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What Causes Problems With The Pancreas?

Enlarged Pancreas: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Enlarged Pancreas: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments

Enlarged Pancreas: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments An enlarged pancreas can occur for many reasons. The pancreas is a gland that sits behind your stomach in the upper abdomen and helps with digestion. It produces enzymes that are secreted into the small intestine, digesting protein, fat, and carbohydrates. The pancreas also produces insulin to help regulate blood sugar (glucose), the body's main source of energy. An enlarged pancreas may mean nothing. You may simply have a pancreas that is larger than normal. Or, it can be because of an anatomic abnormality. But other causes of an enlarged pancreas may include the following: Pancreatitis occurs when digestive enzymes become active inside the pancreas, attacking and damaging its tissues. This can cause an enlarged pancreas. Acute pancreatitis is inflammation that occurs suddenly in the pancreas. It can be very serious, even life-threatening. But it usually goes away within a few days of treatment. Gallstones and alcohol are common causes of acute pancreatitis. Other causes include high levels of fats in the blood , certain drugs, certain medical procedures, and some infections. Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation that gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage in the pancreas. Heavy alcohol use is the most common cause. Other causes include heredity, cystic fibrosis , high levels of calcium or fats in the blood , certain medications , and some autoimmune conditions. Pancreatic pseudocyst is an accumulation of fluid and tissue debris in the pancreas, which can occur after a case of pancreatitis. Cystadenoma is a tumor that is usually benign. Abscess is a pus-filled cavity, usually caused by a bacterial infection . A pancreatic pseudocyst that becomes infected can become an abscess. Pancreatic cancer is an abnor Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis

What is the pancreas? The pancreas is a large gland in the abdomen located behind the stomach and next to the upper part of the small intestine (the duodenum). The pancreas has two main jobs: It discharges powerful digestive enzymes into the small intestine to aid the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. It releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones are involved in blood glucose (sugar) metabolism, regulating how the body stores and uses food for energy. What is pancreatitis? Pancreatitis is a rare disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage occurs when the digestive enzymes are activated and begin attacking the pancreas. In very severe cases, pancreatitis can result in bleeding into the gland, serious tissue damage, infection, and cyst formation. Severe pancreatitis can also cause damage if enzymes and toxins are released into the bloodstream, which can harm other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Pancreatitis develops gradually and tends to become progressively worse. There are two forms of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. What causes pancreatitis? Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that occurs over a short period of time. In more than 80% of the cases, acute pancreatitis is caused by bile duct stones or heavy alcohol use. Other causes include: Medications High triglyceride levels Infections Trauma Metabolic disorders Surgery In about 10-15% of the cases, the cause of acute pancreatitis is unknown. The severity of acute pancreatitis may range from mild abdominal (belly) discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. However, the majority of patients with acute pancreatitis (greater than 80%) recover completely after receiving the appropriate treatment. Ch Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis Symptoms, Causes, Diet, And Treatment

Pancreatitis Symptoms, Causes, Diet, And Treatment

Facts about and Definition of Pancreatitis Pancreatitis simply means inflammation of the pancreas. There are two types of pancreatitis, acute and chronic. Causes of acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis are similar; about 80%-90% are caused by alcohol abuse and gallstones (about 35%-45% for each); while the remaining 10%-20% are caused by medications, chemical exposures, trauma, hereditary diseases, infections, surgical procedures, and high fat levels in the blood and genetic abnormalities with pancreas or intestine Symptoms of acute pancreatitis most commonly begins with abdominal pain in the middle or upper left part of the abdomen and abdominal pain may increase after eating or lying flat the back. Other symptoms may include Severe acute pancreatitis symptoms and signs may show skin discoloration around the belly button or the side of the body between the ribs and hip (flank), or small erythematous skin nodules. Necrotizing pancreatitis is a severe form of acute pancreatitis characterized by necrosis in and around the pancreas. Diagnosis of pancreatitis (both acute and chronic) is done similarly. Patient history will be taken, physical exam will be performed, and various tests may be ordered. Although acute pancreatitis should not be treated at home initially, there are steps that can help prevent or reduce symptoms. The major risk factors for pancreatitis are heavy alcohol consumption and a history of gallstones; they cause about 80%-90% of pancreatitis; other factors such as genetics and medications may increase an individual's risk. Treatment of acute pancreatitis is done according to the underlying cause. Most acute cases of pancreatitis are treated in the hospital or the goal is to relieve symptoms in support body functions so that the pancreas can recover Continue reading >>

