What is Chronic Pancreatitis?
Chronic pancreatitis is a long-term condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed for many years, leaving it scarred and damaged. The pancreas produces digestive juices to help digest food, and produces important hormones.
The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is alcohol abuse. There are other types of chronic pancreatitis, including autoimmune pancreatitis, chronic idiopathic pancreatitis and hereditary pancreatitis.
How common is Chronic Pancreatitis?
Chronic pancreatitis from alcohol abuse is most common in men between 45 and 54 years of age. Chronic idiopathic pancreatitis can affect adults of all ages, but women are more prone to it. Autoimmune pancreatitis usually first develops between 50 and 60 years of age, and it occurs more in men.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis?
Abdominal pain is the most common symptom of the condition, which starts in the middle or left side of your stomach and travels along your back. More advanced cases may cause smelly and greasy stools, bloating, abdominal cramps, excessive flatulence, back pain, weight loss and jaundice.
How is Chronic Pancreatitis treated?
Lifestyle changes are often recommended to sufferers of chronic pancreatitis, including giving up alcohol, quitting smoking and making dietary changes.
Medication is often used to control the pain, and surgery may be recommended in extreme cases.
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