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Signs and symptoms of inflammation of the pancreas

The pain of pancreatitis manifests itself in a specific way and is a key symptom of this disease. Pancreatitis is associated with pain and a handful of other symptoms, some of which can be serious. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic.

Gallstones and alcohol are the two main causes of acute pancreatitis. In chronic pancreatitis, 55% is due to excessive alcohol consumption or alcoholism.

Where is pancreatitis pain felt?

The most common symptom of acute and chronic pancreatitis is pain in the upper abdomen, usually below the ribs. This pain:

– May be mild at first and worsen after eating or drinking
– become constant, intense and last for several days
– tends to get worse when lying on your back and decreases when leaning forward while sitting
– often radiates down the entire back
– Is not aggravated by movement
– is not deaf or located in the lower abdomen.
Abdominal pain can also vary depending on the cause of pancreatitis. For example, the pain from biliary pancreatitis is usually sudden, stabbing, and may radiate to the back.

Other symptoms of acute pancreatitis

In addition to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting are characteristic symptoms of acute pancreatitis. The stress placed on various systems can also make sufferers appear as ill as they are. You may be pale, sweaty, and distressed.

Other symptoms are:

– Fever
– Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
– rapid pulse
– Swollen or tender abdomen
– flatulence
– hiccups
– indigestion
– Clay-colored chairs

Since pancreatitis leads to a drop in digestive enzymes, you cannot break down food sufficiently. If you can’t break down food properly, it won’t be absorbed as it should be and this will lead to a change in the texture of the stool. This difficulty in absorbing foods and their nutrients can also lead to weight loss.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis often don’t show up until complications arise or the condition worsens. The pain of chronic pancreatitis comes in two forms. In the first case, the pain may come and go and escalate for several hours or weeks without any discomfort between flares. In the second case, the pain is constant and debilitating. In some cases, people with this form of pancreatitis may also experience pain in parts of the body other than the abdomen. Sometimes there may be no pain at all.

Here are some of the hallmark symptoms of chronic pancreatitis:

– Diarrhea
– nausea
– vomiting
– weight loss
– Oily stools

What is severe pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis is classified as mild, moderate, or severe. While mild or moderate pancreatitis lasts a few days, severe pancreatitis can last for several weeks.
Severe pancreatitis, which occurs in 15-20% of cases of acute pancreatitis, can cause several complications. The first stage of severe pancreatitis is characterized by organ failure that does not go away on its own within 48 hours. Scientists don’t yet know exactly how this organ failure occurs, but they believe that pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease, sets off a chain reaction of inflammation that damages and impairs systems related to or near the pancreas.

The lungs are the first to be affected. The inflammation causes surrounding blood vessels to leak into the air sacs, and fluid in the lungs makes breathing difficult. Breathing problems from organ failure are the most common complications of acute pancreatitis. If organ failure is treated within days, the risk of death is low. It is estimated that the risk of death is 1 in 3 if organ failure lasts a week or more.

In severe pancreatitis, pancreatic tissue dies (pancreatic necrosis) and often becomes infected. This complication occurs after organ failure has been identified. Dead tissue is often removed to prevent the infection from spreading. Severe pancreatitis with necrosis but no organ failure is possible.

Other complications of severe pancreatitis include:

– hemorrhage (bleeding)
– Obstruction of the bile ducts
– Peritonitis, an inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum).
– Rupture of the pancreatic duct
– acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
– Acute lung injury

What other complications are associated with pancreatitis?

Here are some of the other complications that can develop as a result of acute, severe, or chronic pancreatitis:

– Low blood pressure
– dehydration
– Breathing problems due to hormonal changes affecting lung function
– Malnutrition caused by inefficient breakdown and absorption of food.
– Pancreatic pseudocysts, or sacs filled with fluid and debris, which can cause bleeding and infection if they rupture.
– Extrapancreatic infections (outside the pancreas), including pneumonia, blood infections and urinary tract infections.
– Diabetes

Because your body uses its fluids to fight damage to the pancreas, you can become dehydrated. Vomiting and the inability to eat can contribute to dehydration, as can low blood pressure.

How is pancreatitis diagnosed?

As with most diseases, the diagnosis of pancreatitis often begins with a history and physical exam. Your doctor will also order a blood test and possibly one or more imaging tests, such as:

– Magnetic resonance tomography (MRI), in particular magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, which enables visualization of the bile and pancreatic ducts.
– tomography
– Abdominal ultrasound
– endoscopic ultrasound, which uses a long, thin tube that is inserted through the throat into the small intestine.
– Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a procedure that uses an endoscope to X-ray the bile and pancreas ducts.
– Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (CPRM).

To be diagnosed with pancreatitis, you must have at least two of the following symptoms:

Abdominal pain associated with pancreatitis: Results of a blood test show that your levels of the pancreatic enzyme amylase or lipase are at least three times higher than normal Abdominal pictures showing changes characteristic of pancreatitis.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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