Extremely worried about Pancreatitis

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Hello everyone,

I'm writing because I was a heavy drinker for about 3-4 years (usually 10-12 drinks most nights).  I'm currently 25 and have completely quit drinking.  I'm scared because starting 4 months ago in January I got extremely sick / nauseaus and it took a long time to clear up.  I was constantly gassy with loose stools which have not cleared up and was having very mild back pain just under my left shoulder blade.

Now 4 months later I feel better but still get nausea and fatigue on and off (really depends on the day).  The back pain is still there but continues to be very dull and inconsistent.  I also have some mild pressure on the front left side near my rib cage from time to time.  I've always had a weird stomach and have been diagnosed with IBS for a long time but my stools continue to be very loose and light, sometimes floating.

I expressed these concerns to my GI doctor and he did a colonoscopy, blood work for liver / pancreas enzymes and an abdominal CT scan with contrast all of which came back fine.  I'm doing an upper GI scope but not for another 2 months.

I've convinced myself I have chronic pancreatitis due to my drinking and I'm making myself so anxious / beating myself up for my years of heavy drinking.  I have a great career, partner and social life and I'm terrified of this pain and nausea getting worse and developing into a disabling condition.  

My question is essentially this - if I continue to abstain from drinking and eat a low fat diet (I lift weight and work part time as a personal trainer so I'd prefer not to go too low calorie and cut out protein), would it be possible even if this is a pancratic issue that it would never progress or get worse?  I'm just so young and I don't want bad decisions I made for a few years to completely take away everything I have worked for.

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    Although it is said that the main cause of pancreatitis is alcohol, there isn't sufficient data to prove it for sure. The reasons till date majorly remain unknown.

    The efforts mentioned by you should be followed by anyone and should help you maintain a good health.

    Reducing intake of alcohol may accelerate the calcification formation in some cases and it doesn't in many.

    Having said that, keeping alcohol intake in ck troll always helps.

    Regards,

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    it sounds complicated and may be something to do with diet; why not research alternative ways of eating? I have been working my way through to 2/3rds  vegetarian. I have cut out all dairy products and get my protien from vegetables, beans, tofu, nuts, and drink alternatives to milk. Alcohol is off limits of course and I have cut down on coffee now I can't put milk in it. My interest was due to my son's pancreatic problem.

    Animal products cause a lot of trouble and the Western diet is not normal. You need to read a lot, there is a book called the China Study which is the best that I have come across on health and nutrition, my own nausea has practically gone and I feel a lot more healthy. Still learning how to cook the vegetarian way, it is a slow process...but very interesting and it is a way of eating that can halt or reverse many diseases.

    Blessings,

    Lesley

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  • Posted

    My husband recently passed away from acute pancreatitis.  The doctors said it was from heavy drinking when he was younger and continued moderate drinking as he got older (he was only 55 however)  He usually had 2-3 beers nightly for the last 10 yrs. I didnt think that was all that much but he may have weakened his pancreas from earlier years of heavier drinking.  ALthough he didnt make it, we found a group of ppl who visited him who had bouts of pancreastitis and recovered well. They stopped drinking and altered their diets.  I had hoped he might make it but his case was an extremely bad one.  I am praying for your recovery and I know you can turn it around, you are so young - best of luck and best wishes to you
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  • Posted

    Hi melocotones,

    I have an almost identical story to you and the exact same fear. I am a week away from a my CT and my endscopy is a month out. While I can't anwser your question I just wanted to share a few suggestions for my experience:

    - Try to keep in mind these are similar symptoms to other conditions such as GERD, stomach ulcers, celiac disease and Chron's diseases. Especially worth looking at if you have previously been diagnosed with IBS... celiac's is called the great mimic because it can present with the same symptoms of virtually any gastrointestinal condition...

    -Make sure your GI takes multiple biopsies during your endoscopy to test for these conditions. Ask about a blood test for celiacs

    -Has your dr prescribed you a trial of a PPI? This is often done as a fiest step to check if it is a stomach acid issue (GERD, Ulcer)

    -Try keeping a food/symptom journal to see if there is any link to particular food groups

    Hang in there, you're not the only one struggling with that lovely combination of anxiety and guilt

    Siva

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  • Posted

    Hi melocotones,

    I came across your post because my situation is almost identical to yours. Just wanted to ask, how are you doing now? Did keeping a diet heal you? Do you still feel pain?

    From what I was told, the pancreas has the ability to bounce back. But if imaging test show chronic, then it's irreversible.

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