel by tubes inside your pancreas and empty into your upper
intestine, become trapped inside your pancreas.
- Your healthcare provider will examine your belly. You will be
asked about your drinking history and any family history of pancreatic disease or
Day-to-day treatment includes
pain medicine, pancreatic enzyme supplements with every meal, insulin if you
develop diabetes, and vitamin supplements if needed.
- If you have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, your
healthcare provider may suggest lifestyle changes.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for your visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- Bring someone with you to help you ask questions and remember what your healthcare
provider tells you.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments,
or tests. Also write down any new instructions your healthcare provider gives you.
why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know
what the side effects are.
- Ask if your condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if you do not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If you have a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that
- Know how you can contact your healthcare provider if you have questions.
Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
© 2000-2021 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional’s instructions.
Not what you’re looking for?
Acute pancreatitis – NHS
Acute pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed (swollen) over a short period of time.
The pancreas is a small organ, located behind the stomach, that helps with digestion.
Most people with acute pancreatitis start to feel better within about a week and have no further problems. But some people with severe acute pancreatitis can go on to develop serious complications.
Acute pancreatitis is different to chronic pancreatitis, where the pancreas has become permanently damaged from inflammation over many years.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis
The most common symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:
- suddenly getting severe pain in the centre of your tummy (abdomen)
- feeling or being sick
- a high temperature of 38C or more (fever)
Read more about the symptoms of acute pancreatitis and diagnosing acute pancreatitis.
When to get medical help
See a GP immediately if you suddenly develop severe abdominal pain. If this isn’t possible, contact NHS 111 for advice.
Causes of acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is most often linked to:
But sometimes the cause is not known.
By reducing how much alcohol you drink and altering your diet to make gallstones less likely, you can reduce your chances of developing acute pancreatitis.
Read more about the causes of acute pancreatitis and preventing acute pancreatitis.
How it’s treated
Treatment for acute pancreatitis aims to help control the condition and manage any symptoms.
This usually involves admission to hospital. You may be given fluids directly into a vein (intravenous fluids), pain relief, liquid food through a tube in your tummy and oxygen through tubes in your nose.
Most people with acute pancreatitis get better within a week and are well enough to leave hospital after a few days.
Recovery can take longer in severe cases, as some people can develop complications.
Read more about treating acute pancreatitis and the possible complications of acute pancreatitis.
Page last reviewed: 29 October 2018
Next review due: 29 October 2021
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms | Moffitt
Pancreatic cancer symptoms are often vague when the cancer is in its early stages, and therefore the symptoms can be very difficult to correctly attribute to a specific condition. What’s more, the signs can vary based on the location and type of the cancer. Because many patients do not notice their symptoms until the cancer reaches an advanced stage, it’s important to learn to identify possible signs, pay close attention to your body and be aware of what is normal for you.
Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer
Some common pancreatic cancer signs and symptoms that can lead to a diagnosis include:
- Jaundice – Most people with pancreatic cancer experience jaundice as one of their first symptoms. It involves the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. Symptoms related to jaundice include dark-colored urine, pale-colored stools and itchy skin.
- Pain – Because pancreatic cancer can put pressure on nearby organs, it can lead to pain in the upper or middle abdomen and back.
- Digestive difficulties – This can include indigestion, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
- New-onset diabetes – Pancreatic cancer destroys cells that make insulin, which in turn can lead to high blood sugar levels, or diabetes.
- Unexplained weight loss – Sometimes, pancreatic cancer causes a feeling of fullness or a reduction in appetite. This can lead to unintentional weight loss.
- Weakness or fatigue – As with other types of cancer, pancreatic cancer can cause feelings of extreme tiredness or weakness in the limbs.
Symptoms of advanced pancreatic cancer
In addition to the above symptoms, signs of advanced-stage pancreatic cancer can sometimes include:
- Hepatomegaly – People with pancreatic cancer may experience an enlargement of the liver, which can cause a mass in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. This is even more likely if the cancer has spread to the liver.
- Gallbladder enlargement – When the cancer blocks the bile duct, it can lead to a buildup of bile in the gallbladder.
- An accumulation of fluid in the belly – This can cause the abdomen to become swollen and distended.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – Blood clots may form in large veins, often in one of the legs. DVT may cause swelling, redness, pain or warmth in the affected area.
Risk factors of pancreatic cancer
A risk factor is anything that may increase your chance of being diagnosed with a disease, such as pancreatic cancer. While having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will develop pancreatic cancer, it’s important to be aware of the risks so you can discuss them with your doctor. Some of the most common risk factors of pancreatic cancer include:
- Having chronic pancreatitis
- Being overweight or obese
- Having diabetes
- Smoking tobacco products
- Being male
- Having an inherited condition such as hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, familial atypical multiple mole melanoma (FAMM) syndrome, familial pancreatitis, Lynch syndrome or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
Seeking treatment for pancreatic cancer
If you experience one or more pancreatic cancer symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have pancreatic cancer. Because there are many other common medical issues that can cause these or similar symptoms, an accurate diagnosis is essential. Therefore, you should follow up promptly with a health care provider who can evaluate your condition and recommend an appropriate treatment.
“Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to detect at early stage because of the non-specific nature of the symptoms. If you have symptoms that concern you, speak to your health care provider to determine if you are candidate for additional diagnostic testing. Our pancreas team at Moffitt work with multiple providers in the community to aid in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of pancreatic cancer and pre-cancerous lesions.”
– Aamir Dam, MD
Medically reviewed by Aamir Dam, MD.
If you have questions about pancreatic cancer symptoms, you do not need a referral to consult with the outstanding team of experts in Moffitt Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, where we offer a full range of treatments and supportive care services in a single, convenient location. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.
