6 Symptoms of Pancreas Problems

The pancreas is an indispensable organ for the body. Knowing the symptoms of different pancreas problems could help you to diagnose or prevent more serious problems.
6 Symptoms of Pancreas Problems

Last update: 15 December, 2022

The pancreas is an indispensable organ for the body. Knowing the symptoms of different pancreas problems could help you to diagnose or prevent more serious problems.  Pancreatitis alters a lot of digestive functions and is sometimes associated with bad dietary habits.  We’ll explain more below.

The pancreas is found behind the stomach and is in charge of producing enzymes, like insulin and glucagon, for example.  Thee enzymes are necessary for digestion and arrive at the small intestine. A change in this organ could produce fairly severe effects.  These same enzymes can even turn against the pancreas and end up attacking it. But let’s take a closer look.

How do I know if I’m having pancreas problems?

1. Pain

Pain appears in the upper area of the abdomen and behind the stomach. Remember that this problem only appears of the left side of the body, under the ribs, and feels like burning.

  • This pain is more noticeable just after eating or even after drinking.  It is even more painful if you have eaten foods high in fat.
  • This pain could begin the day after a meal, it could last for several days and could even increase in intensity.
  • The pain is more intense when you lay face up.  The pancreas feels squeezed and the pain is more acute.
  • The pain radiates from behind the back or behind the left shoulder blade.

2. Fever

The enzymes that attack the pancreas produce inflammation and, because of this, having a fever is quite normal with pancreas problems. When you feel pain or discomfort, don’t forget to take your temperature. If your temperature is a few degrees higher than normal, go and see your doctor.  Your doctor is the only one who can rule out other possible conditions, and he’ll be able to answer any questions you have. This is because other conditions also share the same symptoms.

3. Nausea

Pancreas problems may bring vomiting.  When your digestive system is altered, foods don’t digested very well and the pancreas becomes inflamed. It is quite normal to feel discomfort because of this.

4. Headaches

Pancreas problems can also cause sudden headaches, as well as tiredness, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating.  This is all due to the fact that your immune system is being attacked and the effects are felt immediately.

5. Weight loss

If your pancreas is not synthesizing foods properly, then you won’t obtain the proper nutrients because your pancreas is being destroyed by its own enzymes. It could also be blocked by gallbladder stones.  For this reason, it’s quite normal for individuals that suffer from pancreas problems to begin to lose weight, in spite of eating the same as before.

Read more: Read These Diet Tips to Prevent Gallstones

6. Tachycardia

And, finally, pancreas problems can sometimes show themselves as tachycardia, getting tired more easily, and faster breathing. This is because your body could be growing weaker, your immune system no longer has sufficient energy, thus causing your heart to beat quicker.  You feel like you’re suffocating and you have an abnormal pulse. This is something that requires careful monitoring.

What causes pancreatic illnesses?

Studies show that 80% of pancreatitis is due primarily to gallbladder stones and to poor health habits.  Gallbladder stones, for example, cause blockages and prevent the pancreas from fulfilling its normal functions.

In regards to diet, consuming high amounts of fats and alcohol ends up causing irreparable damage to this organ. Other conditions that could affect it are, for example, kidney failure, Lupus, cystic fibrosis, and taking certain medications.

How can I take care of my pancreas?

Broccoli is good for pancreas problems

  • Limit your consumption of refined sugars and flour.
  • If you smoke, cut the habit!  This is absolutely necessary in order to prevent pancreatic cancer.
  • Avoid alcohol.  According to nutritionists, consuming one cup of wine a day may be healthy. However, but if you exceed this amount regularly, the effect on your pancreas is immediate. Avoid it for the good of your health.
  • Consume foods that are high in fiber, especially whole grains.
  • Avoid consuming red meat.
  • Consume vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress and Brussels sprouts.  These vegetables are perfect for taking care of your pancreas and for avoiding cancer.
  • Avoid weight gain.
  • Try to prevent diabetes.
  • Protein consumption is indispensable for treating and preventing pancreas problems.  Try to always get your proteins from legumes and fish.  If you eat meat, then turkey is the best option – it’s healthier and has less fat.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.