Scared: Answered sought on pancreatitis

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Hello, Two weeks ago I had an extreme attack of pancreatitis. I am  a 53 tear old make 6ft. 217 prior to attack 200lbs now (without trying) . Immeidately brought to the hospital. Lipase was 3813 (10 times normal and white blood cells 20K) both returned to normal after 4 days of no food  then liquid then full liquid diet. Nw home on non fat diet. It is now 15 days since the attack. I still have intermitent pain, dont want to eat as much as I used to and seem to fatigue easily. OF course I am much better then two weeks ago. Even got out to walk a half mile today ( wasnt easy)   Does anyone know how long the aftereffects of acute pancreatitis can ast and at what point you are considered chronic? I have lost 17 pounds in 15 days (normal?) THey do not beleive I had a gall stone as they said lver enzymes would also be levated if I did and I rarely use alcohol. I have had high triglycerides for years and my most recent reading a week before the attack was higher than usual at 217. Threefore the cause is either idiopathic or hyperlipiemia. I am scared because they say weight loss os associatd with pancreatic cancer. I did not prestn with jaundice and doctor says symptoms for cancer verus pancreatitis are doffernt in onset. Again werght loss bothers and earliest appointmetn I can get with a doc specializing in pancretitis is January 5. . Has anyone with acute pancreatitis suffered more than 2 weeks and with weight loss or am I now theoretically crossng the line onto what is defined as "Chronic" and have to look forward to a life of misery. ANy advice is apprecaited. GOd bless and best of health to all. 

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  • Posted

    Your attack sounds similar to mine although I wasn't hospitalised . I had it in May and am still recovering. On the whole, the pancreas takes a long time to heal, if it recovers at all. Sticking to a very low fat diet, drinking plenty of water and absolutely no alcohol all help keep things stable and hopefully keep the worst of the pain away. Everyone's different and you'll find what you can and can't tolerate food wise but you shouldn't drink alcohol, ever. I know people who have this do drink but once your pancreas is damaged you just make it worse by drinking. Its up to you really.

    Don't worry too much about the weight loss. I lost a lot of weight quickly at the beginning but have put some back on but not all, due to the diet (fine by me!). As to what your condition will turn out to be, that's down to your doctors. At the moment mine can't decide if I've had one acute attack or it's the beginning of chronic pancreatitis. I have had no gallstones or alcohol related issues. Just bad luck! It might resolve or it might not - Im being monitored at the moment. Good luck with it all.

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    • Posted

      Hi Nix, Thanks for sharing your personal experince with me. I have never been a big alcobhol drinker (other than collge days in thr 80s when beer flowed freely at parties) so staying away from alcohol should not be a problem. WHat will be a problem is the challege I will face with foods like pizza which I love but have high fat content which I know is bad. Again thanks for sharing your experience. God bless. 
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  • Posted

    Your attack sounds like mine . Mine was in late July I am still experiencing pain,fatigue and nausea. It takes a long time to heal if it does get plenty of rest . I lost 21lbs and have only gained a little back. Be thankful your alive , realize your have good and bad days , Janurary 5th will come soon then ask about eus to rule out cancer if your worried.
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  • Posted

    Stick with proteins and low fat meals. Drink more water than usual. I had my pancreas removed and was loosing weight before and after. Chronic usually occurs when pain doesn't go away...find a pain management doctors who understands pancreatitis.

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  • Posted

    Hello. If the doctor suspected cancer he would have ordered a CT scan with contrasts. It would have shown any tumor..so relax 🙂

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  • Posted

    Hello. If the doctor suspected cancer he would have ordered a CT scan with contrasts. It would have shown any tumor..so relax 🙂

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    • Posted

      Hi MIdo, He did order that a CT scan with conrast which I Had first day in the hospital. But it didnt reveal much of the pancreas because ther eport says too much  fluid int the retroperitoneum. to get good look at pancreas.  Now they want me to go for an MCRP or ECRP ( Something like that) . One of teh gastor docs in the hosptial  said most cases caused by a tumor are presented first with jaundice and dark colored urine and itchy skin. Ihavent had any of that  but because alcohol and gall stones have been ruled out they want to try to figure out what the cau might be rather then chalking it up to idiopathic  cause.
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    • Posted

      They suspected cancer early on for me even though I had no jaundice, itching or dark urine and I had all the tests - CT with contrast, MRCP and EUS. No cancer (whew) but an inflamed pancreas and bile duct. Still the same after seven months but the pain is down to virtually nothing at the moment with occasional little flares around my period (not that you will have to worry about that!).

