At a inflammation of the pancreas a distinction is made between two forms of progression:
- the acute and
- the chronic pancreatitis (acute and chronic pancreatitis).
These diseases are often triggered by long-term consumption of alcohol and or nicotine but also hereditary The causes of pancreatitis are often the basis.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis
The acute Shape of Inflammation of the pancreas shows up in the beginning of sudden violent pain throughout the upper abdomen. In many cases, these pains radiate belt-shaped up to the back (especially towards Thoracic spine) and increase enormously under pressure. At the Tightening the knees the perceived pain usually goes back to the body.
In addition, many patients report strong nausea With Vomit and high fever. The intestinal activity comes to an almost complete standstill during an acute episode; in this context, one speaks of a paralysis of the intestinal activity. It can too Fatty stools come.
Since inflammation of the pancreas can also narrow the biliary tract, so-called jaundice (money addiction; yellowing of the skin) occurs in some people affected. The so-called portal vein system, i.e. the outflow and inflow routes of the liver, can also be narrowed in the course of an inflammation of the pancreas. As a result, there is often water retention (ascites) in the abdominal cavity, which is accompanied by noticeable irritation.
During severe forms of the disease, signs of shock and poisoning can occur, which make it necessary to supply blood and / or infusions.
Many patients also develop blue-green spots (ecchymoses) in the area around the navel. In technical jargon, the appearance of these spots is called "Cullen signs". If these "bruises" occur mainly in the area of the flanks, one speaks of the "Gray Turner sign".
In a blood sample, greatly increased concentrations of the enzymes produced in the pancreas (pancreatic enzymes)
- Detect amylase and pancreatic lipase (enzyme derangement).
In addition, many ions (magnesium, sodium, potassium and bicarbonate) and the sugar and fat values can be increased. As a sign of inflammation within the organism, the number of white blood cells (leukocytes) will usually be increased, leading to so-called leukocytosis.
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Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis
Also in the course of chronic form of the Inflammation of the pancreas (chronic pancreatitis) is considered the occurrence of severe pain as Main symptom. In this case, however, the pain is not colicky and can last for several times Hours to Days last for.
The localization Here too the pain is mainly in the Upper abdomen and in the field of Flanks. Similar to the acute form, the pain in chronic pancreatitis radiates belt-shaped up in the back, the area mainly affected is the Thoracic spine.
Many patients also report strong ones nausea With Vomit and high fever. Due to the fear of recurring and / or worsening pain, most of those affected refuse to eat and drink, which is usually severe Weight loss result.
As the pancreas increases in the course of chronic inflammation Loses functionality, fewer and fewer pancreatic enzymes, which are important for normal digestive processes, are released into the small intestine. This often results in a lack of Digestive- and Nutrient uptake, fat deposits in the stool (Fat stool).
Since this increased concentration of fat molecules in the intestinal lumen triggers the influx of water from the intestinal cells, many patients complain of severe Diarrhea and Flatulence.
It must also be borne in mind that the pancreas, in addition to the digestive enzymes already mentioned, is also responsible for the production of insulin and Glucagon responsible for.
Insulin, on the other hand, is essential for sugar absorption and utilization in the organism. Chronic pancreatitis can therefore always be accompanied by an underproduction of insulin and thus an up Insulin deficiency based form of diabetes trigger (secondary diabetes).