Chronic pancreatitis – Guts UK
How can chronic pancreatitis be treated?
There are no curative treatments for chronic pancreatitis. The aim is to control symptoms and improve quality of life. It is vital to give up both smoking and alcohol even if they are not the primary causes of your pancreatitis. Both make the disease worse. Specialist support is available.
Poor digestion is treated with digestive enzymes given in tablet form and taken with every meal and snack. An acid-reducing PPI (proton-pump inhibitor) drug may also help because stomach acid damages the enzymes in the tablet. Dietary restrictions can be harmful. The aim is to enjoy and digest normal meals without symptoms, and to regain weight. Every patient should see a specialist dietitian, who is a vital part of the chronic pancreatitis team. Other ‘nutritionalists’ should be avoided. They have variable training and may give poor or dangerous advice.
Pain is treated using a ‘pain ladder’. The minimum effective treatment is used at any time to give pain-relief while minimising side-effects. If ‘simple’ pain-killers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are ineffective, stronger drugs from the opiate family may be needed. They are excellent at controlling short-term pain but are addictive, cause constipation and may actually cause pain with long-term use. Pain-modifying drugs which change the way in which the nerves and brain interpret pain-signals may give better long-term control. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has advised that more research is needed in this area.
Non-surgical procedures are a part of pain treatment for some people. People with stones in the pancreas may get relief if they are removed using an endoscopic procedure (ERCP). It is sometimes also possible to break up stones using shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL). Some people with severe pain which is not controlled by pain-killing medicines benefit from injections to block the nerves coming from the pancreas, but this is only done after careful consideration.
Surgery is only offered in special pancreas centres after careful investigation and discussion. Operations to drain dilated ducts and remove inflamed tissue may relieve pain in some people. Occasionally the whole pancreas is removed (total pancreatectomy). This however causes severe diabetes. If the Islets of Langerhans (which make insulin) are transplanted back (Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation, TPIAT), the diabetes may be less severe. This operation is reserved for people who still have insulin production. At present there is a proposal to fund this operation at 4 centres in England, but it is not yet freely available.
Help with the stress of having a painful chronic illness can be provided by your GP practice and pancreatitis specialist team.
What are the main complications of chronic pancreatitis?
The main complication of chronic pancreatitis is diabetes. This is usually a form called Type 3c diabetes, which occurs because of damage to the Islets of Langerhans. The Islets produce many different hormones which contribute to the control of sugar levels, so Type 3c diabetes may be difficult to control. The usual treatment is insulin injections, but NICE has indicated a need for research in this area (see Research section).
Swelling and scarring of the pancreas occasionally leads to obstruction of the pancreas itself, the bile duct or the duodenum (the part of the small bowel which drains the stomach). Obstruction of the pancreatic or bile duct is usually treated by putting stents, (small internal drainage tubes) through the obstruction using an endoscope (ERCP), but surgical operations are also used. NICE has advised that more research is needed in this area. Duodenal obstruction is rare and usually needs an operation to bypass the blockage.
Some people with chronic pancreatitis also have episodes of acute pancreatitis.
If you have chronic pancreatitis, you have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This risk is particularly high if you have hereditary pancreatitis. Your pancreas team will monitor your condition and advise you if they judge that you should be investigated for cancer. People with hereditary pancreatitis may be asked to take part in a trial looking at ways of detecting cancer early.
Chronic pancreatitis can complicate other illnesses with genetic components, such as some hyperlipidaemias (high blood fats), high blood calcium, kidney disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) | Loma Linda University Health
Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
WHAT IS EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI)?
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a condition where the pancreas does not supply the necessary enzymes needed to digest foods.
At Loma Linda University Health, we treat more pancreatic disorders than any other center in the region. We have the ability to diagnose and treat exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in addition to other pancreatic and biliary conditions.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI)?
Symptoms of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) are similar to many those of other pancreatic conditions. Those symptoms include:
- Oily diarrhea
- Steatorrhea (see below)
- Pain in the center of the stomach that radiates to the back
- Loss of muscle
- Muscle cramps
- Pain in the bones
- Signs of vitamin deficiency (brittle nails, hair loss and skin problems)
Diarrhea in people with EPI is referred to as steatorrhea. Steatorrhea is different from standard diarrhea. Steatorrhea produces stools that are:
- Pale or gray
- Extremely foul smelling
Because these stools contain oily droplets and consist of large amounts of undigested fat, they often stick to the toilet bowl or float on top of the water, making them hard to flush.
WHAT CAUSES EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI)?
Medical conditions and diseases that can cause EPI are:
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Cystic fibrosis
- A history of stomach, pancreas, or small bowel resection during surgery
- Pancreatic duct obstruction
- Shwachman-Diamond syndrome
Because EPI symptoms are similar to symptoms of other diseases of the stomach and intestine, the condition tends to be underdiagnosed.
HOW IS EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI) DIAGNOSED?
Because a patient may not experience steatorrhea until after the pancreas loses 90 percent of enzyme production, it can be difficult to diagnose EPI. Physicians may rule out other, more common conditions before giving an EPI diagnosis.
However, it may be diagnosed based on the symptoms listed above. Tests to confirm the diagnosis include:
- Stool samples for laboratory analysis
- Blood tests to look for for fat deposits and vitamin deficiencies
The doctor may also request a CT scan to examine the underlying causes of EPI.
HOW IS EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI) TREATED?
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is normally treated through a combination of lifestyle changes and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT).
- Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol can make it even harder for your body to absorb fat, and can damage your pancreas over time.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Eat healthy fats only, and eat smaller, more frequent meals to aid digestion.
