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Most Common Diseases of the Pancreas
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Most Common Diseases Of The Pancreas...

Common Diseases of the Pancreas

Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It is caused when the digestive enzymes from the exocrine pancreas become activated inside of the pancreas, instead of in the duodenum, and start "digesting" the pancreas itself. It usually presents with abdominal pain and can cause nausea and vomiting.

  • Acute pancreatitis may be a single or a recurring event, and it usually occurs suddenly. The abdominal pain with acute pancreatitis is often severe. Secretions can back up in the pancreas and cause permanent damage in just a few hours. Acute pancreatitis often presents with raised levels of pancreatic enzymes in the blood. These enzymes can circulate to other body organs, causing shock and organ failure. Acute pancreatitis can lead to internal bleeding and infection and can be life-threatening. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is blockage of the pancreatic duct (obstruction), usually due to gallstones and sometimes due to particles (sometimes tiny gallstones) in bile that have precipitated (biliary sludge). Because these pass through the bile duct, they may cause blockage of the common duct through which both biliary and pancreatic secretions pass into the duodenum. Other causes may include alcohol excess, physical trauma to the abdomen, exceedingly high blood triglyceride level, and high blood calcium level
  • Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by chronic or persistent abdominal pain and may or may not present with raised pancreatic enzymes. It develops gradually, often results in slow destruction of the pancreas, and can lead to other problems, such as pancreatic insufficiency (see below), bacterial infections, and type 2 diabetes. The main causes of chronic pancreatitis are gallbladder disease (ductal obstruction) and genetic risks, which are increased by modifying factors such as alcoholism. Other causes include high blood calcium level and very, very high triglyceride level, some drugs, and autoimmune conditions. Hereditary chronic pancreatitis results from mutations that affect the secretion of digestive enzymes, such as cystic fibrosis, or mutations that cause early activation of digestive enzymes while they are still in the pancreas. 

Pancreatic Cancer
Cancer of the pancreas is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more than 35,000 people a year. Risks include smoking, age, gender (more common in men), chronic pancreatitis, and exposure to some industrial chemicals. About 95% of pancreatic cancers develop in the exocrine tissues. Pancreatic cancer is very difficult to detect in the early stages because symptoms are either absent or nonspecific: abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and sometimes jaundice. Tumors near the head section that block flow to the intestine may be detected earlier. Only about 10% of the cancers are still contained within the pancreas at the time of diagnosis.

Pancreatic Insufficiency
Pancreatic insufficiency is not a primary disorder but is secondary to the other causes of pancreatic disease. It is the inability of the pancreas to produce and/or transport enough digestive enzymes to break down food in the intestine. It typically occurs as a result of progressive pancreatic damage - damage that may be caused by a variety of conditions. It is most frequently associated with cystic fibrosis in children and with chronic pancreatitis in adults; it is less frequently but sometimes associated with pancreatic cancer.

To find out more about some of the less common pancreatic diseases, visit the web site Pancreas.org: Rare syndromes

 

(Please click red arrow to full text and site)

"...Hey, if you have to have a pancreatic tumor, why not have fun with it?

So in December 2003 I woke up early one December morning with some really nasty pain. I had no idea what was going on. I just knew it hurt.

Well turned out I had kidney stones. Word to the wise. Don't get kidney stones. They totally suck. A few days later I had another attack and they sent me to get a CT scan.

When I went in for the results I found out that the stone was pretty small (it didn't FEEL small). BUT, there was something else.

<insert sound of heart thudding to the floor>

I had a "spot on my pancreas"... click to read more...

 
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Free

Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes symptoms occur when glucose (blood sugar) levels in the body become abnormally elevated. The most common symptoms of diabetes include thirst, fatigue, frequent or increased urination, and blurry vision, but symptoms do vary from one person to the next and depend on which type of diabetes you have. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes tend to begin abruptly and dramatically. In type 2 diabetes, the symptoms are similar but develop slowly, or there may be no symptoms at all. It is common for no symptoms to be present in gestational diabetes. In some cases, your symptoms may seem vague or harmless. It is essential that if you experience one or more of these symptoms on a regular basis, you see your doctor immediately for a diabetes screening and blood tests.

