The gastroenterology team at Digestive Disease Care offers comprehensive care for acute and chronic pancreatitis. At their New York offices in Lake Success, East Setauket, Mineola, and Hicksville in Long Island, and Forest Hills and Jamaica in Queens, the skilled physicians tailor pancreatitis treatment plans to relieve persistent abdominal pain and other symptoms based on your individual needs. If you have symptoms of pancreatitis, don’t delay a diagnostic evaluation. Call Digestive Disease Care or book an appointment online today.
Pancreatitis describes inflammation in the pancreas, a long gland that sits behind the stomach in the upper part of your abdomen. This gland is responsible for producing enzymes that aid the digestion process. It also produces hormones that help your body regulate and process sugar in your blood.
Inflammation in the pancreas can occur when digestive enzymes begin activating while still in the gland. This causes irritation in the cells of the pancreas that leads to inflammation.
You can develop two types of pancreatitis:
Acute pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas that causes symptoms to develop suddenly and last for several days.
Chronic pancreatitis is a condition where inflammation in the pancreas develops gradually over many years.
Repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis can lead to chronic inflammation. You may be at increased risk for chronic pancreatitis and permanent pancreas damage due to direct trauma to your abdomen or because of underlying health issues like gallstones or infection.
If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, you may also be at increased risk for chronic pancreatitis.
In acute pancreatitis, you may experience symptoms that come on suddenly, such as:
Upper abdominal pain is another common symptom of pancreatitis, and you may notice your pain increases after eating.
Chronic pancreatitis causes similar symptoms, and you may also experience unexplained weight loss and have foul-smelling, oily stools.
The team at Digestive Disease Care offers comprehensive diagnostic care to determine if your symptoms relate to pancreatitis or another underlying medical condition.
Blood work can identify elevated enzyme levels that indicate inflammation in the pancreas. Your Digestive Disease Care provider may perform a stool test to assess the function of your digestive system.
If you have severe abdominal pain, the Digestive Disease Care team can arrange for an urgent CT scan or MRI to evaluate the severity of inflammation in your pancreas.
You can expect your Digestive Disease Care provider to customize your treatment for pancreatitis based on your specific needs. In many cases, a period of fasting is necessary to allow your pancreas time to recover naturally. As inflammation resolves, you can slowly add in clear liquids and bland foods until you can resume your usual diet.
If you have chronic pancreatitis, your Digestive Disease Care provider may suggest treatments to address the underlying cause of pancreatitis, such as surgery to remove your gallbladder or drain excess fluids from your pancreas.
To find out more about available options for treating pancreatitis, schedule a consultation by calling Digestive Disease Care, or request an appointment online now.