GI Health | Pancreas Disease
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Symptoms and Treatment

What is the Pancreas?

The pancreas is a gland organ located behind the stomach vital to the digestive tract and overall health of the body. The functions of the pancreas include releasing digestive enzymes and producing insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar. The pancreas can become diseased for various reasons, including diet and alcohol consumption. When the pancreas becomes diseased or infected, it can lead to serious conditions which must be treated by a GI doctor.

Types of Pancreas Disease

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas organ that presents with abdominal pain. When pancreatitis is present, the pancreas enzymes autodigest the organ, instead of food, and the pancreas becomes inflamed. The common types of pancreatitis are chronic and acute pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis is a long-lasting condition that must be managed over time. Acute pancreatitis comes on quickly and can be treated with pain medications and bowel rest. Common causes of acute pancreatitis are alcohol consumption and gallstones. Chronic pancreatitis can occur after several bouts of acute pancreatitis and lead to chronic pain and difficulty with digestion.

Gallstone Pancreatitis

Gallstone pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas due to gallstones blocking the bile duct. The symptoms are similar to those of gallstones – nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and fever. It is very important to see a doctor immediately if you think you might have gallstone pancreatitis.

Pancreatic diseases are serious medical conditions which must be managed under the care of a physician.

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