This section deals with the particular problem you have with your pancreas – “Chronic Pancreatitis”. So what is it, what causes it, and how can it be treated? (Click here to read in detail about Chronic Pancreatitis)
What Is Chronic Pancreatitis?
This refers to a continuous ongoing low-grade inflammation of the pancreas. Because of the continuous inflammation, scar tissue develops within the pancreas. At first this may result in loss of part of the enzyme producing part of the pancreas. After a variable period of time (which could be after some weeks or months but is usually after many years), the insulin-making part of the pancreas may become destroyed.
For reasons that are not understood, many patients with chronic pancreatitis develop calcium deposits in the pancreas tissue and may form calcium stones in the pancreatic tissue & main pancreatic duct or its side branches. Blockage of the ducts by scar tissue (stricture) or stones will stop enzymes being delivered to the gut and impair digestion. The pancreatic duct may enlarge if it is blocked.
What Causes Chronic Pancreatitis?
The cause of chronic pancreatitis is usually due to alcohol drinking in seven out of ten individuals’ In three out of ten people there are other causes such as narrowing of the pancreatic duct and hereditary causes. In many cases, the cause remains unknown. If alcohol is thought to be the cause, it is essential that all alcohol drinking be stopped.
Other conditions that have been linked to pancreatitis are:
- Autoimmune problems (when the immune system attacks the body)
- Blockage of the pancreatic duct due to various reasons like trauma, Pancreas divisum (congenital anatomical problem) or Annular pancreas (congenital anatomical problem) or Abnormal joining of pancreatic & bile duct (congenital anatomical problem)
- Heredity or genetic problems
- High blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia)
- High parathyroid hormone levels due to any cause (hyperparathyroidism)
- Tropical pancreatitis
Facing a serious diagnosis or major procedure can be overwhelming. Get peace of mind. Before getting treatment, get an expert opinion – so you know all your options. That’s where we can help.