Pain in the upper left side or centre of the abdomen is a predominant sign of pancreatitis.
Is your abdomen hurting so much that it even radiates to your back? Are you frequently nauseous and have to vomit after taking every meal? These symptoms should not be ignored as they may indicate health issues in your pancreas.
We spoke to Dr Naman Patel, MD, Physician, who explained the signs of an inflamed pancreas, its symptoms, and preventive measures.
Pancreatitis is a medical condition in which your pancreas gets inflamed and develops redness and swelling. Pain in the upper left side or centre of the abdomen is a predominant symptom.
The pancreas releases digestive enzymes that help digest food and control your blood sugar levels. When digestive enzymes start to function before your pancreas releases them, your pancreas may become damaged. It may result in inflammation, which can be of two types: acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis.
People suffering from acute pancreatitis get a sudden onset of inflammation in their pancreas, which lasts for a short time. If its symptoms are treated properly, they usually resolve within a day or two. Several reasons can give rise to it. Some are autoimmune diseases, excessive alcohol consumption, gallstones, surgery, and infections.
Also Read: Pancreatic Cancer: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment
In chronic pancreatitis, the pancreas is permanently damaged by long-term inflammation. It usually occurs after a bout of acute pancreatitis or an underlying health condition. It can develop due to various health issues like cystic fibrosis, high triglycerides, gallstones, long-term alcohol consumption, and some medications.
If you often suffer from acute or severe abdominal pain, you should immediately visit a healthcare expert. The doctor will likely palpate your abdomen to determine whether it is sore and examine your blood pressure, fever, and pulse rate to check if you have acute pancreatitis. On the other hand, ultrasound scans and imaging tests such as CT and MRI can be used to diagnose chronic pancreatitis.
A timely diagnosis is important to avoid health complications due to pancreatitis. It can lead to diabetes, kidney failure, pancreatic cancer, and malnutrition. In addition, you should address medical conditions that cause elevated triglyceride levels (Lipid profile) in the blood. Those with chronic pancreatitis who experience pain that does not go away with medicine may require surgery.
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