Digestive Disorders Health Center

Digestive Disorders Health Center

The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and next to the small intestine. The pancreas does two main things: It releases powerful digestive enzymes into the small intestine to aid the digestion of food. It releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body control how it uses food for energy. Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage happens when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine and begin attacking the pancreas. There are two forms of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation that lasts for a short time. It may range from mild discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. Most people with acute pancreatitis recover completely after getting the right treatment. In severe cases, acute pancreatitis can result in bleeding into the gland, serious tissue damage, infection, and cyst formation. Severe pancreatitis can also harm other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis is long-lasting inflammation of the pancreas. It most often happens after an episode of acute pancreatitis. Heavy alcohol drinking is another big cause. Damage to the pancreas from heavy alcohol use may not cause symptoms for many years, but then the person may suddenly develop severe pancreatitis symptoms. Symptoms of acute pancreatitis: Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back; it may be aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat. Fever Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis: The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are similar to those of acute pancreatitis. Patients frequently feel constant pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back. I Continue reading >>

Causes Of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (epi)

Causes Of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (epi)

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Acute Pancreatitis: Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, And Complications

Acute Pancreatitis: Symptoms, Treatment, Causes, And Complications

Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It is painful, develops quickly, and it can, in some cases, be fatal. Some mild cases resolve without treatment, but severe, acute pancreatitis can trigger potentially fatal complications. The mortality rate ranges from less than 5 percent to over 30 percent , depending on how severe the condition is and if it has reached other organs beyond the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis is estimated to affect between 4.5 and 35 in every 100,000 individuals per year. However, this figure may not include the many mild cases that resolve without medical evaluation or treatment. Every year, there are 275,000 hospitalizations for acute pancreatitis in the United States. The pancreas is a long, flat gland located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. It produces digestive enzymes and hormones, which regulate how the body processes glucose, for instance, insulin . The most common cause of pancreatitis is gallstones , but a rise in alcohol misuse is linked to an increase in incidence. Alcohol now accounts for around 30 percent of cases. Acute pancreatitis starts suddenly, but chronic pancreatitis is recurring or persistent. This article will focus on acute pancreatitis. Here are some key points about acute pancreatitis. More detail is in the main article. Pancreatitis is split into acute and chronic types. The pancreas carries out many tasks, including the production of digestive enzymes. Symptoms include pain in the center of the upper abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea . The most common causes of acute pancreatitis are gallstones and alcohol abuse. Sharp and sudden abdominal pain can be a sign of pancreatitis. Typically, the patient will experience a sudden onset of pain in the center of the upper abdomen, below the breastbone (stern Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis

