Acute pancreatitis

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Acute pancreatitis is sudden inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreas is a small, leaf like gland situated behind the stomach responsible for controlling glucose metabolism in the body. In the normal conditions, pancreas secretes the digestive juices into the intestine to digest the food.

Acute pancreatitis is known to cause 3% of admissions to hospital of all cases of abdominal pain. It affects 2 to 28 persons of every 100000 individuals. There can be various causes for acute pancreatitis. Major reasons include gallstones and alcohol consumption. Other causes can be renal failure, organ transplant and extremely low body temperature.

Patient with acute pancreatitis presents with severe abdominal pain in the upper region. This pain can radiate to the back in 65% of cases. Patient will complain nausea and vomiting. The area of stomach will be sore and tender.

The acute pancreatitis can result into paralysis of the bowels. The flanks become grayish and the navel area is bluish. The condition may worsen into increased blood glucose levels and low blood calcium levels.

Pus can also accumulate in the pancreas. Blood can come into the stomach and intestines can get compressed because of enlarged pancreas. Jaundice may also occur. Patient can also opt for X ray, CT scan and MRI for detection of any abnormality. The person having an acute attack of pancreatitis must be shifted to close Intensive care unit. Patient can be kept on ventilator if there is low oxygen tension in the body.

If the bile or the infected pancreatic secretions reflux back into the duct of pancreas, it causes pancreatic obstruction of the duct. In case of pus formation, drainage of pancreas is required. Mortality rate is high in any kind of pancreatic affections. It is on account of multi system organ failure.

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