Common Diabetes Symptoms

Thirst/Dehydration

Diabetes causes your blood glucose levels to rise. Increased glucose levels cause your body to pull fluid from your cells into the bloodstream and deliver the increased load to your kidneys, causing them to produce more urine than normal. Frequent urination, another common symptom, causes you to feel thirsty and thus drink more liquids, compounding the problem.

Learn other causes of dehydration.

Weight loss

Your body’s inability to properly use the glucose generated from the foods you eat, as well as the significant number of calories lost to increased urination, cause your body to break down other energy sources available—such as fat—which can result in weight loss. You may be eating normally and constantly feel hungry yet continue to lose weight.

Learn other causes of weight loss.

Fatigue

Glucose is a primary source of fuel for the body. If you have diabetes, your body’s inability to convert glucose into energy will inevitably lead to fatigue, ranging from a general worn-down feeling to exhaustion.

Learn other causes of fatigue.

Blurred Vision

Abnormally high glucose levels in the blood can also lead to eye problems such as swelling of the lens, which causes blurred vision. Adequately controlling your blood sugar levels can help correct this symptom over time. Left undetected, though, diabetes can lead to more serious eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20 to 74.

Learn other causes of blurred vision.

Recurring Infections

High glucose levels in your body’s tissues may hinder the body’s ability to heal and make you more susceptible to various kinds of bacteria and infections, especially of the skin, kidneys, bladder, and feet.

Advanced Diabetes Symptoms

Although some people with diabetes may have no symptoms or mild symptoms that seem relatively harmless, untreated diabetes can result in dangerously high levels of blood sugar, calledketoacidosis. (Ketoacidosis is rare in type 2 diabetes because insulin is still being produced.) This condition can cause:

Dangerously low levels of blood sugar, called hypoglycemia, are sometimes associated with diabetes treatments. Hypoglycemia can cause:

(Please click the red arrow to this text and source)

The Pancreas | Pancreatic Diseases

 

Common Diseases of the Pancreas


Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It is caused when the digestive enzymes from the exocrine pancreas become activated inside of the pancreas, instead of in the duodenum, and start "digesting" the pancreas itself. It usually presents with abdominal pain and can cause nausea and vomiting.

Acute pancreatitis may be a single or a recurring event, and it usually occurs suddenly. The abdominal pain with acute pancreatitis is often severe. Secretions can back up in the pancreas and cause permanent damage in just a few hours. Acute pancreatitis often presents with raised levels of pancreatic enzymes in the blood. These enzymes can circulate to other body organs, causing shock and organ failure. Acute pancreatitis can lead to internal bleeding and infection and can be life-threatening. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis is blockage of the pancreatic duct (obstruction), usually due to gallstones and sometimes due to particles (sometimes tiny gallstones) in bile that have precipitated (biliary sludge). Because these pass through the bile duct, they may cause blockage of the common duct through which both biliary and pancreatic secretions pass into the duodenum. Other causes may include alcohol excess, physical trauma to the abdomen, exceedingly high blood triglyceride level, and high blood calcium level. 
Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by chronic or persistent abdominal pain and may or may not present with raised pancreatic enzymes. It develops gradually, often results in slow destruction of the pancreas, and can lead to other problems, such as pancreatic insufficiency (see below), bacterial infections, and type 2 diabetes. The main causes of chronic pancreatitis are gallbladder disease (ductal obstruction) and genetic risks, which are increased by modifying factors such as alcoholism. Other causes include high blood calcium level and very, very high triglyceride level, some drugs, and autoimmune conditions. Hereditary chronic pancreatitis results from mutations that affect the secretion of digestive enzymes, such as cystic fibrosis, or mutations that cause early activation of digestive enzymes while they are still in the pancreas. 
Pancreatic Cancer
Cancer of the pancreas is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing more than 35,000 people a year. Risks include smoking, age, gender (more common in men), chronic pancreatitis, and exposure to some industrial chemicals. About 95% of pancreatic cancers develop in the exocrine tissues. Pancreatic cancer is very difficult to detect in the early stages because symptoms are either absent or nonspecific: abdominal pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and sometimes jaundice. Tumors near the head section that block flow to the intestine may be detected earlier. Only about 10% of the cancers are still contained within the pancreas at the time of diagnosis.

