is an important organ located in the upper abdomen of the body and is assigned the dual function of producing digestive enzymes (to digest carbohydrates, fats and proteins) and supply hormones like insulin and glucagon for regulating our body’s energy handling mechanism and overall metabolism.
In pancreatitis, the pancreas
becomes inflamed and is unable to function in the required manner.
The three main types of disorders are:
Sudden onset swelling in the pancreas
pancreatitis), majorly caused due to excessive alcohol consumption or gall bladder stones
Slow damage due to ongoing swelling for many years (chronic
pancreatitis), majorly caused due to genetic and/or unknown reasons
accounting for cancers
In more than 80 per cent of cases, acute pancreatitis
is preceded by bile duct stones or a history of heavy alcohol use over a long-term. For people with pre-existing liver and pancreas
problems, alcohol intake (even in a binge way) should be completely avoided.
On the other hand, diet has got a major role to play in the management of chronic pancreatitis.
Any food product high in saturated or trans-fat is a big no-no if you are prone to pancreatic disorders. If you are recovering or have experienced a previous episode of mild pancreatitis, it is very important to know the foods to avoid. Pancreatic disorders are complex which can be managed with the help of medicines, endoscopic/surgical procedures and dietary modifications.
While abstaining from alcohol and smoking are the only two proven means of prevention, you can also reduce your risk by staying away from junk foods and full-fat-containing milk, yogurt, and cheesy dips.
Foods high in sugar content such as candies and fizzy drinks can dramatically increase you triglyceride levels in the bloodstream, aiding formation of stones; hence, it is a good decision to limit all foods that have high quantity of simple sugar, and particularly the processed and packaged ones. It is safe to restrict fat in diet in any form, especially if you have suffered from diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems in a recent point in time. High-fiber intake may lead to bloating and caffeinated drinks can lead to flaring up of pancreas, hence, these should also be avoided.
The best cooking media for chronic pancreatitis
patients is coconut oil, as it has medium chain fatty acids Besides, eating a low-fat diet is key to avoid recurring pain.
Eating between six and eight small meals throughout the day can help in speeding up the recovery process. If you are experiencing frequent flare ups, your doctor may recommend eating no solid food for a day or two and being on a diet with clear liquids such as apple, cranberry and white grape juice, which can help in soothing pain up to a certain extent. Sticking to a high-protein, nutrient-dense diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein is said to be the best way out.
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