- Take vitamin supplements. However, do this only on the advice of a physician (fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K).
Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy (PERT)
Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is medication designed to take over the role of the pancreas by replacing the digestive enzymes that the pancreas is no longer producing. When taken with food, PERTs help break down the nutrients in food.
The amount prescribed will vary from patient to patient; dosages are based on body weight and fat intake in the patient’s diet. PERT medications are only available by prescription.
These treatments can help people with EPI eat and digest their food normally, allowing them to absorb nutrients and enjoy a better quality of life.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI)?
If left untreated, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency can lead to feeling malnourished, fatigued and weak. This is due to the poor absorption of vitamins and nutrients. Eventually, it can lead to thinning bones (osteoporosis) or anemia (a deficiency of red blood cells).
WHO IS AT RISK FOR EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY (EPI)?
People most at risk for developing exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (ETI) include those with a damaged pancreas, or a health condition that keeps the pancreas from working as it should. Others at risk include people with:
- Celiac disease
- Stomach ulcers
- Cystic fibrosis
- Shwachman-Diamond syndrome
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Pancreatic cancer
Those who have had past surgeries on the stomach, pancreas or gallbladder may also be at risk.
- Stay aware. If you are in the risk category for this condition, stay aware of the symptoms of EPI and seek medical attention immediately if you begin experiencing them.
- Seek medical intervention. If left undiagnosed or untreated, EPI can lead to more serious complications. To request an evaluation at Loma Linda University Health, contact your provider or schedule the appointment through MyChart.
13 Warning Signs Your Pancreas Is Trying to Tell You Something’s Wrong
Pancreatic cancer is a tricky cancer to identify. In the early stages, there might not be much—if any—indication something is even wrong, and that’s exactly why doctors often refer to it as a “silent killer.” Of the 57,600 cases that the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates will be diagnosed in 2020, many won’t be discovered until the cancer is at an advanced stage or has spread to other organs, as most signs and symptoms show up later on. That’s why it’s so important to know everything to be on the lookout for in order to catch pancreatic cancer as early as possible. Here are 13 pancreatic cancer warning signs you need to know. And to learn more about one famous figure’s ongoing battle with the disease, check out 4 Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer Alex Trebek Wished He’d Known Sooner.
Because the pancreas is located in your abdomen behind your stomach, a common symptom of pancreatic cancer is experiencing a dull pain in the stomach due to it pressing on the organ. According to Pancreatic Cancer UK, it’s something that occurs in around 70 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. It might start off as just a little discomfort—something you brush off. But it can become more painful and persistent, signaling something is definitely wrong. And for health hints another organ is trying to give you, check out 25 Warning Signs Your Kidneys Send You.
Itchy skin has many causes, and pancreatic cancer is one of them. The ACS says the itchiness occurs when bilirubin builds up in the skin, and you may notice it alongside the yellowing of your skin due to jaundice. If that’s the case, slathering on lotion isn’t going to help. Instead, it’s important to book an appointment with a doctor as soon as you can.
Not many people realize pancreatic cancer can be responsible for depression, even before you realize you have it. Harvey B. Simon, MD, an internal medicine doctor in Boston, MA, told Harvard Health it’s something those with pancreatic cancer may develop as the cancer grows. A 2018 study published in the journal Pancreas also backed that up, stating there’s a pancreatic cancer-depression relationship—”particularly sudden-onset depression and anxiety in people who have never experienced this condition before.” Being aware of this connection could help you get diagnosed and treated earlier. And for things you are doing that are damaging your mental well-being, check out 26 Things You’re Doing That Are Hurting Your Mental Health.
Stomach pain isn’t the only type of discomfort that goes hand-in-hand with pancreatic cancer. According to the ACS, back pain is common, too, and occurs when it spreads to the nerves surrounding the pancreas. While both stomach and back pain have many different possible causes, it’s never a bad idea to check in with your doctor—especially when it’s occurring often.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a few different reasons why weight loss can signal pancreatic cancer. As the cancer progresses, it consumes the body’s energy, making you lose weight. And if the tumor is pressing on your stomach, it might make you feel full or make it hard for you to eat. Also, when your pancreas isn’t functioning properly, it’s not making enough of the digestive juices required to help your body process nutrients in the first place.
If you start to experience light-colored, oily, or watery stools—and/or stools that are incredibly foul-smelling—when your bathroom habits are generally fine, pancreatic cancer is something to be aware of. According to Maryland Oncology Hematology, the issue occurs when the bile duct is blocked, which prevents bilirubin from getting to your stools and makes it hard for your body to digest fats properly.
If your once-strong self starts to feel very weak out of nowhere, your body might be trying to tell you something isn’t right. The Moffitt Cancer Center says a common symptom of pancreatic cancer is experiencing extreme weakness in the limbs—something that doesn’t just happen with this type of cancer, but many different types. That’s because cancer essentially steals the nutrients your body needs in order for it to grow and cause harm.
Like feeling weak, pancreatic cancer—and all cancers, for that matter—can also make you feel extremely fatigued. If there’s no other explanation for why you’re so tired, it’s something to get checked out. A 2018 study published in the journal Acta BioMedica notes cancer-related fatigue is defined as feeling physically exhausted due to cancer or cancer treatments, and it can greatly impact your typical daily activities. And for more potential causes of your fatigue, check out 23 Reasons You’re Tired All the Time.
