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Discussion:
How long acute can last???
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I was diagnosed with mild acute pancreatitis about 9 weeks ago. up to now, I had blood levels tested 4 times, xray, ultrasound, mri and mrcp. 3 of the 4 times my blood levels were slightly elevated, the fourth (3 weeks ago) the dr said they went slightly lower. I also had no indications of anything abnormal in any of the other test I had (i.e., calcification, scarring). I quit drinking once diagnosed and have proceded with a low fat diet although thr Dr.s didn't mention anything about diet. I cut out caffine and do not drink carbonated/soda drinks. I have gotten sick twice (one nite a brocolli cheese soup/one a whole wheat pasta dish), My guess is quantity and rich foods. I also am currently taking pancreatin/chromium picolinate daily. Although I am feeling better than before, I still am having problems (e.g., gas, headaches come and go, lethargic, constipation). I am learning more about this desease or as much as I can trial by error and literature.

My question is, can acute pancreatitis take weeks or months to heal? Everything online states acute is short term and the Doctors wont seem to tell me either way. Any feedback would be so helpful.

Scott
Posted on 03/25/12, 10:31 pm
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Reply #1 - 03/26/12  4:42pm
" Everytime I have had an acute attack my levels normalize before I leave the hospital. This is usually after 5 to 7 days and trust me my levels are greater than 15000 when I get to e.r. I have been told it can take many weeks to go back to normal but this has not been the case for me. "
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Reply #2 - 03/26/12  8:04pm
" I guess it's a case by case situation. My levels were not nearly that high which explains why I didn't end up in the hospital. I feel for you ! Do you know whats causing it? I got sick twice off food since the inital problem so I'm on guard with everything i eat and writing it all down. Trying to get fully healed hasn't been easy. Hope your attacks are minimal. "
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Reply #3 - 03/27/12  9:20am
" My understanding from my pancreas specialist is the pancreas does not heal. It just scars and calcifies. I hope your pain eases off. I take pain meds to keep my pain to where I can function and do my daily chores. He told me its not a case of if I become addited to meds its a case of when. I hope this helps. My sugar always elevates when I am going into an attack. Anyone else notice this? He also told me to take a laxative everyday to keep from getting blocked. The pain meds to that. Find a good pancreas specialist in your area. Where are you from? "
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Reply #4 - 03/27/12  11:10am
" mine was diagnosed “mild”, around 263 on third blood test. The forth dropped to around 169. I had another test yesterday and will see what the results are. I know it's not gone but it feels like it's gotten much better and the fact that my levels were not elevated extremely high makes me think with proper diet and the avoidance of alcohol things will get back on track. It's had, but I'm trying to stay positive.
As far as calcification, I don't know if "everyone" develops calcification. I have read some lit suggesting it can take 8 years to show calcification. Also it might depend on the severity of the attack or amount of attacks someone has experienced. I'm just going with the mentality that I have chronic and to treat it like chronic so all precautions are taken to avoid attacks. Although I have no calcification based on test results. Drs to me are like mechanics, they don’t always know what the hell is wrong and sometimes can make things worse.
I think my gastro has been fairly protocol. I can't really complain about him or my internist. However, I have sent my records over to a Dr at the University of Penn who specializes in pancreatic dysfunctions. Since I really don't know what caused it "just guesstimating causes", I want to be as proactive as possible.
I really wish more research and time was vested into this. "
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Reply #5 - 03/28/12  12:14am
" i was in the hospital for 2.5 weeks my first acute attack but my levels were over 4,000..... it all depends on how your body heals as well "
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Reply #6 - 03/28/12  2:37am
" I've seen many doctors regarding my pancreas and most have told me that once you get pancreatitis, you got it and each time you have an acute attack, you have a higher possibility of having more. My second ERCP induced a major attack and left me with a large mass over the tail of my pancreas. Many wanted to cut out the tail but that would have only made matters even worse. Fact is the second ERCP has been described by several doctors as "overly-aggressive and unneccessary". So be sure whatever they do, you understand it well and are willing to take the risk. I've found they know less about the pancreas than they want you to think they know and it's really important to have a GI that has done whatever procedure is being suggested many, many times. One other thing - dairy, especially cream cheese, tends to have a direct negative effect on my issues so maybe the Broc Cheese soup didn't sit well. I so miss pizza, Dude! Cream cheese is about the only food I'm able to say for sure is bad for me. It does help to know, though. I steer clear of anything that could, should, might, or by sight has cream cheese. ;o) Also, I'm not familiar with the pancreatin/chromium picolinate you said you are taking but I'm assuming it is a pancreatic enzyme. I tried at least four different ones and they just made things worse, especially extra gas. I thought I would pop and go flying around the room at any moment. Very embarrassing, you know! Hope that helps. BTW - you are better than I when it comes to caffeine. I love coffee and didn't notice a difference when I did quit. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Best of luck to you and super healing comin' your way! Watch for it!!! Loyd "
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Reply #7 - 03/28/12  9:23am
" Thanks for the feedback! Loyd, I agree the soup was most likely to rich with the milk and cheese (haven't done dairy since). I think the pasta I had was too much. I noticed I really need to be careful with my portions. I wasn't in the hospital for this but I knida wonder if a severe attack would have been better than this mild pancreatitis. It just seems like it is taking a long time to heal andthat has me afraid that it's chronic. However, the doctors go on saying, no calcification/scarring, not chronic. If anyone could think of any other test I should think of having please feel free to suggest. I was thinking that maybe I should have my stools tested for for fat. I had an mrcp so I really don't see what good an ercp would do for me. Esp since I see they can lead to flare ups. "
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Reply #8 - 03/28/12  9:46am
" Btw Loyd, pancreatin is a supplement for the pancreas which is said to have natural healing effects and works as an enzyme and chromium picolinate is a blood regulator(both purchased at a health store). I took these for about two weeks after two weeks of sample of zenpep (giving by gastro). I don't know if any of it really helped. This week I went to the health store and got a digestive enzyme and got back on probiotics to support my digestive system. My eating habits have also changed dramatically. Not sure what's going on with my stools, but maybe that has something to do with it. "
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Reply #9 - 03/29/12  9:37pm
" Not alot to add as most of the folks on the forum have just about covered everything. I would offer one item you might run past your primary care doc. I take an enzyme called pancreaze which is a digestive enzyme produced by the pancreas to help with the digestion of food, and I take it 3x daily with meals. It has helped me greatly with the pain everytime I eat thing we all usually develop if you become a cp which we all hope doesn't happen. As near as I understand things the enzyme is recognized by the body's digestive system so the pancrease doesn't get signalled to produce more enzyme, thus allowing it to rest. Just something you might want to run past your primary care doc and see what happens, squeaky wheel theory, stole that one from Loyd...Be well and pain free!!!! "
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Reply #10 - 04/02/12  2:30am
" You bet, Scott. I have to say I am far less willing to have another ERCP after my last and agree with you not to be in any kind of a hurry to have one. They can definitely make things worse. My pancreas has been looked at from many different and never showed calcification either but I still have the diagnosis of CP. I think mine has been deemed chronic due to the length of time I've had pancreatitis and other physiological aspects of my pancreas. I admire your courage to take supplements; I avoid all that stuff like the plague. I see the possible benefits, just don't like "trying something out" as that could end up with me in the hospital and I hate hospitals. ;o( I did try several pancreatic enzymes and each just made things worse so I avoid those too. Unfortunately, I'm one of the, I guess rare, patients enzymes don't help. I hope you are doing better today and wish you a non-chronic outcome. TTFN - L "

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