Volume 3 Issue 5

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Imagine having what you perceived was a mere stomach ache, develop into an ailment that is fatal in just a matter of hours? That is precisely what pancreatitis is capable of; a disease millions of adults are totally unaware of. Your pancreas isn't exactly something people think about on a daily basis, but it is a vital piece of maintaining good health. It is the organ that neighbors the gall bladder and the stomach; its primary functions are to keep your blood sugar levels in check, and to aide in proper digestion. The exocrine glands of the pancreas create enzymes that are utilized to digest every protein, fat, and carb you consume. Think about that for a minute; that's essentially the vast majority of what you eat every day that you're asking your pancreas to get to work. Pancreatitis develops when the pancreas gets angry; it becomes inflamed and enzymes that are normally accumulated inside the small intestine are now finding their way into the pancreas. Why is this such a scary illness? Some people just assume they have a stomach ache and try to shake it off; this dull pain can stay for days and by the time you finally get to a physician for a diagnosis; you could very well be in "hypovolemic shock". Without boring you with medical terminology, during a pancreatitis attack there are a dangerously high level of enzymes floating around. Those enzymes essentially begin to rip the pancreas to bits, which can be unbelievably painful and result in a lengthy stay inside an intensive care unit in the hospital. Stomach Pain This can be just under your ribcage, and often feel like it is radiating to your back. At first, one can tolerate the pain; but leaving an inflamed pancreas go without treatment for hours or days will result in excruciating pain that requires morphine for most patients. Nauseous That feeling as if your room is spinning and you may be sick is just awful. Often this symptom can progressively worsen throughout the morning, so be sure to drink lots of water and try to ensure as little movement as possible until it subsides. Fever The minute your body experiences pain, generally your temperature rises as well, this will be a given. Aiming to stay calm during a pancreatitis attack can make a world of difference; sit down and use a cold washcloth over your head to stop your fever quickly. Generally, the fever will subside all on its own just after the attack passes. Increase in Blood Pressure High blood pressure is a reaction by the body telling you something is wrong that it is trying to fight. Anytime the body experiences significant pain the patient's blood pressure rises and often accompanies a fever. Blood pressure medications are typically not needed as once the pancreas begins to flush out the blood pressure automatically goes back to normal. 10 Symptoms of Pancreatitis Page 42 | Abby's Magazine -

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