Noticing your skin and eyes turning yellow is something you should never ignore. Jaundice can be due to conditions like liver disease and hepatitis, but Matthew Walsh, MD, a surgeon in Cleveland, OH, said on a podcast that it can also go hand-in-hand with pancreatic cancer. “You can have a relatively small tumor in the very end of the pancreas that can cause jaundice,” he said. “[It’s] one of the symptoms and that can occur relatively early.” And for more vision-related issues, check out 17 Warning Signs Your Eyes Are Trying to Tell You About Your Health.
According to Walsh, developing diabetes suddenly at an older age is never something to take lightly. “You should look at the pancreas, because that can be one of the hallmarks,” he said on a podcast. But how does that even happen? Johns Hopkins University says pancreatic cancer can trigger a case of sudden onset diabetes, or late onset diabetes, through “destroying the cells that make insulin, causing blood sugar levels to rise.” And for more helpful information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
While most people assume jaundice only affects your eyes and skin, that build-up of bilirubin in the body can also result in dark urine as well. According to the ACS, it’s actually sometimes the first sign of jaundice, even before you notice a change in your skin or eyes. The darkening of the urine occurs when the levels of bilirubin in the blood increase, which changes urine to a brown color.
When you have pancreatic cancer, something you may experience is nausea or vomiting. According to the ACS, this occurs when the cancer puts pressure on your stomach, making it difficult for your food to pass through. This can also make you feel really nauseous—so much so that it might even cause you to vomit.
You don’t want to mess around with blood clots. According to GI Associates and Endoscopy Center, deep vein thrombosis—when a blood clot occurs in a large vein—can sometimes be the first sign of pancreatic cancer, and it typically shows up as redness, swelling, and pain in whichever leg has the blood clot. Since a piece of the blood clot can make its way to your lungs, making it hard to breathe, it’s something to get checked out immediately.
90,000 10 signs of pancreatic pancreatitis symptoms
The disease develops quickly, for example, within a few days, this is called acute pancreatitis. Although it is sometimes quite serious, this inflammation usually does not cause any permanent harm and is completely eliminated. Chronic pancreatitis is a long-term and persistent inflammation. While not nearly as painful as a severe case of acute pancreatitis, it is nonetheless dangerous.
People with pancreatitis tend to feel very sick all the time.Pancreatitis is usually the result of gallstones that interfere with the release of digestive enzymes or from drinking alcoholic beverages. Some other causes of pancreatitis can be caused by trauma, surgery, medications, and even metabolic disorders. In the world, 4 out of 100,000 people suffer from acute pancreatitis every year.
Approximately 30% of patients with acute pancreatitis have no known cause. Almost 45% of patients with chronic pancreatitis suffer from this condition due to long-term alcohol use.Pancreatitis is more common in men than in women.
The following are the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis:
1. Stomach pain
Patients with pancreatitis experience severe abdominal pain that radiates back. The pain is felt right under the chest. Initially, the pain is tolerable, however, if left untreated, the inflammation of the pancreas can lead to excruciating pain that can only be relieved with morphine. The pain may be worse after eating high-fat foods.The pain can become very intense when lying on your back or leaning forward. On the other hand, in some cases of acute pancreatitis, patients do not feel much pain, this is more common if the patient is diabetic or has kidney disease.
Nausea is a common symptom that accompanies pancreatitis and may be secondary to pain or due to changes in digestion. To cope with this, patients should drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and excessive food intake, especially by limiting fat.Nausea can be severe enough to cause vomiting when dry.
3. Feeling of pain
A febrile feeling along with chills and general weakness is a symptom that may indicate a problem with the pancreas. Many, though not all, patients with pancreatitis experience an increase in their body temperature. Fever can be caused by inflammation of the pancreas or one of the ducts, or an infection in the pancreas or elsewhere in the body.Antibiotics may be recommended depending on the cause of the fever. Most often, the fever subsides after the pancreatitis clears up.
Inflammation in chronic pancreatitis damages the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, which can cause diabetes, a disease that harms the way the body uses blood sugar. In fact, glucose intolerance and diabetes are common in patients with chronic pancreatitis.Your body uses glucose as an energy source. Glucose levels are disrupted when the cells that produce insulin stop working properly. In about five percent of people diagnosed with diabetes, it is caused by chronic pancreatitis.
One of the most distinctive signs of pancreatitis is jaundice – yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes due to the accumulation of bilirubin. Although it also appears in other disorders and is more often caused by obstruction of the bile duct due to gallstone or pancreatic tumor, it can also be seen in patients with pancreatitis.Often, the symptom may be accompanied by dark urine, itchy skin, and pale stools. The condition is often overlooked and ignored, but should not be taken lightly, it can be caused by inflammation of the pancreas.
6. Rapid heart rate
One of the signs of acute pancreatitis is an increase in heart rate, which may be associated with pain, inflammation, or dehydration. Low blood pressure can also be seen.What can improve this condition is drinking plenty of fluids, relieving pain, slow breathing and lying still. It can help normalize blood pressure and bring the heartbeat back to a normal rhythm.
7. Sudden and unexplained weight loss
Failure to produce or secrete sufficient pancreatic enzymes leads to improper digestion and absorption of foods, which is what leads to weight loss. Because the pancreas produces fewer enzymes when you get sick, which are responsible for breaking down the food you eat, you may experience significant weight loss, malnutrition, and even diarrhea.Patients with pancreatitis also tend to avoid food because it is painful and nauseous. Eating can also lead to vomiting. This rapid weight loss should not be taken lightly.
