Alcoholic Pancreatitis Overview

in Alcohol

Alcoholic Pancreatitis Overview

Pancreas is a long organ that lies deep within the abdomen, and is behind the stomach. Pancreas produces crucial hormones for the body that regulate the blood sugar, and it also secretes the digestive enzymes into small intestine through ducts

What Is Alcoholic Pancreatitis

A fatal inflammation of pancreas associated with consumption of alcohol over long run is known as alcoholic pancreatitis. This inflammation is caused by destruction of pancreatic tissue by digestive enzymes and blockage of small pancreatic ducts. Alcoholic pancreatitis is a fatal disease that can be acute or chronic. Some of the common symptoms of acute and chronic pancreatitis are abdominal pain, and interference with normal functions of pancreas.

Studies indicate that excessive intake of alcohol causes damage to the pancreas. Mortality rate of patients suffering from alcoholic pancreatitis is almost 36% higher as compared to the general population. More than 50% of the alcoholic pancreatitis patients die within 20 years of onset of disease.

Alcoholic pancreatitis usually occurs in men in their forties, and the initial symptoms of the illness include acute abdominal pain and vomiting. The pain may last for 2-3 days, but in severe cases, it may persist for several weeks.

Diagnosis Of Alcoholic Pancreatitis

The diagnosis of the alcoholic pancreatitis is made on the basis of attack of abdominal pain, tenderness, and rise in blood level of pancreatic enzymes. For more than 50 years, increased amylase in the blood has been a standard test to diagnose alcoholic pancreatitis. The illness can be confirmed by using ultrasound examination, X-ray of pancreas, magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography and computed tomography.

Treatment For Alcoholic Pancreatitis

The main treatment for alcoholic pancreatitis includes fasting, pain relief, best rest and intravenous fluids. The effectiveness of administration of enzyme inhibitors and chemicals to protect against dangerously reactive molecular fragments is still debatable. Chronic alcoholic pancreatitis is not easy to treat, but avoiding alcohol reduces the frequency of attacks, and also reduces the pain. Patients are also advised to take small but frequent meal, and the diet should have minimal fat content.

For alcoholics, it might be difficult to stop drinking. But there are alcohol rehab programs and alcohol treatment centres to help the patients stop drinking. Alcoholic pancreatitis can be dangerous, and it is important to realize the importance of never touching any alcohol again. Alcoholic pancreatitis can be quite uncomfortable and painful, so take the healing process seriously, and do everything you can to get well soon. Stay away from alcohol, rich foods, sodas and caffeine, and include lots of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. And, do not forget the important of moderate exercise everyday.

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This article was published on 2010/12/07