The pancreas is one of the most crucial body organs, especially because it secretes enzymes like insulin that are responsible for controlling your digestive system. Unfortunately, the pancreas is sometimes susceptible to inflammation, also known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis could develop as an acute condition that resolves in days. However, in some cases, patients develop chronic pancreatitis. Although mild forms of East Setauket pancreatitis are treatable with therapy, severe cases can result in life-threatening complications like organ failure. Here are the warning signs you should look out for to ensure that you identify this condition in its early stages.
1. Upper Abdominal Pain
Upper abdominal pain is the most prevalent sign of pancreatitis and often the first symptom most people notice. This pain often manifests just under the ribs but could also arise in the upper right or left quadrants. The explanation behind this discomfort is that enzymes get released into the digestive tract rather than the pancreas, thus, causing inflammation.
With time, these enzymes could also affect nearby tissues, blood vessels, and other body organs. The pain typically begins as a mild discomfort that worsens with time or spreads to other abdominal areas.
2. Pain That Worsens After Meals
Any time you eat, the pancreas secretes enzymes to the digestive tract to aid digestion. These enzymes disintegrate food particles, making it easy for one’s body to digest.
Pain that flares up after meals could signify ulcers. However, for persons with pancreatitis, the pancreas cannot release enzymes to one’s digestive tract. As such, digestion begins slowing down, which causes intensifying pain.
3. Changes In Appetite and Unexpected Weight Loss
If you experience intense discomfort after eating, it is tempting to start avoiding food to avoid discomfort. With time, this loss of appetite could cause malnutrition, which tends to cause unexpected weight loss. Malnutrition can make it difficult for the body to deal with pancreatitis, worsening the condition. Therefore, if you notice such symptoms, especially if they are associated with abdominal pain, seek specialist care.
4. Your Poop Looks Unusual
The enzymes secreted by the pancreas help in fat digestion and absorption of various vitamins. Therefore, if you realize that your stool is floating or light-colored, it could signal poor nutrient absorption by your body, which often stems from a pancreas malfunction. Occasional changes in stool are nothing to worry about as they might result from diarrhea. However, if the issue lingers, you should talk to a doctor.
Jaundice is a health concern characterized by the yellowing of an individual’s skin, the white part of the eye, and mucous membranes. This condition results from increased bilirubin levels, an element of bile, in the blood.
Jaundice often develops in serious pancreatitis cases, wherein the ducts releasing bile into your intestine become blocked. As a result of this blockage, bilirubin begins accumulating in your blood, causing the yellow tinge.
Though rare, pancreatitis is a severe disease that everyone should be mindful of. Typically, persons can easily and successfully recover from mild episodes of pancreatitis. However, if the condition is not addressed, it can be fatal. For this reason, it is vital not to overlook any warning signs and seek immediate medical assistance if you feel that something could be wrong. Based on the severity of your condition, your doctor may suggest diet modifications, medicines, and even surgery.