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Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas which is a large gland that is located behind the stomach. The pancreas release digestive juices into the small intestine which may help in the digestion of food and also secretes enzymes which help in regulating the glucose levels in the body. Chronic pancreatitis usually begins in adults above the age of 40 to 50 years.
Chronic pancreatitis is a permanent inflammation of the pancreas which develops gradually over years and lasts for a longer duration. This condition is mainly caused by heavy alcohol consumption. It can be treated with intravenous fluids and by avoiding the intake of alcohol. This condition is common among men when compared to women. Men are more affected with chronic pancreatitis than women.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The signs and symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are:
The symptoms may become severe as the disease progress.
As the disease progresses, the pain becomes constant and people may experience more pain while eating or drinking.
There are different causes of chronic pancreatitis. They are:
Anyone can develop chronic pancreatitis, but there are an increased risk people:
Chronic pancreatitis may cause serious complications such as infection, pseudocyst, diabetes, malnutrition, abscess formation, and organ failure. If the fluid levels drop suddenly, it results in hypovolemic shock which is a medical emergency. In few cases, chronic pancreatitis may also lead to pancreatic cancer.
The tests involved to diagnose chronic pancreatitis are:
It may be difficult to treat chronic pancreatitis; however doctors may recommend a change in the diet and may prescribe a few medicines to relive pain. Patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis may be supplemented with pancreatitic enzymes and insulin. A diet low in fat should be followed.
In some cases when the patient suffers from severe abdominal pain, cramps, blockage of the pancreatic duct etc the doctor may recommend a surgery to treat the condition.
Patients should stop tobacco smoking and consuming alcohol to prevent attacks of the pancreatitis. It is advised to follow the medications prescribed by the doctor.
The preventive measures are as follows:
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