The pancreas is a large glandular organ that is located behind the stomach. The main functions of the pancreas is to release the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream and secrete powerful digestive enzymes which enter the small intestine to help the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Pancreatitis is a rare digestive disorder that occurs due to the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas gets damaged because the body is unable to secrete enough digestive enzymes to break down foods.
The symptoms of acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis are shown below:
• Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back
• Swollen & tender abdomen
• Nausea and vomiting
• Increased heart rate
• Constant pain that radiates in the upper abdomen that
• radiates into the back
• Weight loss
• Diabetes (if the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas
Image above depicts the location of the pancreas in the human body.
There are two forms of pancreatitis. They include acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis.
Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas for a short period of time. Heavy alcohol use, medications, metabolic disorders, gallstones and etc. usually cause acute pancreatitis.
Chronic pancreatitis is an ongoing inflammation of the pancreas, which is caused by overuse of alcohol, cystic fibrosis, certain medications, high triglycerides and etc.
Demographically, the risk of getting pancreatitis increases with age. The incidence rate is approximately 20 cases per 100 000 people. Statistically, males are prone to getting pancreatitis compared to women. The high mortality rate for acute pancreatitis is in the United States.
Patients with pancreatitis can be diagnosed in several
ways. One of the ways is through ultrasounds & CT scan (computed tomography scan), in which images of the pancreas are produced to detect any abnormalities. Another way is through ECRP, which stands for endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography.
ECRP is a technique, which combines the use of endoscopy and fluoroscopy and it is used to view the pancreatic and bile ducts using contrast and X-rays.
Image above depicts an endoscope placed in the duodenum.
• Chronic pancreatitis occurs in two-thirds of cases of people who have a history of heavy drinking
• Approximately 20, 000 people with acute pancreatitis were admitted to hospital in England during 2011and 2012
• People can get pancreatitis through scorpion stings
Individuals with acute pancreatitis are treated via intravenous fluids and pain medications in the hospital. Some patients may have...