Acute pancreatitis is a sudden and serious illness that happens when the pancreas gets inflamed quickly. During an acute attack, pancreatic enzymes and other poisons can get into the bloodstream and hurt other organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys. But if the cause of the attack is found and treated, the pancreas can get back to almost normal.
What do pancreas do?
Behind the stomach is a large gland called the pancreas. It makes enzymes that help digest food and releases insulin and glucagon, two hormones that help control blood sugar, which is the body’s main source of energy.
How common is pancreatitis?
About 1 in 10,000 children get acute pancreatitis each year. One in three cases is very bad, and the inflammation spreads to other organs. Rarely, repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis can lead to chronic pancreatitis, which damages the pancreas in a way that can’t be fixed.
Signs that indicate acute pancreatitis:
Acute pancreatitis usually starts with a sharp, severe pain in the upper abdomen that can last for a few hours or a few days.
Some of the signs are:
- Pain all the time in the upper abdomen, back, and other places
- Pain can come on quickly and be very bad, or it can start out mild and get worse when you eat or drink.
- Elevated pulse
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swollen and tender abdomen
Causes that can lead to acute pancreatitis:
More than eight out of ten instances are caused by gallstones or alcohol. Other causes are quite rare.
- A gallstone can enter the small intestine through the bile duct and exit into this area (the duodenum).
- This won’t usually be an issue.
- However, a gallstone can become lodged in the bile duct or where the bile duct and pancreatic duct open into the duodenum in some persons.
- Pancreatitis can be triggered if the enzymes in the pancreatic duct are disrupted (or even blocked) in this way.
- An estimated third of acute pancreatitis cases can be traced back to alcohol consumption, although the exact link is not yet known.
- Only a small percentage of those who drink excessively end up with alcoholic pancreatitis.
- The pancreas, however, appears to be more vulnerable to damage from other factors such as cigarette smoking, a high-fat content in the blood, or an infection, even if alcohol alone does not harm the cells.
- There are many people with chronic alcohol-induced pancreatitis who have previously experienced recurrent episodes of acute pancreatitis.
High blood fat levels:
Acute pancreatitis is claimed to be responsible for 1-4 percent of all pancreatitis cases, and up to 56 percent of cases during pregnancy.
The pancreas is under attack from within, by your own body’s immune system. Sjögren’s syndrome and primary biliary cirrhosis have been linked to this condition.
Understanding the most common complication of acute pancreatitis:
Acute pancreatitis is connected with a number of problems, including the following:
Pseudocysts arise when fluid and debris build up in the pancreas and resemble cysts.
Bleeding and infection:
This can induce internal bleeding and infection if a large pseudocyst ruptures or is punctured. Pancreatic surgeons may need to remove contaminated tissue in the most severe instances.
Lung function can be compromised and blood oxygen levels can drop dangerously low as a result of chemical changes.
Necrotizing pancreatitis is the most severe kind of pancreatitis, in which pancreas tissue dies. Blood volume and blood pressure can be reduced as a result of this. Hypovolemic shock can result as a result of this.
A tumour in the pancreas can cause the stomach to swell and cause pain in the abdomen. An irregular movement of the digestive contents might also produce swelling. Reach out to the gastro hospital in Coimbatore, immediately you will notice signs of pancreatitis.
Diagnostic procedures to confirm the acute pancreatitis:
To determine if you have pancreatitis, your gastroenterologist will ask about your symptoms and medical history. Your gastroenterologist may request a variety of tests, including:
The pancreas releases enzymes into the blood during an acute pancreatitis attack. Diagnosing acute pancreatitis is much easier using enzyme measurements. These enzymes are tested for in blood and urine samples. Amylase and lipase are the two most commonly tested enzymes. Consult a gastroenterologist in Coimbatore in case you notice any signs of pancreatitis.
Imaging Scans for Acute Pancreatitis:
Acute pancreatitis can be diagnosed using a variety of imaging techniques, including:
Sound waves are used in ultrasound imaging to provide fine details in the images. In order to detect gallstones and other obstructions, it is not sensitive enough to detect pancreatic abnormalities. The best X-ray is the computed tomography (CT) scan.
The pancreatitis diagnostic test When a CT scan is enhanced with contrast, abnormalities are more clearly seen.
Treatment of acute pancreatitis:
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP):
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a method that uses a camera to look into the bile and pancreatic ducts. In order to perform this surgery, a specialized endoscope with a side-viewing camera will be introduced into the duodenum by the best doctor for acute pancreatitis.
This particular type of endoscope, known as a duodenoscope, was developed specifically to facilitate the insertion of endoscopic attachments into the pancreatic and bile ducts. In addition, your gastroenterologist will inject a dye into the ducts in order to acquire more comprehensive X-ray images.
Most children who have acute pancreatitis recover within a week, and have few or no problems.
In most situations, acute pancreatitis does not recur. Fifteen percent to 30 percent of the time, another episode happens, and a pancreatitis specialist will request more tests to discover the cause and assist pick the best treatment of acute pancreatitis.
It’s difficult to predict how long a patient will live when they have pancreatitis because of so many variables, including their age and other health conditions that may have triggered it in the first place. Symptoms of pancreatitis can range from a brief, self-limiting disease to a more serious condition that can lead to life-threatening complications and death. A person may acquire chronic pancreatitis, a lifelong illness that can impair quality of life, if they experience recurrent bouts of acute pancreatitis.