Without a healthy pancreas, you couldn’t digest food or process sugar normally. The long, flat organ sits in your upper abdomen, just behind your stomach, and produces important enzymes.
When you have pancreatitis, it means your pancreas is inflamed. While acute pancreatitis develops suddenly, chronic pancreatitis happens gradually, flaring up on and off over the years.
Pancreatitis can be life-threatening, but early diagnosis and treatment can go far in protecting your life and well-being. For that reason, understanding the common signs is important.
Dr. Sreelatha Reddy and the team at Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. in Sugar Land, Texas, apply their wealth of knowledge and experience to prevent, diagnose, and treat pancreatitis so that you can heal quickly.
Take a few minutes to learn more about this disease, including five signs of the two types.
Whether you have acute or chronic pancreatitis, your symptoms stem from inflammation. And you’re much more likely to develop them if you drink excessively, smoke, or have gallstones.
High triglyceride or calcium levels, abdominal trauma, viral infections, and certain medications, such as corticosteroids, can also fuel acute pancreatitis.
If you experience acute pancreatitis more than once, you may be on the road to developing chronic pancreatitis.
If you notice pancreatitis symptoms, Dr. Reddy and her team at Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. can rule out or diagnose the condition using a thorough exam and tests, such as a blood test, stool test, and ultrasound.
If pancreatitis is confirmed, your initial treatment may involve allowing your pancreas to rest by giving you IV fluids and electrolytes and having you fast for several days. This can help prevent further irritation while the inflammation settles down.
If your symptoms seem linked with alcohol, Dr. Reddy is likely to recommend strict abstinence from drinking. For gallstone-related issues, you may need gallstone or gallbladder removal.
If you’re dealing with chronic pancreatitis, you might need enzyme supplements to help you properly digest food. Eating a low-fat diet and drinking enough fluids may also help.
And if your condition is severe, Dr. Reddy may recommend pancreas removal.
To learn more about pancreatitis or get the care you need, call Houston Gastrointestinal & Liver Clinic, P.A. today or request your appointment online.