Inflammation of the pancreas takes place in a condition known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis literally means inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is a common health problem and can be severe if not taken seriously.

Inflammation of the Pancreas Symptoms

When inflammation of the pancreas occurs, it often does so with pain and other symptoms. The pain can be in the upper and middle abdomen and in the back. The pain can be sharp, dull, sudden or gradual and can last for days. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, rapid pulse, tender abdomen, headache, renal failure, heart failure and others.

The pancreas plays a key role in digestion. Normally the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes which become active after reaching the small intestine. The pancreas also plays a major role in regulating blood sugar. It does so by releasing special hormones after eating.

When the proper function is blocked or too much strain is placed on the pancreas the digestive enzymes become active while still inside the pancreas. The enzymes attack and damage the pancreas tissue. This causes a great deal of pain and difficulty in digesting.

Continued and repeated inflammation of the pancreas can lead to permanent damage and loss of function in the pancreas.

There are two types of pancreatitis; acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis refers to a single or isolated case of inflammation of the pancreas. Continued and permanent damage from too many episodes can lead to long term inflammation of the pancreas. Long term inflammation of the pancreas is called chronic pancreatitis.

It is important to avoid eating foods and beverages that cause the pancreas to strain and become inflamed. Under the right diet, the pancreas can heal and recover its normal function without further episodes. However, if neglected, acute pancreatitis attacks may be more frequent and lead to chronic pancreatitis.

Foods to Avoid

In order to avoid inflammation of the pancreas, avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • Fats
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy food
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Cabbage
  • Juices
  • Processed foods
  • Smoking
It is especially important to avoid fats and alcohol. Alcohol and pancreatitis are a bad mix and can lead to further complications. Alcohol is the second leading cause for chronic pancreatitis. Fatty foods are also a sure way to bring on another pancreatitis episode.

Keep active through exercise and eat plenty of fresh vegatables, fruits and whole grains. These foods agree well with the pancreas and are healthy. Above all be smart. If you are experiencing symptoms of pancreatitis, be sure to talk to your doctor. One in five episodes of pancreatitis can be extremely severe and life threatening.

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