What is pancreatitis? Pancreatitis is pathologic inflammation of the pancreas. Your pancreas resides behind your stomach. It secretes enzymes that help you digest food and also regulates how your body manages glucose. Pancreatitis can come and go quickly, or it can be a chronic problem. Treatment will depend on whether your pancreatitis is acute or chronic. The onset of acute pancreatitis is often very sudden. The inflammation usually clears up within several days after treatment begins. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), around 210,000 American adults are admitted to the hospital for acute pancreatitis every year. Gallstones are the most common cause of acute pancreatitis. Gallstones are small, solid masses that form from bile. A large enough gallstone can get stuck at the junction where the main pancreatic duct and the common bile duct come together to form another duct called the ampulla of Vater. These ducts empty into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. The pancreatic duct carries digestive enzymes from the pancreas. The common bile duct carries bile or other biliary substances from the liver and gallbladder. When a gallstone gets stuck here, it can cause a backup of these substances. This can lead to inflammation in both the common bile duct and pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that occurs constantly over the long haul. People with chronic pancreatitis can have permanent damage to their pancreas. Scar tissue develops from this long-term inflammation. Extensive scar tissue may cause your pancreas to stop making the normal amounts of digestive enzymes, or glucose-regulating hormones. As a result, you’re likely to have trouble digesting fats (which are needed t Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis facts About 210,000 cases of acute pancreatitis occur in the US every year. Pancreatitis causes abdominal pain. Pancreatitis can be an acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) condition. The hallmark symptom of acute pancreatitis is abdominal pain. Other signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis are: tenderness of the abdomen to touch Diagnosis of pancreatitis is generally with blood and imaging tests. Most cases of acute pancreatitis require hospitalization; however, treatment of chronic pancreatitis may be managed in an outpatient setting. Complications of pancreatitis may include: malnutrition infection pseudocyst formation Pancreatitis can range from a mild, self-limited disease to a condition with life- threatening complications. What's Causing Your Abdominal Pain? Certain persistent changes in stool color are characteristic for specific conditions such as: Pale yellow, greasy, foul-smelling stool: malabsorption of fat due to pancreatic insufficiency, as seen with pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease Black, foul-smelling stool: intestinal bleeding due to ulcers, tumors; Ingestion of iron or bismuth maroon stool: intestinal bleeding due to ulcers, tumors, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis Clay-colored stool: lack of bile due to blockage of the main bile duct pale yellow, greasy, foul-smelling stool: Pancreatitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is an abdominal gland situated behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. The main function of the pancreas is to secrete hormones and enzymes that help with digestion and regulate blood sugar (glucose) metabolism. The digestive enzymes are released via the pancreatic duct into the small intestine where they are activated to help break down fat Continue reading >>

Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer

Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatic Cancer

The symptoms of exocrine pancreatic cancers and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are often different, so they are described separately. Having one or more of the symptoms below does not mean you have pancreatic cancer. In fact, many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by other conditions. Still, if you have any of these symptoms, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed. Signs and symptoms of exocrine pancreatic cancer Early pancreatic cancers often do not cause any signs or symptoms. By the time they do cause symptoms, they have often already spread outside the pancreas. Jaundice is yellowing of the eyes and skin. Most people with pancreatic cancer (and nearly all people with ampullary cancer) will have jaundice as one of their first symptoms. Jaundice is caused by the buildup of bilirubin, a dark yellow-brown substance made in the liver. Normally, the liver excretes bilirubin as part of a liquid called bile. Bile goes through the common bile duct into the intestines, where it helps break down fats. It eventually leaves the body in the stool. When the common bile duct becomes blocked, bile cant reach the intestines, and the level of bilirubin in the body builds up. Cancers that start in the head of the pancreas are near the common bile duct. These cancers can press on the duct and cause jaundice while they are still fairly small, which can sometimes lead to these tumors being found at an early stage. But cancers that start in the body or tail of the pancreas dont press on the duct until they have spread through the pancreas. By this time, the cancer has often spread beyond the pancreas as well. When pancreatic cancer spreads, it often goes to the liver. This can also lead to jaundice. Dark u Continue reading >>

