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”.
We’ve compiled our listing of the 10 Most Common Signs of Pancreatitis. Read On.
1. Stomach Pain
This can be just under your rib cage, 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. Head to the emergency room if you feel you are experiencing this type of pain. It will certainly be much worse than any other routine stomach ache you’ve had.
That feeling as if your room is spinning and you may be sick is just awful. Often this symptom can progressively worsen throughout the day, so be sure to drink lots of water and try to ensure as little movement as possible until it subsides. If you can tolerate food, it likely isn’t pancreatitis. This illness becomes terribly worse following a meal or food. If your nausea subsides after eating some crackers or ginger ale, you likely do not have pancreatic issue.
3. Swollen Abdomen
A lot of patients experience a tender and swollen or puffy stomach as a result of pancreatitis. Bloating or extra air inside the stomach area can cause annoying swelling making it difficult for the patient to wear pants, or even sit for long time frames such as at work. Since a bloated abdomen can be the result of several ailments, only associate it with pancreatitis if you’re developing any of the other mentioned symptoms.
Kind of goes hand in hand with being nauseous, some do result in getting sick as a symptoms of pancreatitis. Often the pancreas has a powerful way of telling you it wishes to get rid of something you consumed. Some patients feel relief of pancreatitis pain after vomiting, while others have to endure vomiting as a symptom of an attack for a few days.
Pancreatitis is draining, it can cause you to pass out, or simply feel tired during the day. Some sufferers when experiencing an attack have a tendency to pass out from the severe pain, which is just another way your body is informing you to get to the hospital as soon as possible. If you’re feeling stomach pain to the extent of passing out, please contact your medical professional as soon as possible.
What should you do if you think you may be experiencing a pancreatitis attack? Get to a medical professional immediately! Do not eat anything, but you can consume water- often flushing the system with water can start to dilute the pain and inflammation in the pancreas. Time is of the essence with this ailment as most require hospitalizations to combat it.
6. Weight Loss
Weight loss may not always be a good thing; in fact it can often be a sign of something going wrong internally. Often the pancreas will be sick for days without you having any symptoms, but unexplained weight loss is a piece of the illness. You may not want to eat as you normally did, or feel full more often. Some eat and get sick vomiting a lot with this illness, also resulting in fast weight loss.
7. Increased Pain After Meals
Eating anything annoys the pancreas once it is inflamed; patients feel the pain almost instantly after consuming food. If the patient is hospitalized, they will usually not be permitted to eat anything by mouth for a while. The staff will order food intake by tube instead to bypass the stomach and pancreas, giving it a fair chance to get better. It’s not fun, but it’s a very important reminder that you are what you eat.
8. Rapid Heart Rate
Pain concerns the mind and the body, and anytime you are in fear or coping with severe pain it is a given that your heart rate will begin to climb. Breathing slowly and aiming to keep still in a position that is comfortable for your pancreas will slow down the rapid heartbeat. Always stay calm. As challenging as it is to consider, pain, no matter how awful it may be, is usually temporary. Focus on something calming, relax that heartbeat, and try to rest.
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. Don’t administer over the counter medications such as Tylenol for your fever until you are seen by your medical team. Often, medicines can cause your pain to worsen and at the hospital they can give you stronger medications via IV to steer clear of putting more stress on the pancreas.
10. 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.
11. No Appetite
Often, those that have developed a case of pancreatitis experience little to no desire to eat. When your abdomen hurts as bad as pancreatitis causes, this comes as no surprise. The mere thought of eating a full size meal sounds like a terrifying task to most patients.
The pain caused by pancreatitis can often result in sweating profusely. Your temperature rises, as well as your heart rate, and blood pressure. As a result, you can often develop intense sweating. If you find that you are experiencing a lot of pain in your abdomen as well as a fever, or sweating without engaging in any physical activity, you certainly need to check it out with your medical provider at once.