Chronic pancreatic inflammation means that the pancreas has an inflammation that does not pass. Inflammation is often due to the fact that you have been drinking a lot of alcohol for a long time, but can also be due to other things. It is important to stop drinking alcohol, for whatever reason.
You may have had several acute inflammations of the pancreas before the inflammation becomes chronic.
Pancreatitis is also called pancreatitis.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis
In chronic pancreatitis, you may have one or more of the following symptoms:
- You get pain high up in the middle of your stomach, or out to your back between your shoulder blades. You can also wear both places at the same time.
- You often get sorer after drinking alcohol or eating.
- You lose weight.
- You get diarrhea. After a few months, diarrhea can be gray and resemble porridge and it can be difficult to flush down the toilet.
- You get elevated blood sugar levels. After a couple of years, it can develop into type 2 diabetes.
When and where should I seek care?
If you think you have chronic pancreatitis, contact a health care provider. You can contact many receptions by logging in.
If it’s in a hurry
If you are in a lot of pain, contact a health care center or an on-call reception immediately. If closed, seek care at an emergency room.
Treatment of chronic pancreatitis
Chronic pancreatitis cannot be cured, but you will be treated for the problems you have. The medicines you are given are the following:
- Painkillers. There are different types of painkillers. What types you get depends on how bad you are.
- Medicines for digestion. They replace, among other things, the enzymes that the pancreas can no longer produce.
- Extra vitamins, if needed.
- Insulin or other medicines used in diabetes, if needed.
You may need to use the drugs throughout your life.
Important not to drink alcohol
It is not possible to cure pancreatic damage that already exists. But you can avoid being harmed even more by not drinking alcohol. Alcohol damages the pancreas. To stop drinking alcohol altogether is, therefore, an important part of treatment.
Ask your doctor if you need help stopping drinking. There are treatment and support available.
What can I do for myself?
It’s good to quit smoking if you do. Ask your doctor if you need help to quit smoking.
Eat less fatty foods if you have gallstone problems.
What happens in the body?
The pancreas is located in the upper abdomen, behind the stomach and in front of the spine. It forms the so-called pancreas, which contains enzymes. The pancreas also forms insulin, which is needed to have a good blood sugar level.
The enzymes are needed to break down food so that the body can absorb the nutrients contained in it. The enzymes reach the intestine through the bile duct.
Enzymes break down tissues
Inflammation starts with damage to the cells of the pancreas and the enzymes leaking out of the cells. The enzymes then begin to break down the pancreas and the tissue around it. The body reacts with inflammation.
In the case of chronic inflammation, the cells become more and more damaged
Chronic inflammation is when the pancreas has been inflamed for a long time, usually for several years. More and more cells are destroyed, which causes the pancreas to function worse. This ultimately prevents the body from breaking down the food you eat.
Also, when the pancreas is damaged, it cannot produce enough amounts of the hormone insulin. Then the blood sugar level rises and you eventually get type 2 diabetes.
You may not have symptoms in the beginning when you have chronic pancreatitis. The symptoms often come after a few years, when the pancreas is severely damaged.
What is it?
The most common reason is that you have been drinking a lot of alcohol for several years. But it also seems to depend on the inheritance if the pancreas becomes chronically inflamed. Because even if you have been drinking large amounts of alcohol for several years, the pancreas may not be chronically inflamed.
Researchers have seen that smoking increases the risk. This is especially true if you also drink large amounts of alcohol.
There are other things that can cause chronic inflammation of the pancreas, although it is uncommon. For example, it may be gallstones, high blood fats or drugs.
Sometimes it is not possible to determine what the inflammation is due to.
Influence and participate in your care
As a patient, you have under the Patient Act chance to affect your health.
You can seek care at any medical center or open specialist clinic you want throughout the country. Sometimes a referral to the open specialized care is required.
You should understand the information you receive
In order to be able to participate in your care and make decisions, it is important that you understand the information you receive from the healthcare staff. Ask questions if you don’t understand. You can also ask to have the information printed to read it peacefully.
You have the right to receive interpreting assistance. You may also have the right to receive interpreting assistance if you have a hearing impairment.