Pancreatitis in Connecticut

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What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is a condition that develops when the pancreas becomes swollen and inflamed and is restricted from performing its vital jobs. Found in the abdomen, the pancreas assists with digestion. It emits powerful digestive substances called enzymes into the small bowel to help break down food. It also emits the hormones glucagon and insulin into the bloodstream. These two hormones enable the body to regulate how it converts sugar for energy.

Pancreatitis might be diagnosed in varying forms. The acute type of pancreatitis is characterized by the sudden, short-term swelling of the pancreas. The majority of cases of acute pancreatitis completely resolve with the right form of care. Chronic pancreatitis commonly develops more gradually and can last longer. Cases of chronic pancreatitis are often related to heavy alcohol consumption.

Our gastroenterologists proudly offer pancreatitis treatment in Connecticut. If you or a loved one may have pancreatitis, trusted help can be found at your nearest Connecticut GI location.

What are the causes of pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis develops when the digestive enzymes mentioned above are generated too early and start to aggravate and attack the pancreas. The primary causes of pancreatitis are included below:

  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Abdominal surgery
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Abdominal injuries
  • Elevated amounts of calcium
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Certain medications
  • Alcohol intake
  • Trauma
  • Overactive parathyroid gland
  • Elevated amounts of triglyceride in the blood
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Gallstones
  • Infection
  • Pancreatic cancer

What are the common symptoms of pancreatitis?

Symptoms can occur when the pancreas becomes swollen. The common symptoms and signs of pancreatitis are:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Upper abdominal pain that extends to your back, particularly after eating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Oily, smelly stools
  • Increased heart rate
  • The abdomen is tender to the touch or swollen
  • Fever

Should you have these symptoms or begin seeking pancreatitis treatment in Connecticut, please contact one of our GI locations today.

How is pancreatitis treated?

Treatment plans for acute pancreatitis often involve fasting to rest the pancreas, pain medications, and intravenous (IV) fluids. If pancreatitis is advanced enough, surgery may be recommended to remove the necrotic or damaged cell tissue if an infection develops. If acute cases of pancreatitis are due to gallstones, the condition may be addressed by surgical removal of the gallbladder. Our knowledgeable team at Connecticut GI can recommend the ideal approach to care.

Treatment approaches for chronic pancreatitis may entail:

  • Adjusted diet – typically low fat
  • Treatment for alcoholism
  • Insulin use
  • Stop drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Avoid smoking
  • Procedures to address bile duct blockages
  • Pancreatic surgery
  • Administration of enzymes to improve digestive processes
  • A diet low in fat
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How does diet impact pancreatitis management?

Dietary changes are vital in managing pancreatitis to lessen the burden on the pancreas and prevent flare-ups. Reducing fat intake, especially saturated fats, is essential because fatty foods can cause the pancreas to secrete digestive enzymes, potentially worsening the condition. Eating small, frequent meals can also be beneficial by keeping the pancreas from being overtaxed. Integrating easy-to-digest, antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support digestive health and reduce inflammation.

Do children ever get pancreatitis?

Although it is rare, children can suffer from pancreatitis. Causes of pancreatitis in children may include abdominal trauma, certain medications, infections, structural abnormalities of the pancreas present from birth, or genetic factors. The symptoms can be similar to those experienced by adults, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and elevated pancreatic enzyme levels. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to avoid potential complications in pediatric pancreatitis cases.

What complications can arise from pancreatitis?

The severity of complications depends on the type of pancreatitis you experience.

Most individuals with acute pancreatitis improve over time without long-term effects. While most patients fully recover, some may develop fluid collections near the pancreas that might need medical drainage.

Chronic pancreatitis may resolve itself but can take longer, often after several episodes. It carries a higher likelihood of persistent complications, such as diabetes, weight loss, ongoing pain, and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Innovative approaches to pancreatic treatment

Should you or a family member suffer from pancreatitis, it is essential to seek treatment from an experienced gastrointestinal provider. Whether it involves an acute or chronic case of pancreatitis, the GI specialists at Connecticut GI can deliver the personalized treatment you require. We are devoted to serving with patient-focused compassion while upholding the highest clinical standards. To consult a gastrointestinal specialist providing pancreatic treatment in Connecticut, contact a location near you today.

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