Can acute pancreatitis lead to random episodes of pancreatitis

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone, 

3 years ago I was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis from binge drinking. So After that I would never drink more than a beer or two when I went out. After almost a year I was re diagnosed with acute pancreatitis from drinking 2 beers on back to back days. Since then I have not drank alcohol. It has been almost 2 years now. Last week I began having pain in my upper abdomen right below my ribs (exact symptoms of the start of pancreatitis). I think I was having another episode of pancreatitis but the pain never became extreme. It has been a week and I still feel the pain. It isnt unbearable but it feels uncomforatble and keeps me up at night. Can a history of acute pancreatitis lead to sudden chronic pancreatitis or random episodes? 

Bio:

I am only 26 years old, exercise regularly, and have be on a healthy diet almost all of my life besides alcohol. 

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  • Posted

    Hello, yes you can!  I'v been fighting pancreatitis sine 2010, mine occured from drinking, only beer......in 2014 I swent thru Whipple Urgery (9 hours long) i did not have pancreatic cancer just the head was as hard as a golf ball........after it was removed and I recovered 3 months later, I expected to be free of pancreatitis, WRONG.....I still have 1-2 episodes of month with severe pain, no eating, diarrea etc......my optios are take it all ou and be a diabetic all my life, or leave it and take oxycodone everyday with enzyme pills........don't drink anything alchol at all or you are asking for a ER trip and a shot of morphine or dilauda

    Rick 

    Rick

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  • Posted

    Hi awall. I'm 48, a vegetarian, eat healthy (avoid sugar, processed foods, try to eat as much organic as possible, etc) and only had a very rare drink here and there on special occasions. I ended up being diagnosed with mild pancreatitis last week, from what my dr feels was a stone that got stuck in my bile duct (for me, they took my gallbladder out 2 years ago and apparently you can still get stones even after). My lipase numbers weren't that high though (405)...seems many people have extremely high numbers. Go on Google and research, as what I've been finding is that once the pancreas inflames, it can easily do it again if you're not careful. From what others have said...you can NOT ever drink again, and have to keep a low-fat diet as well. You're young still...take care of yourself and just stay away from the alcohol. I would definitely go to the e.r. too if you're experiencing that same discomfort/pain. Pancreatitis can damage other organs. Good luck and stay healthy.

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  • Posted

    From what I hear, yes. Once you have awoken the pancreas, the giant never sleeps again... or something like that. You need to see your doc about possible chronic pancreatitis... as Rick says, there are things you can do.

    I'm 39 and a vegetarian. I had my gallbladder removed about 3 weeks ago after two pancreatitis attacks (May 2016 and June 2016). I was in the hospital for a total of 14 days for both attacks. My May 2016 lipase number was in the 3000's. NO JOKE. I was on a cardiac monitor, non-stop fluids, hourly vitals and blood sugar checks, and IV electrolytes. My June number was at 800. ?When I was discharged it was at 46.

    This past weekend I was in a great deal of pain and went to an urgent care clinic that sent me to the ER stating I needed STAT labs... not next day labs. Pancreatitis, acute or chronic, is nothing to mess around with.

    Docs called the pancreas a "Princess" (I love that) and said once she gets "furious" she is likely to get angry again and she makes everyone (your other organs) miserable in the process.

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    • Posted

      Hi Renee. Sorry you went through being so sick. First they take the gallbladder (which I know you haven't had time to resize the impact of that yet even...but already messes with your digestion) and then the pancreas decides it's not a happy camper. Fun never stops huh?! :-\ Question, how long after each episode did it take for you to be able to eat more, feel better in your stomach, etc. How about any other digestive issues after? This is all new to me. Granted, spray had boots of other digestive issues after the gallbladder was removed, but not like this. Even have some left flank type pain from the pancreatitis. Your levels weren't as bad as some I've even read, btw. I've been seeing people in the 20-30 THOUSAND range, crazy right?! Best of luck my fellow vegetarian and feel better!! :-)

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    • Posted

      Lipase of 30,000?? DANG!! My ER docs called my number in the 3000s "impressive" and looked urgently wide eyed when they announced I had to be admitted. I think they were first year residents (US teaching hospital), so maybe they hadn't seen pancreatitis before?

      Life without a GB is not as easy as I was led to believe. Fatty stools if I eat too much fat in one sitting. Easy stomach upset. Bloating. Diarrhea most every day. 

      After my first bout of pancreatitis I felt better if I did not eat. If I did, food made my stomach very upset in a painful and ongoing way. That went away after about 10 days. 5 weeks after the first attack, I had my 2nd bout of pancreatitis. My GB was removed. They saw no stones, but right flank pain made them think it could be the culprit

      My lingering complaint is a distended belly. It is not terrible, but my tummy being flat was always a vanity point with me. :-(

      Being a vegetarian and having these issues is a problem. I LOVE cheese. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I also need it for protein, but find the higher fat content is bothersome.

      This past weekend I almost had to go to the ER again. I went to an urgent care clinic and they told me to go to the ER for STAT labs. I didn't want to incur the $200 ER co-pay my insurance requires. Severe stomach pain and feeling terrible. I waited it out and after 2 days I felt better. 