Frequently Asked Questions About Pancreatic And Biliary Diseases

Frequently Asked Questions About Pancreatic And Biliary Diseases

What is the pancreas? It is a "silent," solid organ positioned behind the stomach in the upper part of the abdomen. The body's main digestive organ, the pancreas is composed of different cells that serve distinct functions. Some cells produce digestive "juices" or enzymes, while the others produce hormones. The pancreatic enzymes break down the three types of nutritional elements: protease digests proteins; lipase digests fat; and amylase digests carbohydrates. Once manufactured, the digestive enzymes empty into channels (ducts), eventually draining into the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. Food that passes through the duodenum stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes. The most important hormone the pancreas produces is insulin, which controls the amount of glucose in our bloodstream. When an insufficient amount of insulin is secreted, the body's cells are unable to take in glucose, which raises glucose levels in the bloodstream and may ultimately lead to diabetes (though it is not the principal cause of diabetes). In addition to insulin, the pancreas makes other hormones, all of which pass into the blood that flows through the organ (not through the ducts used by the enzymes). What are the most common problems that affect the pancreas? Normally the pancreas does not cause us much trouble, but when it does, the symptoms can be quite bothersome and, in some cases, fatal. Pancreatitis is the most common pancreatic condition, categorized as either acute and chronic. In acute pancreatitis the organ suddenly becomes swollen and releases digestive juices into the bloodstream. Depending on how severe it is, acute pancreatitis can cause pain, fever, shortness of breath or kidney problems, among other symptoms. In rare cases death may result fr Continue reading >>

What's To Know About Chronic Pancreatitis?

What's To Know About Chronic Pancreatitis?

Chronic pancreatitis is a long-term progressive inflammatory disease of the pancreas that leads to permanent breakdown of the structure and function of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland organ that is located in the abdomen, behind the stomach and below the ribcage. It specializes in producing important enzymes and hormones that help break down and digest foods. It also makes insulin to moderate the levels of sugar in the blood. The most common cause is long-term alcohol abuse - it is thought to account for between 70 and 80 percent of all cases. Chronic pancreatitis results in over 122,000 visits to a doctor and 56,000 hospitalizations annually in the United States. Significantly more men than women are affected. Treatment The following treatments are commonly recommended for chronic pancreatitis. Lifestyle changes People with chronic pancreatitis will need to undergo some lifestyle changes. These will include: Stopping alcohol consumption: Giving up drinking will help prevent further damage to the pancreas. It will also contribute significantly towards relieving the pain. Some people may need professional help to quit alcohol. Stopping tobacco use: Smoking is not a cause of pancreatitis, but it can accelerate the progression of the disease. Pain management Treatment should not only focus on helping ease the pain symptoms, but also depression which is a common consequence of long-term pain. Doctors will usually use a step-by-step approach, in which mild painkillers are prescribed, gradually becoming stronger until pain becomes manageable. Insulin The pancreas may stop producing insulin if the damage is extensive. The individual is likely to have developed diabetes type 1. Regular insulin treatment will become part of the treatment for the rest of the person's life. Continue reading >>

Symptoms & Causes Of Pancreatitis

Symptoms & Causes Of Pancreatitis

The main symptom of acute and chronic pancreatitis is pain in your upper abdomen that may spread to your back People with acute or chronic pancreatitis may feel the pain in different ways. Acute pancreatitis usually starts with pain that begins slowly or suddenly in your upper abdomen People with acute pancreatitis usually look and feel seriously ill and need to see a doctor right away. The main symptom of pancreatitis is pain in your upper abdomen that may spread to your back. feel pain in the upper abdomen, although some people have no pain at all. People with chronic pancreatitis may not have symptoms until they have complications. Seek care right away for the following symptoms of severe pancreatitis: pain or tenderness in the abdomen that is severe or becomes worse yellowish color of the skin or whites of the eyes, called jaundice blockage of the pancreas, gallbladder, or a bile and pancreatic duct Left untreated, these problems can be fatal. The most common causes of both acute and chronic pancreatitis are The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is having gallstones. Gallstones cause inflammation of your pancreas as stones pass through and get stuck in a bile or pancreatic duct. This condition is called gallstone pancreatitis . The most common causes of chronic pancreatitis are In many cases, doctors cant find the cause of pancreatitis. This is called idiopathic pancreatitis. This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findingsthrough its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health anddisease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Conte Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis Symptoms & Treament | Wake Gastroenterology

