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What Will Happen If The Pancreas Is Damaged?

Pancreatitis - What Happens

Pancreatitis - What Happens

Pancreatitis usually appears as a sudden (acute) attack of pain in the upper area of the belly (abdomen). The disease may be mild or severe. Most people with pancreatitis have mild acute pancreatitis. The disease does not affect their other organs, and these people recover without problems. In most cases, the disease goes away within a week after treatment begins. Treatment takes place in the hospital with pain medicines and intravenous (IV) fluids. After inflammation goes away, the pancreas usually returns to normal. In some cases, pancreatic tissue is permanently damaged or even dies (necrosis). These complications increase the risk of infection and organ failure. In severe cases, pancreatitis can be fatal. Long-term pancreatitis (chronic pancreatitis) may occur after one or more episodes of acute pancreatitis. The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is long-term alcohol abuse. What happens during the course of chronic pancreatitis varies. Ongoing pain and complications often occur. Complications may include flare-ups of symptoms, fluid buildup, and blockage of a blood vessel, the bile duct, or the small intestine. If much of your pancreatic tissue has died, you may become malnourished. This happens because the pancreas no longer produces enzymes needed to digest fat and protein. So fat is released into your stool. This condition, called steatorrhea, causes loose, pale, unusually foul-smelling stools that may float in the toilet bowl. If the damaged pancreas stops making enough insulin, you also may develop diabetes. Chronic pancreatitis increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. About 4 out of 100 people with chronic pancreatitis develop this cancer.1 Continue reading >>

What Is The Pancreas?

What Is The Pancreas?

. www.digestivedisorders.org.uk/ .. (List of fact sheets online .. Click here 1/2006). The pancreas is a large and important gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum. It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. This leaflet describes what and where the pancreas is, how it works, what can go wrong with it, how your doctor can diagnose diseases of the pancreas and how they are treated. Where is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a solid gland about 10 inches (25cm) long. It is attached to the back of the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and is shaped like a tadpole. Its head is just to the right of the mid-line and its body and tail point upwards at an angle so that the tail is situated just beneath the extreme edge of the left side of the ribs. The head is closely attached to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), into which the stomach empties food and liquid, already partially digested. It is to this partially digested food that the pancreas adds its digestive juices (enzymes). The tube draining the liver of its bile (the bile duct) lies just behind the head of the pancreas and usually joins the bowel at the same place where the fluids from the pancreas enter the bowel. Running behind the body of the pancreas are many important blood vessels. Because of its position in the body, it is not easy for a surgeon to operate on the pancreas. What can the Pancreas do? Food consists of carbohydrates (e.g. starch), proteins (e.g. meat), and fat (e.g. butter), and digestion is not possible without the enzymes produced by the pancreas. The pancreas makes a number of different enzymes each of which is responsible for breaking down the different types of food into small particles suitable for absorption. The Continue reading >>

Pancreas: Functions And Possible Problems

Pancreas: Functions And Possible Problems

The pancreas is a gland organ. It is located in the abdomen. It is part of the digestive system and produces insulin and other important enzymes and hormones that help break down foods. The pancreas has an endocrine function because it releases juices directly into the bloodstream, and it has an exocrine function because it releases juices into ducts. Enzymes, or digestive juices, are secreted by the pancreas into the small intestine. There, it continues breaking down food that has left the stomach. The pancreas also produces the hormone insulin and secretes it into the bloodstream, where it regulates the body's glucose or sugar level. Problems with insulin control can lead to diabetes. Here are some key points about the pancreas. More detail is in the main article. The pancreas is a gland organ with a key role in digestion and glucose control. A healthful diet can contribute to maintaining a healthy pancreas. Features of the pancreas The pancreas is an organ 6 to 8 inches long. It extends horizontally across the abdomen. The largest part lays on the right side of the abdomen where the stomach attaches to the first part of the small intestine, the duodenum. At this point, the partially digested food passes from the stomach into the small intestine, and it mixes with the secretions from the pancreas. The narrow part of the pancreas extends to the left side of the abdomen next to the spleen. A duct runs the length of the pancreas, and it is joined by several small branches from the glandular tissue. The end of this duct is connected to a similar duct that comes from the liver, which delivers bile to the duodenum. Around 95 percent of the pancreas is exocrine tissue. It produces pancreatic enzymes to aid digestion. A healthy pancreas makes about 2.2 pints (1 liter) of thes Continue reading >>

