Pancreas, the gland located deep in abdomen is an organ that has two types of glands: exocrine glands (responsible for producing juice that helps break down food) and endocrine glands (which release hormones that help regulate blood sugar). Though gradually worsening persistent abdominal pain with progressive symptoms of inadequate absorption of nutrients and development of diabetes mellitus because the pancreascannot produce enough insulin.
Cause: •Pancreatic duct joins common bile duct before entering the duodenum, first part of small intestine. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is temporary blockage of pancreatic duct by a gallstone. Less common causes include injury to the pancreas, other obstructions to pancreatic duct such as stones that may form when the blood calcium is too high, viral infection by mumps, alcohol abuse, adverse reactions to certain drugs or a peptic ulcer that has penetrated gut wall and damaged the pancreas. A poorly functioning pancreas can cause digestion problems and diabetes.
•Acute pancreatitis causes sudden severe upper and central abdominal pain that spreads through to the back, and often accompanied by vomiting and shock
•Chronic pancreatitis can lead to diabetes or pancreatic cancer
•Constricting dull pain in epigastric region and left hypochondria, periodically turning spasmodic
•Heart and respiratory rates are often elevated
•Nausea and vomiting
•Steatorrhea, oily, smelly stool
•Pain in upper abdomen that may radiate to back
•Skin and eyes appear to be yellowish
•Tendency to diarrhea, worsen after eating dairy foods and sweets
•Tenderness in abdomen or heavy sensation after meals
•Unexplained weight loss from a lack of pancreatic enzymes hindering digestion
•Urination dark, cloudy
•Weakness and fatigue
Risk: factors for damaging pancreatitis may include; •smoking•diabetes•chronic pancreatitis, most often the result of alcoholism, and less often of cystic fibrosis •Hypercalcemia may cause by overactive hyperparathyroidism, high triglycerides.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis is by finding increased levels of pancreatic enzymes in blood and tests to discover gallstones or other causes are performed. After an attack symptom usually subside and blood enzymes return to normal within few days. It is based on blood tests of pancreatic function and x-rays, ultrasound.
Prevention: following may help to reduce the risk, if:
•Avoid alcohol consumption
•Avoid pancreatic toxins
•Following a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains •Getting regular exercise •Maintaining a healthy weight
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