      I am convinced that being very strict about the diet and hydration are the keys to management and/or recovery. That also supports the rest of your body too. It's not easy, especially at this time of year, but I'd rather feel well rather than eat pizza. There are lots of nice things to eat even on a strict diet - just happens most of them are fruit and vegetables. Humans are conditioned to crave fat and salt but you just have to be tough with yourself. Believe me, you'll be better in the long run if you do what's right for you.

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  • Posted

    Has the doctors done an Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)? My husband found out he has chronic pancreatitis from the EUS; it showed scarring of his pancreas all over. Even though he has chronic pancreatitis he has not developed diabetes or cancer thank God, so dont be discouraged. The doctor diagnosed him with CHRONIC PANCREATITIS after the EUS, so you may want to start there. Are you on enzymes? For some people it helps with the pain. As far as weight loss if your pancreas is damaged and your not eating you will lose weight, since your not consuming enough food to gain and by having problems with your pancreas your body is not absorbing the vitamins that it should be absorbing. There is no definite answer to how long your pain will last.... my husband had pain for 4-5 months recently and finally he is starting to feel better. This pain from what i notice with him come n go sometimes it stays for a little and other times it last longer. The best advise i can give you is to find doctors that are willing to fight with you and keep yourself informed as much as possible. since your still having pain and are scared to eat/ cant eat try (ensure clear for protein, eat berry's for the vitamins and eat watermelon for the water you need to stay hydrated) when you start feeling better start eating blan light food and gradually add other things to your diet. For some people keeping a food journal will help with figuring out what you can and can't eat everyone is different so somthing one person can eat may not go down well for someone else.

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    • Posted

      Elizabeth thank you for such a thoughtful and educational response. Since leavinghte hospital I went to a local gastro. doc I just wasnt happy with jhis info. e Hes said "a bomb went off in you rstomach there is nothing we can do let it heal and come see me in 6 weeks.  I felt like sayng OK doc tell me why the bomb went off in my stomach so we can prevent it from happening again, I dont drink and they saod if I had a stone my liver enzymes would have been elvated as well. Als CT scan and ultrasound showed no evience of gallstones. Feeling kind of unhappy I searched for a gastro doctor here in Charlotte (closet major city to me)  that has specific clinical interests in acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatis and Something called ECRP. WHile I did get an appointment it is not until Jan 5. As you know, not knowing can cause anxiety. I have been told to be on low fat diet I am using the livestrong diet tracker to help me. ITs free and realy helps you stay focused. The challenge is getting the proper amount of protein, fat and fiber becaue if I dont I feel very fatigued. Protein of course isa tissue builder and healer so it is exteremely important. I am starting to add things to the diet day by day and have not yet had an epsiode of vomiting, slight nausea but no vommitting.  I have had an egg white instead of an egg. pureed juices of frutis and vegetables, a tablespoon or two of avocado for the very good fats but none of the bad fats ( which is also said to lower ldl and help lower the chance of insulin resistance) I have also been told to drink a lot fo water but for some reason I can't hit my goal ( maybe cause its wnter.)  At 53 this has certainly woken me up to the fact that years of pizzza, fast food, eating out and having thos big portions ( oddly when I had my attack I was eating a mediterreanean chicken salad at Riuby Tuesdays) and snacking on anythng from candy to chips ( never have been a drinker but love the sweet drinks) . THanks agin for takling th time to write me. I love watermelon and berries and Pageland SC which is real close to where I live is the watermelon capital of the world.  God bless and I pray your husband stays symptom freee for longer. Merry Christmaswindow.

      }

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    • Posted

      I was told to keep clear of avocado as, although it does have good fats, there is too much. It's the only fruit/vegetable banned though. Whole eggs are OK.

      Eating out is difficult but you can always ask your server what's in stuff and ask for things to be grilled or baked rather than fried.

      The hydration is really important so do try to keep up with that.

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