Inflammation of the pancreas: pain, symptoms and complications

The pain of pancreatitis manifests itself in a specific way and is a key symptom of this disease. 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 the case of chronic pancreatitis, it is estimated that up to 55% of cases are due to excessive alcohol consumption or alcoholism.

Where is the pain of pancreatitis felt?

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

– May be mild at first and worsen after eating or drinking.

– May become constant, intense and lasting for several days

– tends to get worse when lying on your back and lessen when leaning forward while sitting

– often radiates throughout the back

– Not aggravated by movement

– is not deaf or localized in the lower abdominal area.

-Abdominal pain can also vary depending on the cause of the pancreatitis.

For example, pain from biliary pancreatitis is usually sudden, stabbing, and may radiate to the back . The pain of alcoholic pancreatitis, on the other hand, may develop more slowly and be less localized.

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 look as sick as they are. They may be pale, sweaty and distressed.

Other symptoms are:

– Fever

– Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)

– rapid pulse

– Swollen or tender abdomen

– Bloating

– Hiccups

– Indigestion

– Clay colored stools

As pancreatitis causes a drop in digestive enzymes, you cannot break down food enough. When you can’t break down food enough, it doesn’t get absorbed the way it should. This is what creates a change in the nature 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 only appear when complications arise or the condition worsens. Chronic pancreatitis pain takes two forms. The pain may come and go, escalating for several hours or weeks, with no discomfort between flare-ups. In the second, the pain is constant and debilitating. In some cases, people with this form of pancreas may experience pain in other parts of the body besides the abdomen. Sometimes there may be no pain at all.

Here are some of the characteristic 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 several weeks.

Severe pancreatitis, which occurs in 15 to 20 % of cases of acute pancreatitis, can lead to multiple complications. The first stage of severe pancreatitis is marked 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, being an inflammatory condition, triggers a chain reaction of inflammation that damages and compromises systems related to or near the pancreas. ci.

The lungs are the first affected. The inflammation causes surrounding blood vessels to leak into the air sacs, and fluid in the lungs makes it difficult to breathe. Breathing problems caused by 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 if organ failure persists for a week or more, the risk of death is 1 in 3. In severe pancreatitis, the tissues of the pancreas die (pancreatic necrosis) and become infected often. This complication occurs after organ failure has been detected. To prevent the spread of infection, dead tissue is often removed. It is possible to have severe pancreatitis with necrosis but without organ failure.

Other complications of severe pancreatitis are as follows:

– The hemorrhage (bleeding)

– Bile duct obstruction

– Peritonitis, an inflammation of the tissue which lines the inner wall of the abdomen (the peritoneum).

– Rupture of the pancreatic duct

– Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

– Acute Lung Injury

What are the other associated complications to pancreatitis?

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

– Low blood pressure

– Dehydration

– Respiratory problems due to hormonal changes that affect function Pulmonary

– Malnutrition due to decomposition and absorpti on ineffective foods.

– Pancreatic pseudocysts, or sacs filled with fluid and debris, which can cause bleeding and infection if they rupture.

– Extra-pancreatic infections (outside the pancreas), including pneumonia, blood infections and urinary tract infections.

– Diabetes

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

How is pancreatitis diagnosed?

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

– Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in particular magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography, which allows visualization of the bile and pancreatic ducts.

– computed tomography (CT)

– abdominal ultrasound

– endoscopic ultrasound, which uses a long, thin tube inserted into the small intestine through the throat.

– endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a procedure that uses an endoscope to r radiograph the bile and pancreatic ducts.

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 images showing changes characteristic of pancreatitis.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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