Acute Pancreatitis : Symptoms, Causes & Management – Dr. Vidyasagar Ramappa




Anything that is acute is of sudden onset. So acute pancreatitis is sudden onset inflammation of the pancreas. This is characterised by generally pain that is quite severe that the patient comes to the emergency department or the hospital complaining of pain in the upper abdomen, sometimes going to the back with associated symptoms that can be vomiting, sometimes shortness of breath and the pain can be continuous and excruciating. By and large the 4 main causes for acute pancreatitis are alcohol, gall stones, medication that the patient may be treating for any other health reasons and four, especially in the elder age group there could be small tumours in the pancreas or the bile duct which could be responsible. Acute pancreatitis can be of milder forms, which usually manifests as chest pain that lasts for a couple of days and settles down. Sometimes it can be quite severe that the patient needs hospitalisation for longer periods of time, even upto a week, even longer than that, even upto a month the pancreatitis can be quite severe. When we talk about acute pancreatitis there is severe damage of the pancreas gland that is associated with swelling and necrosis or cell death of the pancreas. Sometimes this sets up a cascade of chemical reactions in the body to changes in the respiration, the circulation and other organ dysfunction necessitating even stay in the ICU for further care. Most of the times acute pancreatitis is managed with conservative pain killers and symptomatic therapy and people make a recovery fairly soon.

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