Pancreatitis in Northwest Arkansas

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Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed, hindering its ability to perform its primary functions that aid in digestion. The pancreas is a large gland located in the abdominal region that facilitates the digestive process. This gland emits important digestive proteins called enzymes into the small bowel to help process food. The pancreas also releases insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These two hormones allow the body to control the way it metabolizes sugar for fuel.

This condition can develop in various forms. The acute type of pancreatitis involves the sudden, brief inflammation of the pancreas. In most situations, acute pancreatitis fully resolve with proper treatment. The chronic form of pancreatitis generally occurs more gradually and can last much longer. Chronic pancreatitis is typically related to heavy alcohol intake.

Our gastroenterologists proudly offer pancreatitis treatment in Arkansas. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with pancreatitis, personalized help can be found through GI Alliance of Arkansas.

Pancreatitis develops when digestive enzymes normally released by the pancreas are triggered too early, causing them to irritate the organ. The main causes of pancreatitis involve:

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

There are numerous symptoms to indicate an inflamed pancreas. The main symptoms of pancreatitis are included below:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Oily, odorous stools
  • Fever
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Upper abdominal pain that radiates to your back, especially after eating
  • Abdominal tenderness or swelling

If you have these symptoms or need treatment for pancreatitis in Arkansas, please get in touch with our GI team today.

Treatment plans for acute pancreatitis usually entail IV fluids, pain medications, and fasting to give the pancreas a break. When pancreatitis is more intense, a surgical procedure might be recommended to extract the damaged or necrotic tissue if an infection arises. When acute pancreatitis arises due to gallstones, it may be addressed with a surgical procedure to remove the gallbladder. Our skilled specialists at GI Alliance of Arkansas can recommend the best treatment approach.

Treatment methods for chronic pancreatitis treatment may include:

  • Dietary changes (typically to restrict fat intake)
  • Administration of enzymes to improve digestive processes
  • Insulin
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Pancreatic surgery
  • Procedures to treat bile duct obstructions
  • Low-fat diet
  • Avoid smoking
  • Treatment for alcohol dependence
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How can dietary changes help manage pancreatitis?

Effective management of pancreatitis typically involves dietary modifications to ease the burden on the pancreas and reduce the likelihood of flare-ups. Adopting a diet low in fats, especially saturated fats, is crucial since fatty foods can trigger the pancreas to release more digestive enzymes, potentially worsening the condition. Consuming smaller, more frequent meals is beneficial as it helps to keep the pancreas from being overwhelmed. Additionally, incorporating foods that are easy to digest and rich in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can improve digestive health and mitigate inflammation.

Is it possible for children to develop pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis in children is uncommon, but it does occur. This condition can be triggered by several factors, such as abdominal trauma, specific medications, infections, congenital anomalies in pancreatic architecture, or hereditary elements. The symptoms in children are similar to those in adults, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in children to prevent serious complications.

What are the health complications associated with pancreatitis?

The range and severity of complications from pancreatitis vary based on its type: acute or chronic.

In cases of acute pancreatitis, many patients see improvement and recover without lasting effects on their health. However, some may develop fluid collections around the pancreas that require medical intervention to drain.

Chronic pancreatitis, in contrast, tends to resolve over a longer period and usually after multiple episodes. This form of pancreatitis is more likely to lead to continuous issues such as diabetes, significant weight loss, persistent pain, and an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Should you or a family member be struggling with pancreatitis, it is essential to consult with a skilled gastrointestinal specialist for treatment. Regardless of whether it involves an acute or chronic case of pancreatitis, the GI specialists at GI Alliance of Arkansas can provide the individualized care you require. We are dedicated to serving with patient-centered compassion while adhering to the highest standard of clinical care. To partner with a gastrointestinal specialist offering pancreatic treatment in Arkansas, get in touch with one of our local offices today.

Recently seen doctor Ellison for my liver and I was really happy with him as my doctor. He was extremely nice and made sure i understood what to expect and really put my mind at ease. Im sure I will receive exceptional care from him and his team. I had also seen his nurse practitioner Chelsea before for a consult and she was also great. Im very pleased with the care i have been given from both of them.

J.B. Google

Everything was great with one exception. The nurse that called me back and asked the 1st questions seemed to be having a less than stellar day. I felt as if I were an inconvenience for some reason. It was later in the day and they are all probably tired, but being friendly isn't that difficult. I had a bad experience with a customer once. They described me as being politely hostile. Now I understand how they felt. Otherwise, everyone was great and very helpful.

J.T. Google

Dr Paschall is so kind, he takes time to listen and to explain. He is very thorough and helps you navigate through your illness. Strongly recommend.

S.T. Google

Shelby is excellent. She takes the time to help me understand my condition.

W.D. Google

Dr Thomas is a very good & professional, caring,Dr. He listen to you and answer all your questions. I have been a patient for years and received the best care from Dr. Thomas and his staff. I highly recommend him!!

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