Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, the long, flat gland between the small intestine and spleen that secretes enzymes to digest food and secretes insulin and glucagon. When inflamed, the enzymes become active and attack the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be an acute or chronic condition that may cause mild to severe symptoms, both of which can usually be treated.
Pancreatitis is believed to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors, but heavy alcohol consumption is a leading cause of both acute and chronic cases. Gallstones can also cause acute pancreatitis by blocking the pancreatic duct.
Symptoms of pancreatitis can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition, but common symptoms include:
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid pulse
Pancreatitis can be diagnosed through a combination of blood test, stool test, pancreatic function test and imaging techniques. Treatment for this condition is important because if untreated, it can lead to infection, respiratory failure, diabetes and shock. The type of treatment depends on whether the condition is acute or chronic and aims to relieve symptoms and eliminate possible causes. Common treatment options include hospitalization, alcohol abuse treatment, pain relief, enzyme therapy and diet changes. Avoiding alcohol, smoking and foods high in fat can help reduce your risk of pancreatitis.
To learn more about our Pancreatitis Services, please contact us at (516) 627-5262 today to schedule an appointment.