8. Swollen stomach
Your stomach becomes swollen – so much so that it hurts to touch it. Many patients with pancreatitis often complain of a swollen or distended abdomen. The extra fluid moving in the body causes the abdomen to swell and the skin over this area is tightly stretched.Fluid arrives and patients may feel excessive pressure on the abdomen. Such discomfort and swelling of the stomach (abdomen) signals a problem with the pancreas or liver and indicates that you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
9. Constant (chronic) fatigue
A common symptom in people with pancreatitis is their tendency to feel tired all the time. Pancreatitis can be extremely debilitating for patients and can even cause a person to pass out.This is one of the ways your body can inform you of an attack of pancreatitis. When abdominal pain is accompanied by a feeling of tiredness or weakness, especially during the daytime, it should be taken seriously.
10. Smelly stool
An early warning sign of pancreatitis is pale, floating, or smelly stools. Since digestive enzymes from the pancreas are not produced enough or cannot reach the small intestine, proper digestion of food, especially fatty foods, is not possible.This results in stools that become runny and smelly. Some patients even see dark, tarry stools and this is usually due to bleeding into the intestines from the pancreas, ducts, or adjacent structures. Doctors believe that this symptom is an early concept given by the body, but it is often overlooked.
The bottom line is that patients should seek immediate medical attention if they notice severe, unexplained abdominal pain, vomiting, or fatigue that does not go away with pain medication.Diagnostic examination and treatment of pancreatitis should be performed immediately. The primary goal of doctors should be to track symptoms and maintain body function so that the inflammation of the pancreas can subside.
90,000 Gastroenterologists told: how to recognize pancreatic diseases in time
The pancreas is a unique organ that works on two systems at once – the digestive and endocrine systems. The digestive function of the pancreas is to release enzymes that aid in the digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
As an organ of the endocrine system, the pancreas secretes two hormones with opposite effects – insulin and glucagon. Insulin lowers blood glucose and increases glucagon.
The health of this important organ affects the entire body as a whole. Any malfunction of the pancreas leads to unpleasant and sometimes fatal consequences.
Diseases of the pancreas
It is quite difficult to determine what exactly the pancreas hurts on your own.In most cases, acute inflammation of this organ is perceived as food poisoning.
This is the general name for any inflammation of the pancreas. It manifests itself in the fact that enzymes from the gland cease to flow into the duodenum, but remain in the gland. The result is self-digestion of the organ and tissue death. Most often, pancreatitis develops as a result of frequent alcohol consumption.
In acute pancreatitis, there is constant vomiting with an admixture of bile, severe unbearable pain in the left upper abdomen, possibly jaundice due to a violation of the digestive function of the gland.
Some people confuse the manifestations of acute pancreatitis with poisoning and do not go to doctors with their problem, and as soon as the acute manifestations of the disease end, they completely forget about it.
Between acute attacks of pancreatitis, more than six months can pass, and at the same time, in the chronic phase, the disease may not manifest itself in any way.
Chronic pancreatitis is often a consequence of the manifestation of the acute course of the disease.The worst thing in chronic pancreatitis is that the functional tissue of the gland is replaced by connective tissue. And in this case, not only the production of digestive enzymes decreases, but also hormonal dysfunction of the gland manifests itself.
Signs of chronic pancreatitis
First of all, you need to pay attention to pain in the left hypochondrium, and pain can also be encircling or occur from the back in the upper lumbar region.
In chronic pancreatitis, after eating fatty foods, stomach discomfort, nausea and even vomiting may occur.Sudden weight loss, chronic fatigue, loose stools and bloating are all signs of illness.
Prevention of pancreatic diseases
First of all, eliminate alcohol from your life. Most often, the development of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer occurs in people who regularly consume alcoholic beverages.
Try not to eat excessively fatty foods and fast food – all this can lead to inflammation of the pancreas. Drink plenty of clean water between meals.This is really beneficial as water removes excess acidity and alkalinity from the digestive system.
Perform a complete medical examination of the gastrointestinal tract. Since only a timely hardware and laboratory examination can guarantee that everything is in order with your health.
90,000 Pancreatitis symptoms: coffee, alcohol, cigarettes and stress hit the pancreas | Healthy life | Health
A breaks, as you know, where it is thin, and therefore it suffers in the first place.
Our expert is gastroenterologist Lyudmila Vinokurova .
If a person lacks adequate rest, if he eats dry food and, saving time, often visits fast food establishments, a moment in his body inevitably comes when an energy imbalance begins to develop – energy consumption exceeds its accumulation. Not calories, mind you, but energy.
To cope with a high load, the body draws it from its “reserves”.And cigarettes, coffee and alcohol “help” him in this. In the absence of these doping substances, the depletion of internal reserves immediately makes itself felt: a person feels tired, overwhelmed, yawns and his eyes literally stick together. In the morning, it is difficult for him to lift his head from the pillow. But these symptoms disappear instantly after a “breakfast” consisting of a cigarette and a cup of coffee, and now a vigorous and fresh young careerist runs to work.
|Risk factors for the development of pancreatic ailments are:|
| >> Violation of the diet, irregular, unbalanced diet with a large amount of fatty, spicy food in the diet, an excess of fats and proteins (which is much more common) or their lack.
>> Smoking – it significantly increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
>> Alcohol abuse. It is the most common cause of acute pancreatitis in men aged 25–40 years.
>> Prolonged and frequent stress.
>> Gallstone disease, which is more common in young women.
>> Parasitic infections (giardiasis) and invasions (opisthorchiasis).
>> Uncontrolled medication, self-medication.
Gradually it takes more and more coffee and cigarettes to get in shape, more alcohol to relieve stress after a long day at work.
Indispensable “companions” of a careerist and a workaholic (coffee, alcohol and cigarettes, frequent stress, overwork, eating dry food, on the run, snacks here and there, eating with a mobile phone near the ear) – all together add up to one big ” cannon “, which will certainly shoot and without a miss, one might say, will hit the pancreas with direct fire.