Acute Pancreatitis | Symptoms, Causes And Treatment | Patient

Acute Pancreatitis | Symptoms, Causes And Treatment | Patient

The pancreas is in the upper tummy (abdomen) and lies behind the stomach and guts (intestines). It makes a fluid that contains chemicals (enzymes) which are needed to digest food. The enzymes are made in the pancreatic cells and are passed into tiny tubes (ducts). These ducts join together like branches of a tree to form the main pancreatic duct. This drains the enzyme-rich fluid into the part of the gut just after the stomach (called the duodenum). The enzymes are in an inactive form in the pancreas (otherwise they would digest the pancreas). They are 'activated' in the duodenum to digest food. Groups of special cells called 'islets of Langerhans' are scattered throughout the pancreas. These cells make the hormones insulin and glucagon. The hormones are passed (secreted) directly into the bloodstream to control the blood sugar level. The bile duct carries bile from the liver and gallbladder. This joins the pancreatic duct just before it opens into the duodenum. Bile also passes into the duodenum and helps to digest food. Pancreatitis means inflammation of the pancreas. There are two types: Acute pancreatitis - the inflammation develops quickly, over a few days or so. It often goes away completely and leaves no permanent damage. Sometimes it is serious. Chronic pancreatitis - the inflammation is persistent. The inflammation tends to be less intense than acute pancreatitis but as it is ongoing it can cause scarring and damage. Chronic pancreatitis is not dealt with further in this leaflet. See separate leaflet called Chronic Pancreatitis for more details . About 4 in 100,000 people have acute pancreatitis each year in the UK. Acute pancreatitis has become more common in recent years. One of the reasons for this is that there has been an increase in alcohol consumption r Continue reading >>

What Can Happen If The Pancreas Stops Working?

What Can Happen If The Pancreas Stops Working?

Food consists of carbohydrates (e.g. starch), proteins (e.g. meat), and fat (e.g. butter), and digestion is not possible without the enzymes produced by the pancreas. All the body’s cells use glucose (sugar) as an energy source. The level of sugar in the blood is kept constant by insulin, which is made by special cells in the pancreas. If the cells are not working properly and insulin is lacking then diabetes develops. Depending upon how badly the pancreas fail there are two problems. The first is that food is poorly absorbed, which causes weight loss, and there is diarrhea, often rather fatty as the undigested fat causes pale, bulky and smelly motions. The second is, if too little insulin is made, diabetes develops with frequent passage of urine and weight loss. Failure of Pancreas may cause: Pseudocyst. Acute pancreatitis can cause fluid and debris to collect in cystlike pockets in your pancreas. A large pseudocyst that ruptures can cause complications such as internal bleeding and infection. Infection. Acute pancreatitis can make your pancreas vulnerable to bacteria and infection. Pancreatic infections are serious and require intensive treatment, such as surgery to remove the infected tissue. Kidney failure. Acute pancreatitis may cause kidney failure, which can be treated with dialysis if the kidney failure is severe and persistent. Breathing problems. Acute pancreatitis can cause chemical changes in your body that affect your lung function, causing the level of oxygen in your blood to fall to dangerously low levels. Diabetes. Damage to insulin-producing cells in your pancreas from chronic pancreatitis can lead to diabetes, a disease that affects the way your body uses blood sugar. Malnutrition. Both acute and chronic pancreatitis can cause your pancreas to produc Continue reading >>

5 Warning Signs Your Pancreas Is In Trouble

5 Warning Signs Your Pancreas Is In Trouble

Quick, say the first thing that pops into your head when you read the word "pancreas." If you said "cancer," you're not alone. Most people only think about their pancreas when they hear about pancreatic cancer—which is the deadliest form of cancer in terms of 5-year survival rates. "Part of the reason survival rates are so low is that identifying pancreatic cancer early is difficult," says Andrew Hendifar, MD, codirector of pancreas oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Early detection is also tough when it comes to non-cancer pancreas problems, says Ted Epperly, MD, president of Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. Tucked deep in your abdomen, your pancreas is a long, flat organ that produces enzymes and hormones that aid in digestion. While symptoms of pancreas issues can be persnickety, both Epperly and Hendifar say there are a handful of warning signs that warrant a call to your doctor. Here are 5 of them. (Want to pick up some healthier habits? Sign up to get healthy living tips delivered straight to your inbox!) If you notice your stool is light colored and floating, that's a sign of poor nutrient absorption. (Here are 7 things your poop says about your health.) "The enzymes your pancreas produces help you digest fats in your diet," Hendifar explains. Along with breaking down fats, your pancreas helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, and K, he says. When pancreatic disease messes with your organ's ability to properly manufacture those enzymes, the result is feces that looks paler and is less dense. You may also notice your poop is oily or greasy. "The toilet water will have a film that looks like oil," Hendifar says. That's the dietary fat your body failed to break down, he explains. If you notice your poop looks funky now and th Continue reading >>

