Pancreatitis is an inflammatory and degenerative process in the pancreas. In that case, the normal secretion of digestive enzymes and insulin is damaged. Without a proper treatment, it may cause severe diseases like the diabetes and pancreatic cancer. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach that secretes digestive enzymes into the duodenum. It plays a significant role in the digestion system.
Each year a number of people suffering from pancreatitis expand. Symptoms and treatment of this disease depend on the severity of the inflammatory process and the lesion level of the pancreas.
The main victims of pancreatitis are often people who are prone to overeating, fans of fatty food and alcohol. The secretion of proteolytic enzymes is activated under the action of certain precipitating factors that can cause inflammation of the pancreas. Due to inflammation and the penetration of enzymes into the bloodstream intoxication occurs.
The pancreas enzymes are involved in the breakdown of many substances, and they are produced in the gland in an inactive form that later triggers in the duodenum. If, for some reason, an outflow from the gland is disturbed, and the enzymes are activated without going out they begin to destroy the pancreas from inside. The inflammation occurring later on contributes to the gradual replacement of the gland tissue by fat or scar tissue or to the sharp necrosis of a large portion of the pancreas.
Pancreatitis can occur in people of different ages, however, it is pretty rare in children. There can be two kinds of pancreatitis: acute (short-term, fresh) or chronic (long-term, continuing). Either kind can be very severe, even life-threatening. Each type of pancreatitis can have serious consequences and complications.
Acute pancreatitis is especially dangerous. It can develop so quickly that doctors often do not have the time to provide the emergency patient care, and in severe cases, a person is not even able to understand what is happening. There were cases of acute pancreatitis when a person died right at the table after a hearty lunch. Chronic pancreatitis significantly less often ends with the death, but only if the patient is able to keep a strict diet and completely abandons alcohol until the end of life. In case of failing these rules the chronic form of the disease with the frequent exacerbations turns into a sudden acute form and, as a result, possible fatal outcome.
But even if a patient understands and calls a doctor in time, the danger still remains. In fact, to diagnose pancreatitis especially the acute form is rather difficult; the clinical picture of acute pancreatitis often reminds the myocardial infarction. Therefore, it often happens that the patient calling for a doctor complains about heartache. So, it is very important to diagnose correctly the right variant without listening to the patient and close relatives, otherwise the precious time is lost.
The treatment of acute pancreatitis can be difficult, especially if a surgery is needed. The fact that the pancreas is located behind the stomach complicates the work of the surgeons.
But despite all of the complexity the percentage of recovery has fortunately been quite high due to different methods of timely diagnosis and treatment of acute pancreatitis. However, this requires the earliest possible detection and treatment of the disease. And here it mostly depends on the patients. The sooner they seek help willing to cooperate and agreeing to all the required tests, the more chance they have to maintain good health, and often life.
Acute pancreatitis can be divided into several types by the origin:
1) Food and alcohol origin. Viscosity of the pancreatic juice is increased because of overstimulated secretion. Mostly occurs in men in young and middle age.
2) Biliary origin. It is related to the gallstone diseases. There can be mixed forms with the cholelithiasis. Mostly occurs in women in any age.
3) Gastrogenic origin. It develops on the basis of chronic diseases of stomach and duodenum (gastritis, ulcer, diverticulum, etc.). It occurs more in men than women in young and middle age.
4) Infection origin. The pancreas is contaminated by the microbes and viruses (hepatitis, typhus, parotiditis). Mostly occurs in young men and children.
5) Vascular (ischemic) origin. Blood supply of the pancreas is impaired due to atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension, aortic aneurysm, etc. Mostly occurs in old men.
6) Toxicoallergic origin. The disease is caused by the toxins along with the allergic factor under influence of salts of heavy metals, some organic substances (paints, solvents and others) and some medications (hormones, cancer drugs). It can occur in any age.
7) Congenital pathological origin. The pancreas has already some pathological deviations like narrow ducts, wrong placement, etc. Sometimes it can be linked to the thyroid gland. Mostly it occurs in young age.
8) Traumatic and postoperative origin. It directly relates to the physical trauma of the pancreas along with blood loss, multiple injuries, complications, stress, anesthesia, etc. It can occur in any age.
Regardless of origin acute pancreatitis develops the same way.
Learn more on Pancreatitis.
Anatomy. This section tells about the anatomic structure of the pancreas and its location. Understanding the composition and placement of the grant gives a better possibility to identify the disease and react in time.
Causes or how do you get pancreatitis? Here the causes of pancreatitis are described. Knowing the reason is the major point in “how do not get pancreatitis”. Avoiding these factors will help to stay fit and healthy.
What are the symptoms of pancreatitis? This unit speaks about the symptoms of different types of pancreatitis. It is very vital to know them because it will give a chance to react right as soon as possible, especially when the case is very serious.
Testing and diagnosis. Nowadays there are many ways and equipment to make a correct diagnosis. Different tests are done to examine patient’s health in order to provide an appropriate treatment.
Treatment and complications. Anything can happen for the first time. It is always good to know what treatment can be applied in different cases. Sometimes the ambulance can be far away or the time limit is very short.
Prognosis and prevention. Following some simple rules to prevent a disease is way easier than to treat the disease. In this part preventive measures are outlined to keep away from the pain and possible negative impact. Many problems can be evaded if drinking and smoking is under control.