Result – the development of pancreatitis, inflammation and subsequent destruction of pancreatic tissue by its own enzymes.With the development of pancreatitis, these enzymes are not secreted, as expected, into the duodenum, but begin to work in the tissue of the pancreas itself, which leads to its destruction (self-digestion).
With the complication of acute pancreatitis – pancreatic necrosis, necrosis (necrosis) of large areas of the pancreas occurs. This is a very serious condition, which, if not performed on time, can lead to death.
Before it’s too late
What symptoms must be alerted to? Of course, pain in the upper abdomen on the left, or “under the pit”, often encircling.In addition, upset stool (diarrhea), an abundance of gas, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite.
If the pain in the upper abdomen bothers you often enough (at least 3 times a week), if the diet, normalization of the lifestyle do not lead to an improvement in the condition, you must definitely contact a gastroenterologist who will recommend the necessary examination and prescribe treatment.
In the treatment of acute pancreatitis and exacerbations of chronic pancreatitis, the patient should completely abstain from food for the first 2-3 days.In addition, the doctor prescribes special enzyme preparations.
After a period of fasting, a strict diet is prescribed for 5-7 days. Eating 5-6 times a day in small portions. Spicy, fatty foods, smoked meats, raw vegetables and fruits, legumes, meat, fish, mushroom broths and broths, coffee and cocoa, sour fruit and vegetable juices, carbonated drinks, kvass are excluded from the diet.
Alcohol in all forms is excluded.
A week after the acute inflammation has subsided, when the recovery phase begins, the diet is still followed: the food should be mechanically and chemically sparing.Sokogonny products (contributing to the abundant separation of digestive juices) are excluded: raw vegetables, juices, meat and fish broths, as well as carbonated and alcoholic drinks, mushrooms, milk, honey, jam, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, legumes, vinegar.
Anyone whose work is associated with repetitive stress, overtime hours, need to learn how to recuperate after a hard day’s work and relieve neuropsychic stress in more useful ways:
>> Through autogenous training.
>> Water procedures (warm bath – relaxes, cold or contrast shower invigorates, eliminates lethargy and fatigue).
>> Exercise and sports (they help to fight stress, spend the adrenaline accumulated during the day, saturate the body with oxygen, muscle load helps to relax the nervous system).
>> Change of scenery (outings, trips out of town, to the country house, hiking trips, etc.).
>> Hobby – collecting, knitting, dancing, music, etc.d.
90,000 Pancreatitis: the aftermath of a festive feast | Articles from “CM-Clinic”
Pancreatitis is a common sequel to the holiday feast, which is manifested by nausea, severe pain in the upper abdomen and diarrhea. Over the past 20 years, global deaths from pancreatitis have increased significantly.
According to epidemiological studies, the incidence varies in different countries from 5 to 80 per 100,000 population.In Russia, unfortunately, there is a steady increase in the incidence of chronic pancreatitis among both adults and children: up to 25 cases per 100,000 in adults, up to 50 cases in children.
The prevalence of alcoholic pancreatitis also increased by 35%. The average age of the diagnosed patients is 11 years younger. In developed countries, the proportion of women among patients has increased by 30%. There is also an increase in the incidence of pancreatic cancer, which develops against the background of chronic inflammation of the organ.
What is pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is an inflammatory disease of the pancreas that produces digestive enzymes and certain hormones. The name of the disease consists of two Latin words: pancreas – pancreas; -itis – inflammation. There are two clinical forms of the disease: acute and chronic. If the inflammation of the pancreas lasts longer than 6 months, it is chronic pancreatitis, if less, it is acute.
Acute inflammation of the pancreas begins suddenly and is accompanied by severe pain in the upper abdomen.A common cause is the premature activation of digestive enzymes that diffusely affect the tissues of the pancreas and lead to inflammation. An acute condition requires urgent hospitalization in the intensive care unit. Late treatment often leads to organ failure and death.
Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive inflammatory and destructive disease of the pancreas, leading to constant pain in the upper abdomen.Over time, healthy tissue is replaced by fibrous tissue, which leads to irreversible dysfunction of the organ. The chronic form does not always require emergency hospitalization; perhaps treatment carried out at home or when the patients themselves visit a medical institution.
Causes of the disease
About 20-40% of pancreatitis cases are caused by long-term alcohol use, gallstone disease, and a high-fat diet. Besides alcoholism and gallstones, there are other factors that cause inflammation of the pancreas.
- hypertriglyceridemia, or increased blood triglyceride levels;
- the use of certain drugs – antibiotics, cytostatics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, HIV drugs and diuretics;
- Elevated blood calcium levels, for example, as a result of overactive parathyroidism or hyperparathyroidism.
- Injury to the abdomen during endoscopy of the pancreas or after surgery on the stomach / intestines;
- infection with roundworms blocking the bile ducts;
- obstruction of the pancreatic ducts;
- congenital malformations of the pancreas;
- pancreatic cancer;
- perforation of a stomach or intestinal ulcer.
- mumps, or “mumps”;
- glandular fever.
In Russia, the most common causes of pancreatitis are alcohol abuse and cholelithiasis. On average, consumption of more than 80 g of ethanol per day (four 500 ml cans of 5% beer) for 6-12 years leads to chronic pancreatitis. For some patients, the use of even small amounts of alcohol (up to 50 g) is sufficient for the development of the disease.
In about 15% of cases, it is not possible to establish the cause of the disease. As with acute conditions, rare diseases sometimes cause chronic pancreatitis: metabolic disorders, genetic defects, and autoimmune processes in which the body produces antibodies to glandular tissue.
