Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by permanent damage to the pancreas due to inflammation. The usual indication of the condition is repetitive episodes of abdominal pain that can be serious. Other symptoms that might arise as the damage progresses include foul, greasy stools.
A doctor should be consulted right away if an individual experiences intense pain. Remember that this is a warning indication that there is something wrong.
Why does it occur?
Prolonged alcohol misuse is the main cause of most cases of chronic pancreatitis. Take note that heavy consumption over several years can repeatedly impair the pancreas.
Other uncommon causes include:
- Issues with the immune system where it attacks the pancreas
- Hereditary mutation that disrupts with the function of the pancreas
The condition generally affects individuals of any age but common among middle-aged men between the ages 45-54.
Management of chronic pancreatitis
In most cases of chronic pancreatitis, there is no precise treatment to minimize the inflammation as well as fix the damage to the pancreas.
The treatment is chiefly focused on lifestyle modifications as well as medications to alleviate the pain or discomfort. Surgical intervention is oftentimes required to manage severe chronic pain that does not respond to pain medications.
Nevertheless, the pain might be hard to manage and can drastically disrupt the quality of life of the individual. Individuals who do not smoke cigarettes and avoid alcoholic beverages are likely to suffer less pain and live longer than those who continue to smoke and drink after receiving a diagnosis.