Can heavy alcohol abuse cause pancreatitis?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I have been drinking about a bottle of wine a night for about the last  4 years 😔. 

In the last month I have been experiencing left side rib and back pain. I was in A&E last week due to the pain and they did bloods tests (results - ok) and a ct scan of my kidneys as they thought that was what was causing the pain (results - ok).

I went out last night as it’s Easter here in the UK and had more than a bottle of wine, and all day today I have been in agony with the pain in my left side and back.  It seems to hurt more when I lie down?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.


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  • Posted

    I am also from the UK. It seems without a doubt heavy alcohol is linked to Pancreatitis. I've had left upper abdomen pain and back pain for 6 weeks it travels to the sides as well maybe the kidney area. It isn't severe but is annoying and there all the time.

    You got the CT scan at the hospital, it depends if the CT scan showed your pancreas as well, if it was properly examined via a CT scan I don't think it can be a pancreas problem. Blood tests seem to only show up acute pancreatitis but not chronic necessarily.

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  • Posted

    Alcohol is the number one cause for chronic pancreatitis. If you have chronic, it’s doubtful that it would show up in your blood work. It’s a difficult condition to diagnose but the only noninvasive test is a MRCP. It’ll show how the pancreas is working and if you have a clogged duct. If you do have pancreatitis, stay away from alcohol, switch to low fat (your body can start to have problems digesting fats). Heat packs on your abdomen and back can help with the pain. Leaning forward sometimes works but not always. It really depends on the individual. I got chronic pancreatitis from a congenital abnormality called Pancreas Divseam (born with two pancreatic ducts that never fused together). I had ultrasound and endoscopy come back normal. I then had a CT Enterography show atrophy of my pancreas which is associated with chronic pancreatitis. After that the MRCP was ordered which showed my two ducts. I hope you feel better soon. 
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  • Posted

    Hi. I started with gastric reflux and the gastro specialist sent me for a scan as I also complained of pain in the left side and back. In the scan they discovered a small pancreatic cyst. I don’t know if your scan also covered the pancreas area but I would ask your gp to confirm. Tell him about your alcohol use and your fears. He might decide to send you for another scan or to refer you to a specialist. It took three months of appointments and test to have a diagnosis (I also live in the UK), so talk to your gp and just for the time being reduce your alcohol intake just to give your system a bit of a rest. I don’t have pancreatitis and my cyst is too small for the specialist to do anything so I have to go through lot of test again next year to see if the cyst has increased or decreased in size, but meanwhile no alcohol and minimum of fat in my diet and these are the two things that will affect your pancreas. Hope you get and answer and that you get good news.
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  • Posted

    YES!!  Alcohol is off limits with pancreatitis!! Hate to judge but dear god a bottle of wine s day !!! 
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