Acute Pancreatitis is a serious condition that affects the pancreas. It is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that is painful and sometimes deadly. Most people who suffer from this condition improve within a week but severe cases can bring complications that can be very fatal. Despite the great advances in medicine, the mortality rate of this condition remains 10%.
Acute Pancreatitis Symptoms
The most common symptoms of pancreatitis are:
- Gradual or sudden severe pain in the center of the abdomen that extends to the back
- Feeling sick
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid pulse
- Swollen and tender abdomen
Acute Pancreatitis Causes
Acute pancreatitis is most often linked to:
- consumption of alcohol
The most common cause is the gallstone that got stuck in the bile duct of the pancreas or as a result of the backflow of the bile into the duct of the pancreas. Other causes of acute pancreatitis are:
- High triglyceride levels in the
- High triglyceride levels in the blood
- Certain types of medication
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- High calcium levels in the blood
- Viral infections like measles and mumps
- Accidental damage
- Certain rare conditions like hyperparathyroidism, Reye’s syndrome and Kawasaki disease
Risk Factors of Acute pancreatitis
Risk factors include:
- Age- those who are in middle-aged and elderly people are more prone to this condition
- Being obese
Diagnosis of Acute pancreatitis
- A blood test
- An imaging test such as a CT scan, Ultrasound and an MRI to get detailed information about the pancreas.
Other test includes withdrawal of infected material in the pancreas using a needle.
Treatment of Acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is treated in the hospital for about 5 to 10 days.
- Fluids- is given through an IV to prevent your body from becoming dehydrated and will ensure the rest of the organs will get enough water.
- Nutritional support- through a feeding tube to provide your body with sufficient nutrients
- A painkiller such as morphine to control pain associated with this condition
- Treating the underlying condition once the condition is under control
- Gallstone removal
- Alcohol consumption through medication, counseling
- Antioxidant stress
Acute Pancreatitis Complications
Acute pancreatitis may improve quickly but if left untreated may result in life-threatening complication such as multiple organ failure.