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Gastroenterologist identifies disease linked to alcohol consumption

Gastroenterologist identifies disease linked to alcohol consumption Illustrative photo (Photo: Freepik)
Author: Daria Shekina

Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition in which the human pancreas swells and becomes red. Up to 70% of cases of chronic pancreatitis develop as a result of regular alcohol consumption, according to the website of the medical community Take Care of Yourself.

What is known about the disease

The disease can have both acute and chronic characteristics and is most often caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

According to the information, up to 70% of cases of chronic pancreatitis develop due to regular alcohol consumption. Another cause is gallstones that block the pancreatic duct and impede the release of enzymes from the gland.

Gastroenterologist Yevhenia Belinska explains that it is not advisable to refer to discomfort in the left upper abdomen (which does not lead to hospitalization) as pancreatitis.

This is because pancreatitis is not just discomfort but a very dangerous condition. For example, acute pancreatitis can even lead to death. The disease occurs suddenly and can occur even after the first excessive alcohol consumption.

Acute pancreatitis can also be triggered by low-quality alcohol.

Among the signs of chronic pancreatitis:

  • Periodic attacks - there are stages of remission and exacerbation.
  • Gradually destroys the pancreas.

It is important to remember that alcohol is not the only cause of pancreatitis. There are other risk factors, but such cases are much less common.

These include:

  • Genetic defects.
  • Injury to the pancreas.
  • Smoking.
  • Infectious diseases, including mumps, hepatitis A and B, salmonellosis, and others (although these are relatively rare causes).
  • Taking certain medications, such as steroids.

How the disease manifests

According to the doctor, pancreatitis manifests with such symptoms:

  • Severe abdominal pain that can radiate to the back and chest.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Swelling and increased sensitivity in the upper abdomen.
  • Lower blood pressure than usual (in advanced cases).
  • Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice) occurs in the case of biliary pancreatitis, where the liver and gallbladder functioning is disrupted.

The doctor emphasizes that pancreatitis is not just abdominal discomfort that can be cured with a diet, but a serious illness.

In cases of confirmed pancreatitis, patients are usually:

  • Hospitalized for several days.
  • Given an adequate amount of fluids.
  • Provided with pain relief and antibacterial medications.
  • In severe cases, the doctor may restrict eating for several days to allow the pancreas to rest, although this is practiced rarely and in extreme cases.

In the case of chronic pancreatitis, doctors may advise:

  • Avoiding alcoholic beverages, especially if alcohol caused pancreatitis in your case.
  • Quitting or limiting smoking.
  • Taking enzyme supplements that help the body digest food. Enzymes help with the absorption of fats, which are important for absorbing vitamins.

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be used for medical diagnosis or self-treatment. Our goal is to provide readers with accurate information about symptoms, causes, and methods of detecting diseases. RBС-Ukraine is not responsible for any diagnoses that readers may make based on materials from the resource. We do not recommend self-treatment and advise consulting a doctor in case of any health concerns.