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Pancreatitis Information

  • Chronic pancreatitis can present as episodes of acute inflammation in a previously injured pancreas, or as chronic damage with persistent pain or malabsorption...
  • Patients with chronic pancreatitis can present with persistent abdominal pain or steatorrhea (diarrhea resulting from malabsorption of the fats in food, typically very bad-smelling and equally hard on the patient), as well as severe nausea. Some patients with chronic pancreatitis often look very sick, while others don't appear to be unhealthy at all.

    Considerable weight loss, due to malabsorption, is evident in a high percentage of patients, and can continue to be a health problem as the condition progresses. The patient may also complain about pain related to their food intake, especially those meals containing a high percentage of fats and protein.

    The causes of relapsing chronic pancreatitis are similar to those of acute pancreatitis, though gallstone-associated pancreatitis is predominantly acute or relapsing-acute in nature, and more cases of chronic pancreatitis are of undetermined or idiopathic origin.

    Among American adults, chronic pancreatitis most often occurs from the cumulative pancreatic destruction caused by repeated alcohol-induced episodes of acute pancreatitis. Cystic fibrosis is the most common cause of chronic pancreatitis in children. In up to one quarter of cases, no cause can be found. In other parts of the world, severe protein-energy malnutrition is a common cause.

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Health Blogs

Many of you have heard about “fecal transplants” for the treatment of Clostridium Difficile (C. difficile) infection. While there is a “yuck factor” involved in this treatment, it is life altering and even life-saving for folks with C. difficile diarrhea. Typically, fecal (stool) transplants using feces from healthy donors are ... Read More »
Uninsured and undocumented folks donate organs, but cannot receive them. This double standard is not new in the United States and physicians, like me living in California, have struggled with this for a while. As you may or may not know, there is a whole group of people in the United States who are effectively shut-out of the option of an organ. ... Read More »
For young to middle aged adults the moderate use of alcohol increases the risk of the most common causes of death (such as trauma and breast cancer.) Men under the age of 45 may also experience more harm than benefit from alcohol consumption. As mentioned in my ... Read More »

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