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Pain in the pancreas: what can be and what to do

Pain in the pancreas is located in the upper abdomen and can be felt as tips, besides being able to radiate to other parts of the body, especially to the back. In addition, when this pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite, for example, it may be indicative of problems in the pancreas, which should be investigated and treatment started soon after to prevent complications.

Some of the situations that cause this pain are pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas, and pancreatic cancer, which should be treated according to the doctor’s recommendation, and surgery may be indicated, use of anti-inflammatory or analgesic medications and change in eating habits, for example.

How to know if it's pain in the pancreas, what it can be and what it does

How to know if the pain is in the pancreas

Pain in the pancreas is usually felt in the upper abdomen, usually in the center, however this pain may also be indicative of other situations that are not necessarily related to the pancreas. Thus, it is important that the person is attentive to other symptoms that may arise, because it is possible that the pain is in fact in the pancreas.

Some of the symptoms that the person should be attentive to, in addition to pain, is if the pain radiates to another part of the body, if there is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling of bad digestion, feeling of swollen belly and dark urine. From the moment any of these symptoms are identified, it is important that the person consults the doctor to confirm the pain in the pancreas and identify the cause.

Thus, to confirm pain in the pancreas and identify the cause, the gastroenterologist, in addition to evaluating the signs and symptoms presented, indicates the performance of blood tests, being usually indicated the dosage of amylase, lipase and gamma-glutami-transferase in the blood, in addition to imaging tests, such as abdominal ultrasound and computed tomography.

What can be

1st Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis corresponds to inflammation of the pancreas and happens when enzymes produced by the pancreas are released inside, promoting the progressive destruction of the organ and its inflammation and leading to the appearance of signs and symptoms such as pain, which worsens over time and after meals, nausea, weight loss, malnutrition and yellowish or white stools.

Pancreatitis is usually a consequence of situations that directly interfere with the functioning of the organ, such as excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, obstruction of the bile ducts, infections such as mumps, cystic fibrosis, or the presence of autoimmune disease, for example.

What to do: It is important to consult the gastroenterologist as soon as you show signs and symptoms of inflammation in the pancreas, as this is possible to start treatment quickly and avoid complications such as chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic insufficiency.

Treatment for pancreatitis is usually done according to the severity of the symptoms presented, and may be recommended by the doctor use of analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, supplementation of pancreatic enzymes, in the most severe cases, and control of diet.

2. Pancreatic insufficiency

Pancreatic insufficiency is often a consequence of chronic panceatitis, being characterized by the absence of production of digestive enzymes by the pancreas, leading to the appearance of some symptoms such as pain in the pancreas, poor digestion, presence of fat in the stool, stools with bad smell, malnutrition and weight loss.

What to do: In this case, the gastroenterologist usually indicates the replacement of pancreatic enzymes, because it is possible that the digestive process improves and the person can absorb the necessary nutrients, thus also possible to avoid malnutrition and anemia, promoting the quality of life of the person.

3. Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is also another situation in which there is pain in the pancreas, in addition to other symptoms such as dark urine, white stools, skin and yellowish eyes, decreased appetite and weight loss. These symptoms usually arise when the disease is in more advanced stages and is more frequent in people over 60 years of age, with a history in the family or who have habits that compromise the health of the pancreas.

What to do: It’s recomendgiven that the treatment is done according to the doctor’s recommendation to promote the person’s quality of life and prevent metastasis from occurring. Thus, surgery followed by chemo and radiotherapy sessions is usually indicated.

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