Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. Our pancreas is important because it helps with food digestion and regulating sugar in the body. Pancreatitis can be either acute, coming on suddenly and lasting a few days, or chronic, lasting years. If you have been diagnosed with pancreatitis you may experience upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and your abdomen may feel tender to the touch. Chronic pancreatitis symptoms are upper abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss and oily, strong smelling stool. Acute pancreatitis symptoms often bring people to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment while chronic symptoms should be managed outpatient. Pancreatitis can be caused by alcohol use, smoking, gallstones, certain medications, infections or injury to the abdomen.
Not only should the symptoms of pancreatitis be treated but also the underlying cause. If the cause is structural or involving gallstones this may require a surgical intervention. Most often the cause of pancreatitis is smoking or alcohol use. To help you quit your doctor may prescribe medications or encourage you to seek addiction help. When left untreated pancreatitis can cause many problems including malnutrition and pancreatic cancer.
If you are experiencing symptoms of pancreatitis talk with your doctor about diagnostic testing and treatment that may be right for you. Untreated pancreatitis can lead to serious health problems and it should not be ignored. The doctors at Asheville Gastro are experts in this field. Don’t suffer any longer – schedule an appointment today!