4 Effective Treatments for Pancreatitis

4 Effective Treatments for Pancreatitis

Your pancreas is a long, flat gland that sits behind your stomach in your upper abdomen. Without it, your body wouldn't be able to digest food or process blood sugar normally. 

When your pancreas becomes inflamed, you have pancreatitis. And whether it occurs suddenly, a condition known as acute pancreatitis, or you deal with ongoing, chronic symptoms, it can be intensely painful and even debilitating.

Dr. Sreelatha Reddy and our team at Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. in Sugar Land, Texas, are pleased to provide diagnostics and care for pancreatitis, with the aim of helping you recover as quickly as possible. Here, we explore four effective pancreatitis treatments. 

1. Dietary steps

If you have chronic pancreatitis, Dr. Reddy may recommend enzyme supplements to help you better digest food. After an acute flare-up, you may benefit from eating as soon as you’re able.

While it was once believed that fasting helped the pancreas recover, current data suggests that eating once you can tolerate food enhances healing. 

As your pancreas becomes less inflamed and the pain subsides, you may benefit from bland foods and clear liquids. From there, you can gradually return to your usual diet. If symptoms linger, we may recommend a feeding tube to make sure your nutrition needs are met.

2. Gallbladder removal

In some cases, pancreatitis is brought on by gallstones. When this is the case, Dr. Reddy and her team may recommend having your gallbladder surgically removed. 

If your bile duct is blocked by a gallstone, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) can be used to remove it. During this procedure, a tiny tube is inserted through your mouth to retrieve the gallstone. 

3. Abstaining from alcohol

Pancreatitis can also stem from excessive alcohol consumption, such as having several drinks daily for years. 

If you can’t give up alcohol on your own, you may need treatment for alcohol dependence. If you continue to drink alcohol while living with pancreatitis, you run the risk of severe complications, such as tissue damage and infection. 

4. Pain management

For many people, the pain caused by pancreatitis makes it difficult to go about life as usual. If you have chronic pancreatitis, you may find yourself dealing with ongoing abdominal pain

Your recommended treatment for chronic pain may involve over-the-counter medications or a referral to a pain specialist. Eating a low-fat diet, avoiding alcohol, or having your bile ducts drained may also help. 

To learn more about pancreatitis or to get the treatment you need, call Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. today or request an appointment through our website.

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