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PANCREATITIS - CHRONIC
Chronic pancreatitis develops from irreversible scarring sustained by the pancreas from prolonged inflammation.
Signs and symptoms include abdominal pain that is epigastric in location that radiates to the back and frequently occurs at night or after meals, symptoms of fat, protein & carbohydrates maldigestion that become apparent with advanced chronic pancreatitis and presence of diarrhea.
Chronic pancreatitis results in destruction of alpha and beta cells which gives rise to deficiencies of both insulin and glucagon.

Lifestyle Modification

Abstinence from Alcohol & Tobacco

  • Patients should be encouraged to abstain from drinking alcohol & smoking
  • Mortality has been found to increase w/ continued smoking & abuse of alcohol
    • Alcohol abuse speeds up the development of pancreatic dysfunction
    • Smoking accelerates disease progression & may increase pancreatic cancer risk
  • Diminishing alcohol intake has been seen to result in decreased pain associated w/ chronic pancreatitis

Eating Small Meals & Keeping Hydrated

  • Low-fat small meals & adequate hydration may be helpful
  • Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) improve pain by minimally increasing cholecystokinin (CCK) levels or through its antioxidant effect
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