A Natural Approach To Health
Living With Pancreatitis
I had a question the other day about pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of your pancreas, an organ in your belly that makes the hormones insulin and glucagon.
These two hormones control how your body uses the sugar found in the food you eat.
Your pancreas also makes other hormones and enzymes that help you break down food.
Usually the digestive enzymes stay in one part of your pancreas.
But if these enzymes leak into other parts of your pancreas, they can irritate it and cause pain and swelling.
This may happen suddenly or over many years.
Over time, it can damage and scar your pancreas.
Most cases are caused by gallstones or alcohol abuse.
It can also be caused by an injury, an infection, or certain medicines.
In Western countries, alcohol abuse causes most chronic cases.
The main symptom of pancreatitis is medium to severe pain in your upper belly.
Pain may also spread to your back.
Some people have other symptoms too, like nausea, vomiting, a fever, and sweating.
Most attacks of pancreatitis need treatment in the hospital.
You will receive pain medicine and fluids through a vein (IV) until the pain and swelling go away.
Fluids and air can build up in your stomach when there are problems with your pancreas.
This buildup can cause severe vomiting.
If buildup occurs, your doctor may place a tube through your nose and into your stomach to remove the extra fluids and air.
This will help make the pancreas less active and swollen.
Although most people get well after an attack of pancreatitis, problems can occur.
Problems may include cysts, infection, or death of tissue in the pancreas.
You may need surgery to remove your gallbladder or a part of your pancreas that’s been damaged.
If your pancreas has been severely damaged, you may need to take insulin to help your body control blood sugar.
You also may need to take pancreatic enzyme pills to help your body digest fat and protein.
If you have chronic pancreatitis, you’ll need to follow a low-fat diet and stop drinking alcohol.
Making changes like these may seem hard.
But with planning, talking with your health care professional, and getting support from family and friends, these changes are possible.
To deal with pancreatitis it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water.
*Try drinking a large glass of water to relieve pain.
*Consider any connection to dietary items.
*Beware of antacids with aluminum. Antacids may create a vicious cycle of dependency.
*Explore fresh cabbage juicing to help heal stomach lining.
*Eat smaller more frequent meals.
*Eat lots of life-giving, enzyme and nutrient-rich, fresh, raw fruits and veggies daily (organic whenever possible).
*Eat some RAW vegetables with every meal.
*Consider a liver, gallbladder, and/or colon cleanse.
*Ensure optimal elimination (at least 2 bowel movements per day).
*Consider stress relief techniques.
*Increase intake of Essential Fatty Acids.
*Relax, eat slowly, chew well, appreciate your food.
*Supplement with digestive enzymes.
*Investigate “hidden” allergies, which often trigger or aggravate the condition. Common triggers are dairy, wheat, corn, eggs, gluten, and additives.
*Try to eliminate processed, instant, sugar-laden, chemical-laden, hydrogenated foods.
*Avoid chewing gum, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, dairy products, large animal protein meals, fried foods, spices.
*Don’t use milk to ease symptoms as this stimulates more acid production.
*Avoid use of aspirin and ibuprofen.
*Minimize drinking right before, during or after meals.
*Consider peppermint, anise, fennel, chamomile, and/or ginger teas.
*Try fresh pineapple or papaya because they are rich in digestive enzymes.