Acute pancreatitis is manifested by sudden pain in the upper abdomen. The pain often spreads in all directions – to the back or chest.Therefore, the disease can be confused with other acute abdominal diseases or heart attack.
Depending on the severity of acute pancreatitis, the following symptoms are noted:
- Increased body temperature.
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Pain in the upper abdomen and painful tension in the muscles of the abdominal wall, often lasting several days. Patients take a sitting position or lie with their legs pressed to the abdomen.
- Stool discoloration.
- Shortness of breath, which can be caused by irritation of the diaphragm (as a result of inflammation), pleural effusion, or a more serious condition, respiratory failure.
- Occasionally, there is muscle spasm in the extremities secondary to a decrease in blood calcium levels.
Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by recurrent upper abdominal pain that lasts from several hours to several days.Eating fatty foods often causes digestive problems such as nausea, pain, or vomiting.
Common symptoms of chronic inflammation of the pancreas:
- decrease in body weight;
- excessive flatulence in the intestines;
- nausea and vomiting;
- attacks of severe hunger;
- weakness, irritability and decreased performance;
In the terminal stage, the pancreas is severely damaged. However, the victims, despite the progressive destruction of the organ, may not experience pain in the asymptomatic phases.
Attention! If the above symptoms appear, urgent medical advice is required. It is important to identify the disease in time and prescribe effective treatment in order to prevent serious complications. An appointment with a gastroenterologist is made by phone: +7 (4912) 57-50-48.
What happens if pancreatitis is not treated
In chronic pancreatitis, damaged pancreatic tissue becomes fluid-filled chambers called pseudocysts that become inflamed and bleed. In the bile duct system, constrictions and stones are gradually formed, which prevent secretion from passing out and contribute to the accumulation of digestive juices.
If the damage is already very advanced, it can lead to pancreatic cancer, diabetes mellitus, liver damage and intestinal dysbiosis.At the terminal stage, peritonitis and intestinal lesions sometimes develop.
Folk remedies or other types of self-medication cannot defeat pancreatitis. For any of the above symptoms, it is necessary to visit a therapist or gastroenterologist for a comprehensive diagnosis and effective treatment. Modern diagnostic methods help to detect inflammation of the pancreas at an early stage.
Attention! If, after a festive meal or drinking alcohol, you feel flatulence, nausea, diarrhea – then you should visit the specialists of the “CM-Clinic”.A highly qualified gastroenterologist with many years of experience will examine you, order examinations and help eradicate the cause of your symptoms. All services are provided at the highest level, and the work uses advanced medical equipment. We work 7 days a week. Do not tolerate pain – call!
90,000 Pancreatic cancer – treatment abroad
The pancreas produces digestive juices for the intestines and insulin to regulate glucose metabolism.The pancreas is located in the epigastrium and is not palpable from the outside. Pancreatic cancer is considered, rather, a rare type of cancer and is approx. 3% of all cancers. The disease mainly affects the elderly. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is higher in men than in women. The exact causes of the occurrence are unknown. Along with old age, risk factors are called
smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), overweight and family history.
At an early stage, pancreatic cancer does not make itself felt and proceeds asymptomatically or only against the background of nonspecific symptoms. Therefore, unfortunately, it is often possible to recognize the disease only at an advanced stage. Lack of appetite, weight loss, nausea, diarrhea, and feeling tired can all be signs of pancreatic cancer. If cancer causes pain, then it is mostly diffuse, girdle pain in the epigastrium. Often, painless jaundice with yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes is the first sign of pancreatic cancer.However, in most cases, we are talking about a progressive oncological disease.
Various radiological and endoscopic examinations are carried out to diagnose pancreatic carcinoma. Using ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the pancreas and epigastric organs are visualized. As part of an endoscopic examination of the stomach, the biliary tract and pancreatic ducts can be examined.
The primary treatment for pancreatic cancer is surgical removal of the tumor.Since pancreatic cancer can often only be recognized at a late stage, in addition to the pancreas, it is often necessary to perform resection of the duodenum, gallbladder and part of the bile ducts.
In order to improve the beneficial effect of the operation, after the operation, as a rule, additional treatment is carried out in the form of chemotherapy, and sometimes, if necessary, also in combination with radiation therapy (radiation).
Diseases of the pancreas – GASTROENTEROLOGY
Diseases of the pancreas
The pancreas is located in the upper part of the abdominal cavity and belongs to several systems of the human body at once.On the one hand, it plays an important role in the digestion process, producing digestive juice rich in enzymes. These enzymes help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into small pieces so that they can be absorbed by the intestines. On the other hand, it is an organ related to the endocrine system. The gland contains the so-called islets of Langerhans, which produce insulin and glucagon (hormones that affect the amount of sugar in the blood). The imbalance of these hormones leads to obesity and diabetes.Most often, the symptoms of pancreatic diseases are associated with the above processes. But sometimes, the patient may experience signs of general malaise: weakness, fatigue, lethargy, drowsiness.
In most cases, when a patient shows signs of pancreatic inflammation, acute or chronic pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, benign neoplasms (fibrosis and pseudocysts) are diagnosed, and in rare cases, malignant. In this article, we will look at what symptoms and signs may indicate the presence of a particular pancreatic disease.
How to determine what exactly the pancreas hurts
When an inflammatory process begins to develop in the pancreas, the patient experiences pain, weakness, nausea, loss of appetite, stool disturbance. In most cases, it is associated with acute or chronic pancreatitis. A person complains of growing pain in the upper abdomen and near the navel. Sometimes the pain can radiate to the left shoulder blade, back or lower back.
