- Acute pancreatitis - if grabbed at his left side
Causes of acute pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is poorly understood and much respect to this disease remains unknown. For example, still do not understand, it becomes a trigger of the inflammatory process in the pancreas and why some people develop the disease in a mild form, while others - in the heavy.
According to one theory, acute pancreatitis develops when something goes wrong with a substance called trypsin. Trypsin - an enzyme secreted by the pancreas and is used to cleave the proteins contained in foods - in other words, it aids in digestion.
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generates trypsin, it is inactive and has no "digestive" properties. Trypsin is activated and acquires the ability to cleave proteins only after it falls from the pancreas into the gut. Contributors to one theory of acute pancreatitis suggest that in some cases trypsin for some reason becomes active when it is still in the pancreas, and it begins to break down the cells. In other words, it starts digesting the pancreas itself, which leads to irritation and inflammation.
It is not entirely clear how alcohol causes inflammation of the pancreas. According to one theory, the ethanol molecules disrupt the normal operation of cells of the pancreas, causing premature activation of the trypsin.
No matter what the cause, there is a clear link between alcohol consumption and acute pancreatitis, and the more a person drinks, the higher the risk of developing this disorder. People who consume 35 units of alcohol a week, the risk of acute pancreatitis is four times higher than those who did not drink alcohol (35 units - about 16 cans of lager or four standard bottles of wine).
Consuming large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time further increases the risk of acute pancreatitis.
Gallstones - a solid education, similar to a stone that form if human bile contains too much cholesterol. Sometimes the stones out of the gallbladder and block the ducts of the pancreas. It is believed that this leads to disruption of chemical reactions occurring within the pancreas, because of which the trypsin is active before the time, and as a result of the inflammatory process begins.
Other less common causes of acute pancreatitis can be:
- Accidental damage to the pancreas, which may occur during the operation, known as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). They are used to remove gallstones or examination of the pancreas and surrounding tissues;
- Side effects of certain drugs, such as antibiotics
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and chemotherapy drugs. They are found in a very small number of people;
- Viral infections such as mumps and measles
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Risk factors for severe acute pancreatitis
As mentioned above, it is not known why different people have developed various forms of acute pancreatitis. Several studies, during which experts studied the medical history of the patient to identify the factors that increase the likelihood that a person will develop a severe form of acute pancreatitis. Based on these results we can with certainty say that the following factors increase the risk of developing this disease:
- Patient age older than 70 years;
- Obesity - a body mass index of 30 or more;
- The use of two or more units of alcohol per day;
The researchers also found that people with a specific genetic mutation, known as a mutation of MCP-1 (monocyte chemotactic protein-1), the probability of severe acute pancreatitis is eight times higher than normal.
In most cases, acute pancreatitis is diagnosed in hospitals, or when a person comes to himself, or bring him to the ambulance. In clinics, family doctors such diagnosis is made very rarely.
The doctor who takes the patient will ask about his symptoms based on which it is already possible to suspect acute pancreatitis. Also carried out a medical examination: if a person has acute pancreatitis, certain parts of his stomach will be particularly sensitive to touch.
The next stage of the diagnosis - is a blood test. In acute pancreatitis pancreas begins producing amylase and lipase in larger amounts than usual. Blood tests show elevated levels of these substances.
Further diagnosis is needed to assess how extensive is the inflammation of the pancreas, and to assess the risk of developing serious complications.
It may involve the following diagnostic procedures:
- Computed tomography - a procedure in which using special equipment obtained detailed, three-dimensional image of the pancreas
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- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). To perform this operation, use a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end - an endoscope. Its with ultrasonic image is introduced into the digestive tract and the internal organs imaged. ERHRG useful in acute pancreatitis caused by gallstones - with this procedure, you can pinpoint their location and, in some cases, remove the stones.
Mild or severe form of acute pancreatitis?
In the early stages of acute pancreatitis determine its shape can be difficult, as the knowledge of symptoms alone is not enough. In order to make an accurate diagnosis, to do blood tests and conduct computerized tomography, or in some cases, X-ray examination.
The heart rate and breathing can also help make a diagnosis. Thus, if the heart rate is greater than 90, and makes the patient more than 20 breaths per minute, it is likely that a serious form of acute pancreatitis.
Typically, all of the tests needed to diagnose, make approximately 24 hours.