Acute pancreatitis and recovery

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Hello, my name is rohit, i had been diagnosed with possibly acute pancreatitis a few weeks ago, possibly due to alcohol, it was mild they said, the amylase and lipase levels were 1093 and 611. They admitted me and treated with IV fluids, antibiotics, etc with the nasal tube to my stomach and no any mouth feeding. After a week the levels were normal the inflamation of pancreas and abdomen was reduced and i was discharged.

I need to know now will my pancreas cure/recover completely like it was, and when, and whether i could drink socially sometime later on in life. ?

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Rohit, I think you'll receive a variety of responses mainly about future alcohol consumption.

    Whilst you had a mild acute attack, in my mind it's a warning.  The pancreas is slow to heal so don't expect your body to spring back for a couple of months at least.

    To help things along stick to a low fat diet and don't take any alcohol.  Consider not drinking alcohol anymore.  At this stage you can control (to a large degree) your future.  From what you said it doesn't sound like you're an alcoholic so a decision not to drink shouldn't be a struggle for you.  

    Be very careful, if your pancreas is triggered you might have more frequent acute attacks which can progress to chronic and you definitely don't want to go there.  Attacks can be life-threatening.  It's a serious disease with 24-7 symptoms which can be debilitating and impact on your work/family life.  It's no fun I promise you that.  Good luck.


    • Posted

      I might have more frequent attacks, even if i follow the diet? Or is it like once i had a pancreatitis, its a permanent damage ? I'm not actually sure what to think, will it heal for now or not? Yes i shall abstein alcohol forever thats not an issue. But my concern is, now as I'm discharged, will the pancreas heal back to normal completely?

  • Posted

    You may not ever have another attack.  Hopefully you were under a gastroenterologist who specialises in the pancreas and have a follow up appointment.  Generally gastro specialists don't focus on the pancreas and only have a general knowledge of it so to put your mind at rest I recommend you seek out a pancreas specialist and put your questions to him/her.

    I don't know if you had tests other than bloods, or whether your gall bladder was checked out, whether you had an endoscopic ultrasound or an abdo CT or MRI which can detect problems with the pancreas, or whether you were treated for pancreatitis purely on the basis of your amylase and lipase levels.  

    Some people never have another attack, others can go back to living their normal lives and have another attack down the track which puts them on the pancreatitis map requiring lifestyle changes.  We're all different rohit, the pancreas is a strange beast without a definite pattern, one can't predict what will happen.

    There are other symptoms that develop to give one a clue that all's not well like feeling sick when eating certain foods, changed bowel patterns, weight loss (for some), malabsorption issues, the list goes on.  For some the symptoms can be gradual, almost unnoticeable, for others it's ghastly from the onset.

    If alcohol was deemed the trigger by the doc's in hospital it was probably because you showed no other obvious signs.  Alcohol, smoking, eating a fatty diet can all trigger someone with a propensity to pancreatitis.  Making changes even at this stage could save you from a miserable future.

    I know I'm not helping really, I can't give you the definitive answer you seek.  Unfortunately it's like crystal ball gazing and I strongly recommend you see a pancreas specialist to get a better idea about your particular situation. 

    In the meantime enjoy the holidays and avoid the puddings and booze.


    • Posted

      Well, yes i have been through other tests like ultrasound and CT scan. In which it was said that, the pancreas are mildly swollen, and the tail was obscured or not visible due to abdominal gases, while the abdomen had gases , and mild ascitis which is water in the left and right side area, the examiner suggested to remove the water through tapping, but while tapping no water came out. But after a week i was discharged , right now the water which was detected has gone away , the abdomen which was bloated has reduced. And the pain is also reduced to minimal. But i was not sure that whether this was actually pancreatitis, or the gastritis which was assumed to be pancreatiti..
  • Posted

    It reads like it was an acute attack.  However, do not think that means it wasn't serious.  You were in hospital for 10 days before things settled down.  People have ended up on life support during their first ever acute attack, some have died.  It isn't like having a bad cold that you can completely recover from and get back to your previous life either.  It has to be taken very seriously.

    You are obviously concerned therefore I reiterate, ensure you are referred to a pancreas specialist.  The other thing is that our bodies are pretty good at telling us when something's amiss, listen.  Help it by making life changes that might ensure your ongoing quality of life is maintained.

    Pancreatitis whether acute or chronic is managed.  Acute may not progress as long as lifestyle changes are made.  With chronic that's all there is, management of the disease.  It progresses, we and our doctor's manage it as best we can, there are no magic pills, except for Creon and painkillers and PPI's (Proton Pump Inhibitors).  I'm not including surgical options which may be necessary for complications.  It's a daily thing, quality of life can be reduced greatly, you don't want to go there.

    Go see a pancreas specialist either privately or through a clinic at your local major hospital, your GP isn't qualified to handle it.  Ensure your referral specifies a pancreas specialist that's very important.  It's the only way you'll get peace of mind and advice about where you go from here.  I can offer no more, I'm not a doctor, I hope I've helped a little.

    You don't yet know if this was a one-off attack so do what you can to prevent another.

  • Posted

    I couldn’t help notice you used the word “possibly” twice. Either you did have an acute episode of Pancreatitis or you didn’t. With your levels being so high and given they kept you NPO and in pain Meds you did. Every episode of Pancreatitis predisposes you to chronic Pancreatitis. That’s what I have. The worse thing you could do even at this point is consume alcoholic beverages. It’s just not a good idea and most definately hurt you more than it helps you. For one to ask about whether or not they can drink again tells me in some way that your lifestyle may revolve around drinking. If that’s the case I would get Help now before you go down a road drinking when your pancreas has already let you know it doesn’t like it. I’m not saying that you do have a problem with drinking. I’m saying if you think that you do, you better do something about it or your pancreas will continue to turn against you. 

    Good luck. 



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