There are a number of signs that indicate an inflammatory process in the pancreas:
pain “in the pit of the stomach”, aggravated after eating, radiates to the left and right hypochondrium, back and lower back; pain is felt when pressed just above the navel; “False” poisoning – nausea, diarrhea, sour vomiting.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis can occur as a result of alcohol abuse, fatty and sweet foods, baked goods, margarine, beer, carbonated drinks.
In acute pancreatitis, the patient experiences severe pain in the upper abdomen and navel. The pain can radiate to the lower back and back. There is also nausea and vomiting that does not bring relief. Then signs of general intoxication are added: high fever, upset stool, dizziness, severe weakness, dry mouth, tachycardia.After eating and lying on the back, the pain increases. A characteristic sign of pancreatitis is when sitting, when the body is tilted forward, the pain subsides.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis
The chronic form of pancreatitis occurs when the treatment of the acute stage is delayed for several months. Chronic pancreatitis can develop as a result of atherosclerosis of the vessels of the pancreas. Alcohol abuse, fatty and sugary foods can also lead to it. Diseases of the thyroid gland and liver can also become provocateurs of chronic pancreatitis.
The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are not as pronounced as in the acute stage of the disease. Patients complain of diarrhea, constipation, bloating, belching, nausea, pain in the right hypochondrium and lower back, and heaviness in the abdomen. Stools become oily, with an unusual offensive odor and undigested food debris. Very often, patients with chronic pancreatitis lose a lot of weight, since the gland does not secrete enough enzymes, as a result of which nutrients are practically not absorbed by the body.Most often, an exacerbation occurs in autumn and spring, as well as during periods of holidays and feasts.
A characteristic feature of pain in pancreatitis is a reaction to temperature – when a warm heating pad is applied to the stomach, the pain intensifies, after a heating pad with ice, it subsides.
Pain sensations intensify after eating, therefore many patients with pancreatitis limit themselves to food.
Symptoms of diabetes mellitus
This is a chronic disease of the endocrine system.It occurs when the pancreas stops releasing enough insulin into the bloodstream (type 1 diabetes), or when the body cannot use insulin properly (type 2 diabetes). An increase in blood glucose leads to metabolic disorders and damage to all systems of the human body.
Advanced pancreatitis can lead to the destruction of the cells of the pancreas, which are responsible for the production of insulin.
The most common signs of type 1 diabetes mellitus are unquenchable thirst, frequent and profuse urination, hunger, blurred vision, fatigue, lethargy, and weight loss.The patient complains of poor sleep quality, headache, chest pain, pain in the legs.
In the second type of diabetes mellitus, the body stops using insulin effectively. The pancreas produces enough insulin, but the receptors are not sensitive to it. The gland begins to work with a heavy load. Over time, the cells responsible for the production of insulin become depleted and die off.
Symptoms of the disease are very similar to those of type 1 diabetes, but appear much more slowly.The patient begins to gradually gain weight, often suffers from viral infections, complains of numbness and tingling of the toes and hands, frequent cramps. Wounds take a very long time to heal. In men, potency is impaired. All these signs appear due to damage to small blood vessels and nerve endings. Symptoms can be very mild, which is why many people find diabetes only after a few years after the onset of the disease.
Abscesses and pseudocysts
After acute pancreatitis, a patient may experience
abscesses and pseudocysts.An abscess develops within 4-6 weeks. You can suspect the presence of abscesses or pseudocysts by the following symptoms:
fever, chills; signs of pancreatic inflammation; sudden deterioration in well-being after improvement; girdle pain; nausea, vomiting; bitterness in the mouth; tense stomach.
Neoplasms in the pancreas can arise from cells that provide the production of digestive enzymes. And also from cells that produce hormones – then a hormone-active tumor appears.There is no reliable method for detecting the moment of transition of pancreatitis into a malignant tumor. Therefore, all patients with chronic pancreatitis should be registered with a competent specialist and systematically undergo an ultrasound scan of the pancreas and be tested.
90,000 The nutritionist told what breakfast provokes pancreatic cancer: April 21, 2021, 06:17
Breakfast, consisting of scrambled eggs and bacon, is a hearty, but far from the most healthy option for a morning meal.Nutritionist Svetlana Titova told “Doctor Peter” about this, Tengrinews.kz reports.
The fact is that this popular dish contains a large amount of animal protein, so the body spends a lot of energy on assimilation. That is, instead of a charge of vivacity after the first meal, one may feel heaviness, fatigue.
“But this is not the worst harm of bacon and eggs. Eating 100 grams of fried bacon daily increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by 38 percent,” Titova warned.
The specialist also listed other combinations of products familiar to many, which it is better to refuse.
So, a sandwich can cause fatigue, stomach problems, if it is a combination of cutlets and bread. Especially with coffee.
“Caffeine interferes with the absorption of B vitamins contained in bread. It is better to eat a sandwich, and after an hour, drink a cup of aromatic coffee,” the nutritionist said.
Also, the doctor recommended not to eat buckwheat with milk, since we want to get calcium from milk first of all, and iron from buckwheat porridge.Calcium interferes with the absorption of iron.
In addition, buckwheat and milk are not considered light food, so their combination can lead to malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract with all the ensuing consequences – diarrhea, flatulence or nausea, the doctor explained.
Other poorly matched foods, according to the nutritionist, are baked meat with a cheese crust. “Cheese is rich in phosphorus, and meat is rich in zinc. Separately, these products are very useful and necessary for the body, but when they are used together, phosphorus slows down the complete absorption of zinc.In addition, cheese and meat can provoke bloating, especially if there are excessive amounts of them, “- said the source.