      I just feel on the edge and that I could have a reoccurance at any time. Like you, I am new to all of this!!

      Thanks for responding. Veggie Heads Unite!! :-) Be Well, my friend!!

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    • Posted

      I know...mine was only 404 and I didn't even like hearing that! 20-30,000 is a LOT! That would frwake me out! From what I've read...most docs have very little knowledge of pancreatitis. Don't get it. I mean, do they just not study that organ? Lol. The doc in the e.r. was very relaxed about it all. To me...I don't like hearing about ANY issue with my pancreas! Then barely any instructions on food, etc. Told to just keep it "bland". Wasn't until I started reading about others online that had it..many multiple times...that I started to realize just how serious it can be.

      I agree too about the impact of not having a gallbladder. The docs make it seem like it's no biggie. But there's multitude of people online with ongoing problems after getting it out. Especially digestive issues. Look up "sphincter of odi". Then of course you can still make stones and they can get caught in the bile ducts and affect your pancreas...which seems to be my issue. I did read that can take about 2 weeks to get back to normal, which seems to be your experience. I don't really have any pain, but know my stomach isn't back to normal, feel full quick, gassy. I at least don't feel nauseous or anything. My upper back hurts some after I'm doing too much for a while and then I get the left flank pain that almost feels like my kidney...which I've had stones there too so wonder if it's the pancreas or kidney lol. I at least gained a couple pounds back...as I lost some weight and for me 121 is too low. Norm is 125-126.

      That stinks you have the stomach issue. Hopefully that will eventually go away. How long has this all taken from your first episode? Try to drink lots of water and also lemon water...especially first thing in the morning. It's good to filter bile, etc. Hopefully that will help some with your fullness/bloating. Also, look into getting digestive enzymes. It seems they help a lot. I'm thinking of ordering a bottle of organic digestive enzymes.

      I like cheese too and like you said, for us, it's a source of protein. Maybe if you got digestive enzymes, that'll help with that.

      I feel on edge now too...really stinks. Seems many continue to have reoccurances and have to be VERY careful with foods, etc. Also, from my understanding, alcohol is a definite no. I never really drank much...rare occasion only...but still...now feel like I can't EVER have one.

      No problem!...glad to have another veggie head to compare notes to. Go figure..we DO eat healthy and we have to deal with all of this...ugh!

      You too! Glad you got past this last "attack". Don't hesitate to go though because can damage other organs...No bueno! :-\

      P.S.-Do you ever take aspirins, etc at all for pain?

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    • Posted

      I do not take aspirin. I don't like how it feels in my tummy and it's not the best for your liver, anyway. I take ibuprofen for headaches. When I get that pancreatitis type pain I take no pain meds, because I need to moniter the pain on a scale of 1 to 10. For me, if it gets above a 6, I need to go to the ER. A pain killer would just mask something that could be serious. 

      From my first episode (May 4, 2016) to now is about 2.5 months. I do try to drink tons of water. The first time in the hospital, in addition to the regualr IV drip, I was given several boluses as I was "bone dry" per my nurse.

      Oh man, you had your GB out and still had a case of P?? Great. Yeah, I am concerned about reoccurance. I was drilled in the ER and by nurses about drinking habits. It gets to be pretty offensive. How many times do I have to defend myself here? I know they are trying to get to the root cause, but it sometimes feels like I am getting grilled. While I did get my GB out, my pancreatitis was labeled ideopathic, meaning the cause is not known. About 10% of cases are ideopathic, I think.

      Write any time!!

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  • Posted

    I'm not a vegetarian although I don't often eat red meat, and whilst I too loved cheese I never ate much of it either but do miss it now I'm not supposed to have any.  There are many protein foods available for vegetarians to fill the cheese gap and it's important to do that as dairy can play havoc with your pancreatitis.

    A responder commented about the apparent lack of knowledge of the pancreas by most doctors which is pretty accurate.  Most receive a general knowledge in med school and leave the complexities to gastroenterologists, however very few gastroenterologists specialise in the pancreas either.  I was pretty shocked to learn this and did so only after seeing my doc being interviewed on TV about the workings of the pancreas. When I asked him about it he said he thinks he's the only pancreas specialist here and is the 'go to pancreas guy.'  What a shock, I live in a huge city known for it's medical/surgical/research experitse!  Moral of the story is make sure you ask for a referral to a doc who specialises in the pancreas, they're a rare breed it seems! 

    I have auto-immune chronic pancreatitis.  On the day I was told 7 months ago (not by my current doc) I was yelled at by some random gastroenterologist who insisted I was an alcoholic.  I was already in shock and then stunned by this jerk's vile abuse which was overheard by many.  I have never been a drinker because I have another disease, a genetic screw up which precludes me from ever having alcohol.  I was so embarrassed and am also sick of having to justify myself to the ignorant majority.  My pancreas guy didn't bat an eye when I said I didn't drink, I was expecting an interrogation but he just went straight on like it wasn't a surprise. 

    Awall you're young, look after yourself, don't drink, eat properly, don't do anything stupid and you can live a long life, hopefully without too many problems.  Yes acute can go chronic, avoid that if you can.  I'm in my 60's and new with this and it sometimes makes me forget I ever had a 'normal' life so live well, good luck.  regards Reef

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