The Connection Between Diabetes And Your Pancreas

The Connection Between Diabetes And Your Pancreas

A direct connection exists between the pancreas and diabetes. The pancreas is an organ deep in your abdomen behind your stomach. It’s an important part of your digestive system. The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones that help you digest food. One of those hormones, insulin, is necessary to regulate glucose. Glucose refers to sugars in your body. Every cell in your body needs glucose for energy. Think of insulin as a lock to the cell. Insulin must open the cell to allow it to use glucose for energy. If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t make good use of it, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, leaving your cells starved for energy. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, this is known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms of hyperglycemia include thirst, nausea, and shortness of breath. Low glucose, known as hypoglycemia, also causes many symptoms, including shakiness, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can quickly become life-threatening. Each type of diabetes involves the pancreas not functioning properly. The way in which the pancreas doesn’t function properly differs depending on the type. No matter what type of diabetes you have, it requires ongoing monitoring of blood glucose levels so you can take the appropriate action. Type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes the immune system erroneously attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas. It causes permanent damage, leaving your pancreas unable to produce insulin. Exactly what triggers the immune system to do that isn’t clear. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role. You’re more likely to develop type 1 diabetes if you have a family history of the disease. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. People who ha Continue reading >>

Can You Live Without A Pancreas? What You Need To Know

Can You Live Without A Pancreas? What You Need To Know

While it is possible to live without a pancreas, doctors only recommend removing a pancreas when a person has a serious medical condition such as severe recurrent pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. In most cases, medical treatments can take the place of the pancreas, but people living without a pancreas require diligent monitoring and medical care. Removal of the pancreas also means a person will have to make a variety of lifestyle changes that can be tough to adjust to. Contents of this article: Can you live without a pancreas? The pancreas is a gland that secretes hormones that a person needs to survive, including insulin. Decades ago, serious problems with the pancreas were almost always fatal. Now, it is possible for people to live without a pancreas. Surgery to remove the pancreas is called pancreatectomy. The surgery can be partial, removing only the diseased portion of the pancreas, or a surgeon may remove the entire pancreas. A complete pancreatectomy that removes the entire pancreas also requires the removal of parts of the stomach, a portion of the small intestine called the duodenum, and the end of the bile duct. The gallbladder and the spleen may be removed as well. This extensive surgery can be dangerous and life-changing. After a pancreatectomy, a person will develop diabetes. They need to change their diet and lifestyle and will have to take insulin for the rest of their lives. People who cannot produce enough insulin develop diabetes, which is why removing the pancreas automatically triggers the condition. Removing the pancreas can also reduce the body's ability to absorb nutrients from food. Without artificial insulin injections and digestive enzymes, a person without a pancreas cannot survive. One 2016 study found that about three-quarters of people wi Continue reading >>

Can You Live Without A Pancreas?

Can You Live Without A Pancreas?

Medically reviewed by Graham Rogers, MD on April 12, 2017 Written by Stephanie Watson Yes, you can live without a pancreas. You will need to make a few adjustments to your life, though. Your pancreas makes substances that control your blood sugar and help your body digest foods. After surgery, youll have to take medicines to handle these functions. Surgery to remove the whole pancreas is rarely done anymore . However, you might need this surgery if you have pancreatic cancer, severe pancreatitis, or damage to your pancreas from an injury. Thanks to new medicines, life expectancy after pancreas removal surgery is rising. Your outlook will depend on the condition you have. One study found that the seven-year survival rate after surgery for people with noncancerous conditions like pancreatitis was 76 percent. But for people with pancreatic cancer, the seven-year survival rate was 31 percent. The pancreas is a gland located in your abdomen, underneath your stomach. Its shaped like a large tadpole, with a round head and a thinner, tapered body. The head is curved into the duodenum, the first part of your small intestine. The body of the pancreas sits between your stomach and spine. The pancreas has two kinds of cells. Each type of cell produces a different substance. Endocrine cells produce the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin helps lower blood sugar, and glucagon raises blood sugar. Exocrine cells produce enzymes that help digest food in the intestine. Trypsin and chymotrypsin break down proteins. Amylase digests carbohydrates, and lipase breaks down fats. Diseases that might require pancreas removal surgery include: Chronic pancreatitis : This is inflammation in the pancreas that gets worse over time. Surgery is sometimes done to relieve pancreatitis pain. Pancreati Continue reading >>