Pancreatitis Symptoms & Treament | Wake Gastroenterology

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum. The duodenum is the upper part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine through a tube called the pancreatic duct. These enzymes help digest fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body use the glucose it takes from food for energy. Normally, digestive enzymes do not become active until they reach the small intestine, where they begin digesting food. But if these enzymes become active inside the pancreas, they start digesting the pancreas itself. Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and lasts for a short period of time and usually resolves. Chronic pancreatitis does not resolve itself and results in a slow destruction of the pancreas. Either form can cause serious complications. In severe cases, bleeding, tissue damage, and infection may occur. Pseudocysts accumulations of fluid and tissue debris may also develop. And enzymes and toxins may enter the bloodstream, injuring the heart, lungs, and kidneys, or other organs. Some people have more than one attack and recover completely after each, but acute pancreatitis can be a severe, life-threatening illness with many complications. About 80,000 cases occur in the United States each year; some 20 percent of them are severe. Acute pancreatitis occurs more often in men than women. Acute pancreatitis is usually caused by gallstones or by drinking too much alcohol, but these arent the only causes. If alcohol use and gallstones are ruled out, other possible causes of pancreatitis should be carefully examined so that appropriate treatment if available c Continue reading >>

Common Disorders Of The Pancreas

Common Disorders Of The Pancreas

There are a variety of disorders of the pancreas including acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, hereditary pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer. The evaluation of pancreatic diseases can be difficult due to the inaccessibility of the pancreas. There are multiple methods to evaluate the pancreas. Initial tests of the pancreas include a physical examination, which is difficult since the pancreas is deep in the abdomen near the spine. Blood tests are often helpful in determining whether the pancreas is involved in a specific symptom but may be misleading. The best radiographic tests to evaluate the structure of the pancreas include CAT (computed tomography) scan, endoscopic ultrasound, and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Tests to evaluate the pancreatic ducts include ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) and MRCP(magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography). There are also instances in which surgical exploration is the only way to confirm the diagnosis of pancreatic disease. Acute Pancreatitis Acute pancreatitis is a sudden attack causing inflammation of the pancreas and is usually associated with severe upper abdominal pain. The pain may be severe and last several days. Other symptoms of acute pancreatitis include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and fever. In the United States, the most common cause of acute pancreatitis is gallstones. Other causes include chronic alcohol consumption, hereditary conditions, trauma, medications, infections, electrolyte abnormalities, high lipid levels, hormonal abnormalities, or other unknown causes. The treatment is usually supportive with medications showing no benefit. Most patients with acute pancreatitis recover completely. For more information on acute pancreatitis, please visit here. Chronic Pancreatitis Continue reading >>

Pancreatic Diseases

Pancreatic Diseases

The pancreas is a gland behind your stomach and in front of your spine. It produces juices that help break down food and hormones that help control blood sugar levels. Problems with the pancreas can lead to many health problems. These include Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas: This happens when digestive enzymes start digesting the pancreas itself Cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder in which thick, sticky mucus can also block tubes in your pancreas The pancreas also plays a role in diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the beta cells of the pancreas no longer make insulin because the body's immune system has attacked them. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas loses the ability to secrete enough insulin in response to meals. Diabetes means your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. With type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose get into your cells to give them energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in your blood. Over time, high blood glucose can lead to serious problems with your heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and gums and teeth. You have a higher risk of type 2 diabetes if you are older, have obesity, have a family history of diabetes, or do not exercise. Having prediabetes also increases your risk. Prediabetes means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. If you are at risk for type 2 diabetes, you may be able to delay or prevent developing it by making some lifestyle changes. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes appear slowly. Some people do not notice symptoms at all. The symptoms can include Being very thirsty Urinating often Feeling very hungry or tired Losing weight without trying Having sores that heal slowly Having bl Continue reading >>

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