Pancreatitis in New Orleans, LA

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Pancreatitis is a condition that develops when the pancreas becomes inflamed and is not able to conduct its vital functions. Found in the abdomen, the pancreas assists with digestion. It emits essential digestive proteins called enzymes into the small intestine to help process food while also excreting glucagon and insulin into the blood circulatory system. These two hormones permit the body to control how it utilizes sugar as an energy source.

This condition may be diagnosed in various forms. The acute form of pancreatitis is the sudden, brief inflammation of the pancreas. In most cases, acute pancreatitis fully resolves with proper treatment. Chronic pancreatitis often develops on a more gradual basis and may last much longer. Instances of chronic pancreatitis are typically associated with heavy alcohol consumption.

Our gastroenterologists proudly offer pancreatitis treatment in New Orleans, LA. If you or a family member has pancreatitis, skilled treatment can be found at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates.

Cases of pancreatitis occur when the digestive substances called enzymes mentioned above are activated prematurely and start to aggravate and attack the pancreas. The main causes of pancreatitis are listed below:

  • High triglyceride levels in the blood
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Abdominal surgery
  • High calcium levels
  • Gallstones
  • Certain medications
  • Overactive parathyroid gland
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Alcohol intake
  • Cigarette use
  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Trauma
  • Infection
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Abdominal injuries

Several symptoms may develop if the pancreas becomes irritated. The main signs and symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • The abdomen is swollen or tender to the touch
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Smelly, oily stools
  • Upper abdominal pain that extends to the back, especially after eating
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you notice these symptoms or require pancreatitis treatment in New Orleans, LA, please get in touch with a local gastroenterology facility today.

Treatment options for acute pancreatitis typically include IV fluids, pain medications, and fasting to allow the pancreas to rest. In more severe cases of pancreatitis where an infection has developed, surgery might be necessary to extract the damaged or necrotic cell tissue. If acute pancreatitis arises due to gallstones, it may be treated by removing the gallbladder. Our seasoned providers at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates can suggest the best option for care to meet your needs.

Treatment protocols for chronic pancreatitis may include:

  • Treatment for alcoholism
  • Stop smoking
  • Procedures to remove biliary obstructions
  • Pancreatic surgery
  • Administration of enzymes to improve digestive processes
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Insulin use
  • Adjusted diet – usually low fat
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How can diet help avoid flare-ups of pancreatitis?

Effectively managing pancreatitis typically requires dietary adjustments to lessen the burden on the pancreas and minimize flare-ups. It is essential to follow a low-fat diet, especially limiting saturated fats, as high-fat foods can trigger the pancreas to release digestive enzymes, exacerbating the condition. Eating small, frequent meals helps prevent overloading the pancreas. Additionally, including easy-to-digest foods that are high in antioxidants, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can promote digestive health and help reduce inflammation.

Can children get pancreatitis?

Although it is uncommon, children can develop pancreatitis. This condition in children can be triggered by various factors, including abdominal trauma, certain medications, infections, congenital anomalies in the pancreatic structure, or genetic predispositions. The symptoms in children are similar to those experienced by adults and may include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and elevated pancreatic enzymes. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of pancreatitis in children are essential to prevent potential complications and ensure proper management of the condition.

What complications could arise with pancreatitis?

The severity of complications from pancreatitis varies depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic.

In cases of acute pancreatitis, most individuals recover over time without long-lasting effects. The majority of patients make a full recovery, although a small percentage may develop fluid collections around the pancreas that require medical drainage.

Conversely, chronic pancreatitis often resolves more slowly and usually after multiple episodes. This form of the condition is more likely to lead to persistent complications, such as diabetes, weight loss, continuous pain, and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

If you or a loved one is diagnosed with pancreatitis, it is important to get treatment from a skilled gastrointestinal provider. Regardless of whether it involves an acute or chronic case of pancreatitis, the GI specialists at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates can deliver the professional treatment you require. We are devoted to providing patient-centered compassion while adhering to the highest standard of clinical care. To locate a gastrointestinal specialist providing pancreatic treatment in New Orleans, LA, contact our staff today.

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