18yrs old Acute pancreatitis advice on drinking

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I was recently discharged from the hospital with a bout of acute pancreatitis. I spent three days there and was not in a lot of pain. I go to a large college and am involved in Greek life. I’ve been told a variety of things about drinking and was wondering what others advice was because I am a healthy 18 year old kid (excluding this instance) that still has three years left in college and I would to socially drink with friends but don’t want to end up in the hospital with chronic pancreatitis later in life. Appreciate any help 

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  • Posted

    I had acute necrotizing pancreatitis.  I spent 3.5 weeks in ICU and have been in the hospital 5 times for procedures since Oct.  

    I was told since it was acute I could have an occasional beer or glass of wine.  It will NEVER happen.  My pain was excruciating!!  I almost died and lost 50% of my pancreas.  Another attack could very well end my life.  

    Alcohol is an absolute no no.  It is the main cause of pancreatitis.  Acute can be a one time thing but could very well happen again.  I am not a drinker so they have no idea what caused my attack. I know your young but I’d be very very careful.   Next time might not be as easy on you.  

    Wishing you lots of luck. 

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  • Posted

    Jon, you're not a healthy 18 year old if your pancreatitis has put you in the hospital already.  Whilst acute pancreatitis can be reversed it can only happen if you take responsibility and ensure it doesn't happen again.  That means, at this point particularly, that you shouldn't drink alcohol and ensure your diet is low fat.  That means no pizza's or other fatty fast foods and no alcohol at all.  Down the track, and I mean many moons from now, you might be able to cope with a small amount of alcohol, but why would you risk bringing on a life changing disease that can also be life threatening?

    So you didn't have much pain, lucky you, however if you think that's the main issue you're very much mistaken.  Next time you might find, like most with acute pancreatitis, that the pain is exruciating and you have permanent damage requiring lifetime lifestyle changes as well. 

    That's not the end of it however as the pancreas is vitally important for digestion.  Continue as you were prior to the attack and your life will change forever and let me assure you that progressing to chronic pancreatitis is no fun at all.

    I've never consumed alcohol because of another illness I was born with.  When younger I never worried about it even when my friends were all getting drunk and seemingly having a good time.  I actually used to drink soft drinks and my mindset was such that I was sometimes asked if I was drunk, my mind kind of turned the soft drink into wine lol.  I know how that sounds but really that's what happened, I mentally went into party mode. 

    I've also always had a low fat diet and yet here I am with 24x7 health issues as a result of chronic pancreatitis.  You have a choice and the potential for a long and healthy life.  If you choose to party your way through college you may well look back when you're 30 and wonder what on earth you were thinking. 

    You're basically still a child and can make changes now that will determine the man you become.  The one who matures into a career with a family who can decide to have a wine with dinner and enjoy the occasional high fat meal and be generally healthy, or be chronically ill, on a low fat diet permanently, in pain most of the time and risking other ills like diabetes when your pancreas starts failing, or worse, there's a lot worse things that can happen Jon.

    Do some proper reading, learn what the pancreas does and what you, with a history now of acute pancreatitis can lead to.  This might be the first really mature decision you have to make and I hope you choose wellness over party time.  Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Jon. I have yet to be diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis but I fear this now 2 year old lingering pain is exactly that.

    I too also went to college and was a party kid. I spend a good 4 years drinking pretty much daily. It was so much fun. One of the best periods of my life.

    Now older (39) and with 2 kids I am regretting drinking so much. I fear for my future and the future of my kids. I wish I could go back to college and slap and tell myself that the partying is going to catch up to me and you will regret it.

    Now, not all is bad news. I have been able to completely drop my drinking. I occasionlly eat a THC edible that helps with the pain and relaxes me a little. Similar to alcohol. Not saying you should substitute one for the other. Just do not overdo any of it. Your body is young. Get a crazy girl to hang out with and you should be more than fine.

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  • Posted

    Hello Jon, I am responding to you because your post reminded me of my nephew.  He is now 39, when he was younger he did a lot of drinking.  More hard liquor than beer.  He then started to take pain medication for a football injury to his neck.  He became addicted and moved onto heroin.  I am telling you this, because he almost died four years ago due to acute pancreatitis and was in the hospital for two weeks.  One week intubated. They had to put him in a medical coma so he could detox.  I know you did not mention drugs, however. the doctors told us his drinking alone did a lot of damage to his pancreas.  He is now clean and sober for the past 2 and 1/2 years.  But, he has diabetes now because only 25% of his pancreas is working.  So, if you already had pancreatitis be careful because you can get it again.  If you drink make it sparingly and be careful..good luck
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