Pancreatic Insufficiency
Pancreatic insufficiency is not a primary disorder but is secondary to the other causes of pancreatic disease. It is the inability of the pancreas to produce and/or transport enough digestive enzymes to break down food in the intestine. It typically occurs as a result of progressive pancreatic damage - damage that may be caused by a variety of conditions. It is most frequently associated with cystic fibrosis in children and with chronic pancreatitis in adults; it is less frequently but sometimes associated with pancreatic cancer.

To find out more about some of the less common pancreatic diseases, visit the web site Pancreas.org: Rare syndromes.

 

(Please click the red arrow to this text and source)

Healthline ....
Understanding Pancreatic...

"... In type 2 diabetes, the symptoms are similar but develop slowly, or there may be no symptoms at all. It is common for no symptoms to be present in gestational diabetes. In some cases, your symptoms may seem vague or harmless. "

(see this article below)

"...Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It is caused when the digestive enzymes from the exocrine pancreas become activated inside of the pancreas, instead of in the duodenum, and start "digesting" the pancreas itself. It usually presents with abdominal pain and can cause nausea and vomiting...."  (see this article below)
The steps I take to make my own colloidal silver...
 Acute pancreatitis often presents with raised levels of pancreatic enzymes in the blood. These enzymes can circulate to other body organs, causing shock and organ failure.  (this article is below)

Silent Solid Organ

Symptoms of Disease

What is the pancreas?

It is a "silent," solid organ positioned behind the stomach in the upper part of the abdomen. The body's main digestive organ, the pancreas is composed of different cells that serve distinct functions. Some cells produce digestive "juices" or enzymes, while the others produce hormones. The pancreatic enzymes break down the three types of nutritional elements: protease digests proteins; lipase digests fat; and amylase digests carbohydrates. Once manufactured, the digestive enzymes empty into channels (ducts), eventually draining into the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. Food that passes through the duodenum stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes. The most important hormone the pancreas produces is insulin, which controls the amount of glucose in our bloodstream. When an insufficient amount of insulin is secreted, the body's cells are unable to take in glucose, which raises glucose levels in the bloodstream and may ultimately lead to diabetes (though it is not the principal cause of diabetes). In addition to insulin, the pancreas makes other hormones, all of which pass into the blood that flows through the organ (not through the ducts used by the enzymes).

 

What are the most common problems that affect the pancreas?

Normally the pancreas does not cause us much trouble, but when it does, the symptoms can be quite bothersome and, in some cases, fatal. Pancreatitis is the most common pancreatic condition, categorized as either acute and chronic. In acute pancreatitis the organ suddenly becomes swollen and releases digestive juices into the bloodstream. Depending on how severe it is, acute pancreatitis can cause pain, fever, shortness of breath or kidney problems, among other symptoms. In rare cases death may result from infection, respiratory failure, bleeding or other complications. Most patients recover without any serious consequences. Still, even mild cases can bring severe pain, nausea and vomiting for a few days.

After an acute attack a patient may either completely recover or have several more episodes, which can lead to chronic pancreatitis. This is characterized by persistent abdominal pain, intolerance of food and sometimes disabling nausea. If it causes permanent scarring or damage to the pancreas, chronic pancreatitis can harm the organ's ability to produce digestive enzymes and hormones, which can lead to diabetes, chronic diarrhea and malnourishment. The vast majority of diabetes cases, however, are not caused by chronic pancreatitis.

Perhaps the most feared condition is pancreatic cancer, since it is almost always fatal. Indeed, it is the most lethal of all cancers, though fortunately, not very common. While no screening is currently available to detect it at earlier, more curable stages, there is hope for one soon. Most pancreatic cancer patients have minimal or no symptoms until later, less curable stages, and the symptoms that do arise are usually the same as those for chronic pancreatitis.

 

What causes these pancreatic conditions?

Acute pancreatitis is usually caused by a gallstone getting stuck in the bile duct on its way from the gallbladder into the small intestine. Since the bile duct shares the same opening with the pancreatic duct, a sudden obstruction of the pancreatic opening will cause pancreatic juices to back up into the pancreas. This leads to the pancreatic duct system becoming swollen and inflamed, potentially causing pancreatic damage. Drinking a large amount of alcohol at one time is another common cause of acute pancreatitis. Furthermore, athletic, automobile and falling injuries can break open or bruise the pancreas, causing acute pancreatitis. Less frequent causes include medications, high triglyceride levels in the bloodstream and a tight pancreatic duct opening. Sometimes a common test used to investigate pancreatic conditions, called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), can cause acute pancreatitis.

Chronic pancreatitis can be caused by any one of the triggers associated with acute episodes, but the most common one is excessive use of alcohol. Also, a condition arising at birth that leads to a disconnect in the pancreatic duct system, called pancreas divisum, makes some people susceptible to chronic pancreatitis in their adult years. Cystic fibrosis, a very common hereditary disease contracted at birth, may also cause chronic pancreatitis, even if it was a mild case. There is also a rare form of pancreatitis that runs in families.

Pancreatic cancer occurs without any apparent reason, though patients with chronic pancreatitis are more likely to contract it. Smoking seems to be the only known preventable risk factor. Pancreatic cancer is also quite common among patients with the hereditary form of pancreatitis. Diabetes has not been shown to be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

 

Can we live without a pancreas?

Many years ago, a patient without a pancreas could not survive because severe diabetes and an inability to digest food would immediately result. Today some patients can function without a pancreas, living fairly normal lives. However, they must take daily injections of insulin and pills that contain digestive enzymes for the rest of their lives. Sometimes pancreatic transplantation is an option for patients whose pancreas does not function normally.

 

What are the warning signs of pancreatic problems?

Pancreatic conditions can produce severe pain or no symptoms at all, and virtually all pancreatic conditions can have the same symptoms. The pain is usually in the upper middle part of the abdomen, but it can also be in the upper left side, upper right side or throughout the abdomen. Pain often travels straight to the mid-back region. Even though most diabetes is unrelated to pancreatic conditions, if it occurs at the onset of upper abdominal pain, then pancreatic problems are the likely source. In addition, if the patient experiences loss of weight, either pancreatitis or cancer should be considered.

 

If I suspect a pancreatic problem, what should I do?

If the symptoms are severe, seek immediate medical help. Severe acute pancreatitis may require hospitalization. At the very least, a series of tests should be performed to establish a diagnosis. A blood test that shows the presence of pancreatic enzymes will suggest acute pancreatitis, but not necessarily chronic pancreatitis. In that case, an ultrasound or computed tomography (CT scan) could indicate if a blockage or high lipids are the cause. Anyone older than 60 or who has suddenly lost weight should have a CT scan and a blood test known as CA19-9 to check for cancer. Recently, more-specific tests have become available that are minimally invasive and can clearly show pancreatic swelling and inflammation. ERCP can examine the bile and pancreatic ducts to check for tumors, a stricture, stones or abnormal anatomy. And ERCP combined with a pressure-measuring device called a manometer is the only test that can diagnose an unusual condition known as papillary stenosis (very tight pancreatic opening). Despite a slight risk of causing pancreatitis, ERCP is one of the best ways to remove stones blocking the ducts.

 

What are some of the other tests and treatments available today to treat pancreatitis and other common problems?

Using ERCP technology, doctors can place stents where there is a stricture or narrowing of the ducts. One of the most exciting new tests is endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) of the pancreas. By placing the ultrasound probe next to the pancreas in the stomach or duodenum, EUS can see inside the pancreas and show much greater detail than any other nonsurgical method. This is probably the most desirable test for investigating possible pancreatic tumors. It is also becoming a standard test for assessing if a patient is a good candidate for cancer surgery.

 

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Diseases of the Pancreas

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