What To Expect After An Operation

What To Expect After An Operation

Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment As with all major operations, recovering from pancreatic surgery takes time. Full recovery requires an average of two months. Your recovery can be divided into different stages, each of which carry a different set of expectations. However, it is important to remember that every patient's recovery is different, even patients undergoing the exact same procedure. Patients spend an average of 3-10 days in the hospital after pancreas surgery. While you are in the hospital, many members of your health care team will be checking in on you daily. Your in-house team consists of residents, medical students, nurses, and your surgeon. Your team will closely monitor your progress throughout your stay. You will be seen by residents and nurses several times each day and by your surgeon and/or one of our Pancreas Center surgeons at least once each day. It is normal to experience pain after pancreas surgery. While in the hospital, you will be able to manage your pain with intravenous pain medication. Once you are at home, you will manage your pain with oral medications prescribed by your health care team. After your operation, you will have staples and special dressings where incisions were made during your procedure. You may also have some surgical drainage tubes left in your abdomen. Your team will check your dressings regularly to ensure they are healing well and monitor any tubes to ensure proper drainage. It is normal to be discharged home with the surgical drainage tubes still in place, so do not be worried about your recovery if this happens to you. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for both the drainage tubes and your surgical dressing before you are discharged from the hospital; both will be removed du 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 >>

Pancreatitis Information

Pancreatitis Information

Table of Contents Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. This condition usually begins at an acute stage, and in some cases, may become chronic after a severe and/or recurrent attack. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the digestive enzymes attack the tissue that produces them. One of these enzymes, called trypsin, can cause tissue damage and bleeding, and can cause the pancreas blood cells and blood vessels to swell. With chronic pancreatitis, the pancreas may eventually stop producing the enzymes that are necessary for your body to digest and absorb nutrients. This is called exocrine failure and fat and protein are not digested or absorbed. When chronic pancreatitis is advanced, the pancreas can also lose its ability to make insulin; this is called endocrine failure. The pancreas is a large and important gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum. It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. Where is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a solid gland about 10 inches (25cm) long. It is attached to the back of the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and is shaped like a tadpole. Its head is just to the right of the mid-line and its body and tail point upwards at an angle so that the tail is situated just beneath the extreme edge of the left side of the ribs. The head is closely attached to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), into which the stomach empties food and liquid, already partially digested. It is to this partially digested food that the pancreas adds its digestive juices (enzymes). A gradual or sudden severe pain in the center part of the upper abdomen goes through to your back; this pain may get worse when you eat and builds to a persistent pain Nausea and vomiting Jaundice (a yello Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Prevention, Tests

Pancreatitis Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Prevention, Tests

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas , an organ in your belly that makes the hormones insulin and glucagon . These two hormones control how your body uses the sugar found in the food you eat. Your pancreas also makes other hormones and enzymes that help you break down food. Usually the digestive enzymes stay in one part of the pancreas . But if these enzymes leak into other parts of the pancreas, they can irritate it and cause pain and swelling. This may happen suddenly or over many years. Over time, it can damage and scar the pancreas. Most cases are caused by gallstones or alcohol abuse . The disease can also be caused by an injury, an infection, or certain medicines. Long-term, or chronic, pancreatitis may occur after one attack. But it can also happen over many years. In Western countries, alcohol abuse is the most common cause of chronic cases. In some cases doctors don't know what caused the disease. The main symptom of pancreatitis is medium to severe pain in the upper belly. Pain may also spread to your back. Some people have other symptoms too, such as nausea , vomiting , a fever, and sweating . Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms and past health. You may also have blood tests to see if your levels of certain enzymes are higher than normal. This can mean that you have pancreatitis. Your doctor may also want you to have a complete blood count (CBC), a liver test, or a stool test. Other tests include an MRI , a CT scan , or an ultrasound of your belly ( abdominal ultrasound ) to look for gallstones . A test called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram , or ERCP, may help your doctor see if you have chronic pancreatitis. During this test, the doctor can also remove gallstones that are stuck in the bile duct 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 >>

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 >>

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