Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve and it gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage. Chronic pancreatitis eventually impairs a patient’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones. The symptoms may include:
• Pain in upper abdomen
• Fatty stools, which are loose, pale, and don’t flush away easily
• Nausea and vomiting
• Unexplained weight loss
• Excessive thirst and fatigue
HOW IS CHRONIC PANCREATITIS DIAGNOSED?
Gastroenterologists diagnose the disease through enzyme tests that detect the concentration of pancreatic enzymes in the blood. Kidney and liver function tests also may be performed to confirm diagnosis. Stool tests provide further diagnosis confirmation. Imaging tests may be performed to detect inflammations.
HOW IS CHRONIC PANCREATITIS TREATED?
Treatment mainly focuses on lifestyle changes and medication to relieve the pain. Surgery is sometimes needed to treat severe chronic pain that doesn't respond to painkillers. The other types of treatment include Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), Whipple Procedure, TPIAT, Antioxidant therapies and Bilateral Thoracoscopic Splanchnicectomy.
DID YOU KNOW?
It can also be caused due to persistent alcohol abuse.