Chronic Pancreatitis

As it is evident from the name itself that chronic pancreatitis is a crucial medical condition of the pancreas. The pancreas becomes chronically inflamed and loses function gradually

What is chronic pancreatitis?
As you must have already known that the function of pancreas involves the production of important digestive enzymes which helps in breaking down the food particles. Another function of this organ involves the production of hormones that control the sugar level in the bloodstream. Chronic pancreatitis is referred to that condition when the pancreas gets inflamed from time to time and this inflammation gradually affects the functioning of the organ and also causes chronic abdomen, in pain.

What are the causes of chronic pancreatitis?
The causes of chronic pancreatitis are:
The main cause of chronic pancreatitis is alcohol abuse. Long-term exposure to alcohol leads to a wide range of disorders including chronic pancreatitis.
It might also result due to the occurrence of autoimmune disorders. These disorders occur when the body cells get confused and attack the healthy cells instead of the affected ones.
Chronic pancreatitis results when the pancreatic duct becomes blocked due to the formation of gallstones.
Cystic fibrosis can also lead to chronic pancreatitis.
If a person has a narrow pancreatic duct, then to he or she may suffer from chronic pancreatitis.
A high level of either calcium or triglyceride fats can lead to chronic pancreatitis too. 

What are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis?
The symptoms of pancreatitis are as follows:
A pain in the region of upper abdomen accompanies by diarrhea like condition is very common.
Fatty stools are also seen. You will identify them by their pale and loose appearance. They are not flushed easily.
The person who has chronic pancreatitis will feel thirsty from time to time and also get fatigued easily.
He or she will experience a shortness of breath.
If the conditions are severe, then there might be pancreatic fluids present in your abdomen.
An intestinal blockage or internal bleeding is also seen.
Jaundice might also occur.

What is the line of treatment for chronic pancreatitis?
The several possible treatment measures for chronic pancreatitis are as follows:
Medications: Yes, medications can be effective in chronic pancreatitis. The medications can give you relief from the excruciating pain. They can also help you with the digestive process if the level of your enzymes is too low. If you are suffering from autoimmune pancreatitis, the doctor might prescribe you some steroids.
Endoscopy: An endoscope can be used in case of chronic pancreatitis if the condition has resulted from some blockage. The endoscope has the ability to clear the blockage.
Surgery: Surgical methods are indicated in cases of severe chronic pancreatitis where the pain has not responded to medications.


Authored By Dr G Parthasarathy - Surgical Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad