Pancreatitis in Tulsa, OK

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Pancreatitis develops when the pancreas becomes swollen and inflamed, thus interfering with its primary functions. Located in the abdomen, the pancreas assists with the digestive process. It excretes powerful digestive proteins, called enzymes, into the small intestine to help break down food. It also emits insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream, which allows the body to manage the way it metabolizes sugar for fuel.

This condition can present in different forms. The acute form of pancreatitis involves the abrupt, brief swelling of the pancreas. The majority of acute pancreatitis cases fully resolve with proper care. The chronic form of pancreatitis often develops more gradually and may last for a longer period of time. Cases of chronic pancreatitis are typically connected to heavy alcohol consumption.

Our board-certified gastroenterology providers are proud to offer pancreatitis treatment in Tulsa, OK. If you or a loved one may have pancreatitis, personalized help is available at an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location near you.

Pancreatitis develops when enzymes activate prematurely and begin to aggravate and attack the pancreas. The primary causes of pancreatitis are:

  • Abdominal surgery
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Infection
  • Overactive parathyroid gland
  • High calcium levels
  • Gallstones
  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Trauma or injury
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Elevated triglyceride levels in the blood
  • Some medications
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Abdominal injuries

Symptoms tend to appear when the pancreas becomes irritated. The main symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The abdomen is tender to the touch or swollen
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Fever
  • Upper abdominal pain that extends to your back, especially after eating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Foul-smelling, oily stools

If you notice any of these symptoms or are seeking treatment for pancreatitis in Tulsa, OK, we recommend you to contact an Adult Gastroenterology Associates location immediately.

Treatment approaches for acute pancreatitis usually involves IV fluids, fasting to rest the pancreas, and pain medications. If pancreatitis is more advanced, surgery could be necessary to remove the dead or damaged cell tissue if an infection emerges. If acute cases of pancreatitis develops from gallstones, pancreatitis could be treated by removing the gallbladder. Our experienced providers at your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location will help you find the best treatment for you.

Treatment for chronic pancreatitis involves:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Dietary changes – typically low in fat
  • Treatment for alcoholism
  • Administration of enzymes to improve digestive function
  • Insulin
  • Procedures to remove bile duct blockages
  • Pancreas surgery
  • Avoid smoking
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How can dietary changes help prevent pancreatitis flare-ups?

Dietary management can play a crucial role in controlling pancreatitis and avoiding flare-ups. It's important to follow a diet that is low in fats, particularly saturated fats, as these can trigger the pancreas to produce excessive digestive enzymes, which might worsen the condition. Instead, opt for smaller, frequent meals throughout the day to lighten the pancreas's load. Incorporating foods that are gentle on the stomach and rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, also promotes better digestive health and helps reduce inflammation.

Is it possible for children to have pancreatitis?

Although uncommon, pancreatitis can occur in children. Various factors might contribute to the development of pancreatitis in children, including abdominal injuries, certain medications, infections, congenital abnormalities in the pancreas, or hereditary predispositions. The symptoms in children are similar to those in adults, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent serious pancreatitis complications in children.

What are some of the complications that can stem from pancreatitis?

The potential complications of pancreatitis vary depending on whether the condition is acute or chronic. In cases of acute pancreatitis, most patients recover completely without lasting effects, though some may develop fluid collections around the pancreas that require medical intervention. Chronic pancreatitis, in contrast, often develops over time through repeated episodes and is associated with a range of more persistent complications. These can include chronic pain, diabetes, significant weight loss, and an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

If you or a family member are suffering from pancreatitis, it is important to receive care from an experienced gastrointestinal specialist. Whether your pancreatitis is acute or chronic, the gastroenterologists at your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location can provide the treatment you need. We are committed to providing patient-focused treatment plans while upholding the highest clinical standards. To partner with a GI specialist providing pancreatic care in Tulsa, OK, request a consultation today.

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