Acute pancreatitis is defined as a swelling or inflammation of the pancreas, which occurs suddenly. This pathology is different from chronic pancreatitis, which makes its appearance for very similar causes and with a very similar symptomatology, but which is longer in time and whose episodes occur repeatedly.
The way in which pancreatitis should be dealt with differs depending on whether it is acute or chronic. From we will give you the main keys to the treatment of acute pancreatitis, although do not forget to always consult with the doctor and follow his specialized advice.
What is pancreatitis and what are its causes
As we have indicated above, acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that occurs suddenly. In general, this pathology affects men more than women. Its causes can be diverse, although many of them are related to:
- Bad habits: or by not following healthy guidelines and care such as, for example, alcohol consumption. In fact, it is estimated that about 70% of diagnosed cases of acute pancreatitis are due to an excess intake of alcoholic beverages.
- Gallstones: This is because they cause bile to accumulate in the pancreas.
- Genetics: As with many diseases, genetics plays a fundamental role.
- Others: it can also occur due to autoimmune problems, having high triglycerides, injuries to the pancreas due to trauma or automotive accidents and, even, by an operation in which this organ or its ducts have been damaged.
Treatments for acute pancreatitis
Treatment of acute pancreatitis varies depending on the cause that has triggered that sudden inflammation of the organ. In general, in these cases, it is usual for the person to be hospitalized to do all the relevant tests and determine the treatment to be followed, in addition to making a more exhaustive control the first days of how he responds and his vital signs.
- Taking analgesics: initially, acute pancreatitis is treated with analgesics, although it is common for treatment to be given also intravenously and for food and fluid intake to be stopped to stop the activity of the pancreas. In this way, the patient becomes hydrated and nourished by a vein in the arm, since it cannot be eaten or drunk until the inflammation of the pancreas is under control. When so, you start eating again in moderation, starting with soft foods.
- Tube in the nose or mouth: in addition, it is common for doctors to determine the convenience of putting a probe in the nose or mouth to remove everything you have in the stomach, which is essential if the pains do not improve or the person vomits.
- Drain the accumulated fluid: in other cases, treatment, always while hospitalized, may consist of draining the fluid that has accumulated around the pancreas, as well as the removal of gallstones, if this has been the factor that has triggered the acute outbreak.
- Remove obstructions from the pancreas: likewise, the doctor may consider the option of eliminating, if they have occurred, obstructions of the pancreatic duct. In these patients, an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography is usually performed, which consists of using a long tube (inserted through the throat), which incorporates at its end a camera to examine the pancreas and bile ducts. In this way, images of the digestive system are obtained that help solve this pathology.
- Detoxification: in those patients who have acute pancreatitis caused by a high level of alcohol intake or are alcoholics, the most common is that treatment has to be followed to avoid this addiction or reduce the consumption of this type of drinks.
You may also be interested in this other article on Diet for Acute Pancreatitis.
Surgical treatments for acute pancreatitis
Treatment of acute pancreatitis may also include going under the knife. In this case, we can talk about two types of operations:
- Gallbladder surgery: which is performed when acute pancreatitis has been caused by gallstones. These are situations in which the gallbladder can even be removed.
- Pancreatic surgery: this is another treatment, which is applied when it is necessary to drain the fluid from the pancreas or remove tissue that is damaged or diseased.
These surgeries are the most common in the treatment of acute pancreatitis. Anyway, as we have said, you do not always have to resort to the operating room. From we recommend that you always go to the doctor for any indication that you have an acute pancreatitis and that you follow the treatment in detail.