An Inflamed Pancreas: Symptoms You Should Know
Having an inflamed pancreas is fairly common these days. You might also find it interesting to know that doctors say it more commonly affects women than men. That’s why in today’s article we want to give you plenty of information about pancreatitis, just to keep in mind for the benefit of your health.
1. Why do we suffer from an inflamed pancreas every now and again?
As you probably already know, the pancreas is the organ located just behind the stomach. It has a very special and important function: it produces enzymes and chemicals that facilitate digestion, and don’t forget that it’s also involved in the synthesis of insulin.
It’s certainly true that there are people today who manage to lead a fairly normal life without a pancreas, but they must undergo ongoing treatment to address their lack of natural hormone and enzyme production that promotes core bodily functions.
Therefore, it’s best never to reach this point. Your pancreas is worth taking care of every day. But what can cause pancreatitis to occur?
- Having gallstones. This is a classic trigger for pancreatitis that you should always keep in mind.
- Having poor dietary habits and leading an unhealthy lifestyle.
- Having a weak immune system.
- Suffering from metabolic problems.
- Having high blood triglyceride levels.
- Prolonged use of certain medications.
- Having suffered a previous injury to the pancreas.
- Different types of disorders like Reye’s syndrome or Kawasaki disease (although this is not very common).
2. Symptoms of an inflamed pancreas you should know
Pain to watch out for
Pain can appear suddenly or it may come on slowly, but you’ll reach a point at which your daily activities become limited, and other symptoms may also begin to accompany this discomfort:
- Severe abdominal pain that resembles a burning sensation, focused on the left-hand side beneath the ribs. This is the central area but the pain will usually radiate throughout the abdomen like a hot disc.
- Pain is more acute after a meal or during digestion.
- Pain can even reach the back and shoulders. When it does, nausea often accompanies it.
- The pain is worse when you lay on your back. Why? The stomach is pressing down on your inflamed pancreas.
Nausea and vomiting
This usually occurs after a meal. This is when your pancreas begins to synthesize the enzymes as you begin digesting your food, but it’s blocked by the inflammation.
Sometimes during the early stages of pancreatitis, people confuse their symptoms with simple indigestion. But when the discomfort persists, it’s time to recognize the “red flag” and consult your doctor.
Remember that when your pancreas is inflamed, your entire immune system is weakened. If you notice the following symptoms, don’t ignore them:
- Headaches that may not be very strong, but are constant from day to day. They might cause auras, dry mouth, and dizziness.
- Fatigue is also very common. The conditions that cause an inflamed pancreas affect the entire body: digestion is more difficult, you don’t absorb enough vitamins and nutrients, and the immune system is weakened. You’re at high risk for any infection or disease.
3. How can you best care for your pancreas?
Just taking a little better care of your entire body every day can help you avoid pancreatitis or any other problem with that organ. And if you do that, you’re also taking better care of your overall health and will have a higher quality of life. So pay attention to the following suggestions:
- Say no to tobacco. If you’re still using tobacco products now is the time to take the biggest step you can for your overall well being. What you’ll gain is better health in general while preventing some serious diseases, in addition to a healthier pancreas. So say goodbye to those cigarettes today!
- Say no to refined sugars and flour. They’re major enemies of the pancreas – and most of the rest of your body, as well. Sure they sweeten your food and make meals more enjoyable, but over time they’re wreaking havoc on the body. They’re just not worth it.
- Say yes to eating a little smarter. It’s never a good idea to consume large amounts of food at once. Split up your meals into 5 small portions a day. Try not to eat too much red meat or processed foods, and remember that vegetables like cabbage and broccoli are great for preventing inflammation of the pancreas.
- Say yes to some natural juices. There’s nothing better that you could add to your daily diet. Papaya, aloe, artichoke, mango, cabbage, carrots, and even beets make excellent juices, so why not try them!
- Say yes to more fiber. Foods rich in fiber are the perfect way to start every single day.
- Say yes to watching your weight. Obesity doesn’t do anybody any favors. But it’s not like you have to have a perfect figure without an ounce of fat, either. Just try to maintain a healthy, balanced weight and avoid the risks associated with obesity. It’s worth making these small daily efforts for the sake of your health.