What is pancreatitis?
It is an inflammatory process of the pancreas in which the powerful digestive enzymes are activated while still in the pancreas and auto digest the gland itself.
What are the symptoms of acute pancreatitis?
If you have acute pancreatitis, you may suddenly develop a really bad pain in the middle of your tummy.
This pain usually builds up over a few hours, is constant and may travel into your back. Eating can make it worse, while leaning forward may make it better.
While pain is a common symptom, some people with acute pancreatitis don’t develop any pain at all.
Other symptoms of acute pancreatitis can include:
- loss of appetite
- a temperature of 38°C or higher
- a tender or swollen tummy
How is pancreatitis managed?
Once confirmed, immediate hospitalization is necessary. To manage acute pancreatitis, prompt intravenous hydration is of utmost importance. Monitor urine output as a marker of acute hydration.
- Initially, no food and water are given orally.
- A low-fat soft diet is started only
- In absence of nausea and vomiting
- When the patient feels hungry
- He/she starts passing flatus
- The intensity of pain decreases
When a patient cannot meet their caloric needs orally, nutrition in the form of total parenteral nutrition is given, directly through the vein of the patient. To control pain opioids are used as continuous infusions or tablets. Antibiotics are only administered if the infection is suspected.
At-home pain in chronic pancreatitis is managed with ibuprofen tablets. Antioxidants and oral pancreatic enzyme therapy are also given.
To relieve obstruction in the pancreatic duct endoscopic therapy is done in both acute and chronic pancreatitis.
When to see a doctor
Acute pancreatitis can be life-threatening if it’s not treated quickly, so see a doctor at Triborough GI if you suddenly develop really bad tummy pain or think you may have acute pancreatitis.