Pancreatitis is the anomaly of inflammation in the pancreas. Pancreas is a large organ located behind the stomach that produces digestive juices and digestive hormones which are insulin and glucagon. Pancreatitis causing inflammation can lead to the excessive swelling of the pancreas . This can cause the digestive juices secreted by the pancreas to get trapped and start digesting the pancreas itself. This can lead to excessive organ damage if not treated properly and fast.
There are two types of pancreatitis, one is acute and the other is chronic pancreatitis.
Its a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that last for a short time. Th attacks are usually mild and only around 20% of the cases are severe. They usually resolve completely after proper medication. There can be more than one attack though but the pancreas always returns to its normal state. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is heavy alcohol use and gallstones. Gallstones are small, solid masses that form from bile. Other causes can be direct trauma, certain types of medications and infections and tumors. Treatment for acute pancreatitis involves intravenous fluids, pain medications and sometimes antibiotics. There can also be restrictions on food eating and nutrition is provided using a tube which goes straight into the stomach. A surgical process known as “Endoscopic Retrograde Chlolangiopancreatography” is usually carried out when the pancreatic ducts get blocked. For those suffering from gallstones, the entire gallbladder is also removed.
When pancreatitis occurs repeatedly, then its known as chronic pancreatitis. This is dangerous since it can lead to permanent damage to the pancreas and scar tissue start to develop due to repeated occurrences. Scar tissue can then halter the normal functioning of the pancreas by not making the ample amount of digestive enzymes. This can lead to troubles in digesting fats. Heavy alcoholism is the most common cause for chronic pancreatitis. Certain genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis can also lead to this.
The most common symptom for acute pancreatitis is severe abdominal pain in the upper region or left quadrant burning pain which can radiate towards the back of the body which can get further aggravated by eating foods rich in fat content. Then there can be nausea and vomiting and this can get worse with eating. There will be high fever and the hear will be elevated as well.
In case of chronic pancreatitis, the symptoms are pretty much the same. There can however be weight loss in the body which is because of mal-absorption due to damage to the pancreas due to repeated occurrences of pancreatitis. The glands do not produce the required amount of enzymes to break down food which leads to weight loss. Diabetes may also occur if the pancreatic tissues responsible for producing insulin also get damaged.
Around 80-90% cases of pancreatitis are caused by alcohol abuse or gallstones. Gallstones will lead to acute pancreatitis whereas alcohol can make the condition chronic.
Then there are certain medications as well that can lead to pancreatitis. Corticosteroids such as prednisolone, HIV medications like didanosine and pentamidine, estrogen which increases triglcerides in blood all can lead to pancreatitis. Other common causes could include trauma, infections like mumps, high calcium level in blood and hypothermia. Dibetes mellitus type 2 increases the risk of getting pancreas divisum which is a congenial defect.
There are other factors which are not as common as the one mentioned above. They are aoncreatic cancer, pancreatic duct stones, inflammation of the blood vessels of the pancreas, coxsackievirus and prophyria.
There is this funny sounding mnemonic which is used by physicians to memorize the causes of pancretitis, which is as follows:
I GET SMASHED
E: Ethanol (Alcohol)
S: Scorpion stings/Spider bites
H: Hyperlipidaemia, Hypothermia, Hyperparathyroidism
E: Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography.
The following tests are done for diagnosis of pancreatitis:
Sound waves are sent toward the pancreas via a handheld device that a technician glides over the abdomen. The sound waves bounce off the pancreas, gallbladder, liver, and other organs, and their echoes generate electrical impulses that create an image—called a sonogram—on a video monitor. If gallstones are causing inflammation, the sound waves will also bounce off of them, showing their location.
After spraying a solution to numb the patient’s throat, the doctor inserts an endoscope—a thin, flexible, lighted tube—down the throat, through the stomach, and into the small intestine. They then turn on an ultrasound attachment to the endoscope, which produces sound waves to create visual images of the pancreas and bile ducts. To read more about endoscopic ultrasounds, please click here.
Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
This is a non-invasive procedure which produces images of the cross-sectional area of the body parts. The patient lies inside a cylindrical tube and the technician injects dye in to the veins. This highlights the gall bladder, pancreas and bile ducts.
Computerized tomography (CT)
A CT scan uses X-ray to produce three dimensional images of the body. The patient lies on a table which is then slid into a doughnut shaped machine which release the X-rays. This can reveal the gallstones if any.
Treatment for acute pancreatitis involves admission to the hospital and complete bed rest. In order for the pancreas to heal and recuperate the fluids and nutrition are directly injected into the stomach which is called nasogastric feeding. Oral diet is not restarted untill about 2 weeks. Surgery may be carried out if the the doctor finds the presence of gallstone or any other kind of blockage in the bile duct.
Home Remedies For Pancreatitis
We have grouped together, few of the best home remedies for pancreatitis. Use these natural remedies for easy and effective cure and treatment for your pancreatic disorder.
This is a well known herb which has been in extensive use in alternative medicinal practices like Ayurveda. It has a chemical called taraxacin which is one of the tonics for all sorts of problems related to stomach, liver and pancreas. It helps clean the liver and blood, along with improving digestion. This in turn can boost the production of bile which deceases the pressure on the pancreas and as a result prevents it from getting damaged. This reduction in damage can help reduce inflammation and pain. Dandelion tea acts as a tonic for the pancreas, stomach and liver and can be prepared by boiling 2-3 teaspoons of chopped grounded dandelion in 1 glass of water. Use this as one of the best home remedies for pancreatitis.
Turmeric is one of the most recommended home remedies for pancreatitis as it is readily available in every household. Since turmeric is a very important part of Indian cuisine, it has been heavily used in Ayurveda to treat various kinds of diseases and health disorders, including pancreatitis.
Turmeric is the only natural source of curcumin, a type of volatile oil that behaves in the same way as NSAID medications and has been found to be as effective as NSAIDs. Several clinical studies have shown that the medicinal properties of turmeric can actually prevent pancreatitis from becoming acute or chronic. The medicinal properties of turmeric have also been proven to prevent lung damage caused due to pancreatitis. The other reason which can be responsible for turmeric’s effectiveness is its vitamin C content, as doctors say that taking vitamin C can actually help the body to recover from the damage incurred by pancreatitis.
This herb has been trusted by herbalists for thousands of years to healing damaged liver, pancreas and stomach. It consists of a flavanoid called as “silymarin” which give this plant the power to heal damaged liver. Its also an excellent source for vitamin E which helps in repairing damaged liver and pancreas. One of the best home remedies for pancreatitis.
This is one of the most used cooking oil in cooking shows. Its popular because of its numerous health benefits. It also has ample amounts of falvanoids which prevent damage to pancreas, it also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties which help in reducing the pain and inflammation of pancreas during an attack of pancreatitis. One of the best safest, home remedies for pancreatitis.
Its always recommended to use it as medium of cooking oil for patients who are suffering from pancreatitis.
Licorice is a famous herb in traditional Chinese medical practices. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is one of the major bioactive compounds found in licorice, which can be the major reason behind the herb’s effectiveness for treating pancreatitis. Licorice being a bitter herb also acts as a liver and stomach tonic, which in turn helps to heal the pancreas. To top that, the triterpenes like glycyrrhetic acid (GA) and glycyrrhizin present in licorice are potent anti-inflammatory agents, which help to reduce the associated inflammation and pain to a great extent.
Use these simple and natural home remedies for pancreatitis to treat and cure your pancreatic problem naturally and effectively. The effective and regular use of these home remedies for pancreatitis will definitely help you get rid of the problem naturally.