The pancreas is an important organ of the digestive system which secretes enzymes that help with digestion and produces hormones that control the amount of sugar in a person’s bloodstream. The regulation of blood sugar levels is quite crucial because an imbalance of it leads to diabetes.
We are all aware of the harm caused by Alcohol on a person’s liver but quite unaware of how does alcohol damage the pancreas and the effect caused by crack-laced weed. This article talks about the damage of alcohol to the pancreas, the symptoms of pancreatitis, and how to treat it.
How does Alcohol damage the pancreas?
- Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to Pancreatitis, a condition where the inflammation of the pancreas.
- Alcohol abuse can damage the cells which make up the pancreas which causes swelling and leads to malfunctioning of the pancreas.
- There is also an overproduction of enzymes which then attack the pancreas itself and lead to scarring of the pancreas.
- In such a situation the pancreas stops producing insulin causing blood sugar levels to rise.
- High blood sugar levels can lead to conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney problems.
Symptoms of Alcoholic Pancreatitis
- The first symptom is pain near the stomach area.
- Sudden abdominal pain may indicate that you have pancreatitis.
- Feeling thirsty all the time is also one of the symptoms.
- Changes in bowel movement, loose motion.
- Nausea, vomiting, and fever are also some symptoms.
If you suspect that you may have pancreatitis, you should get a check-up ASAP. They will take your urine sample and test it to confirm whether you have pancreatitis or not.
Types of Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is of two types- acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis.
- Acute pancreatitis is caused by factors such as gallstones or excessive alcohol consumption.
- Chronic pancreatitis is caused by factors as autoimmune diseases like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, or hereditary disorders.
How To Know If I’ve Got Acute Or Chronic Pancreatitis?
Acute pancreatitis is diagnosed on the basis of the presence of three main symptoms:
- Abdominal pain (ranging from mild to very severe)
Chronic alcoholic pancreatitis is diagnosed on the basis of the presence of two major symptoms:
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Changes in bowel habits
Treatment for Pancreatitis
Sadly, there is no cure for pancreatitis but it can only be managed with treatment.
- Doctors ask the patient to reduce their alcohol consumption so reduce the swelling
- They recommend reducing the number of glasses per day/week or stopping it altogether depend on the severity of the swelling.
- If these measures fail to work, the doctors prescribe medicines to help ease the symptoms.
- If the problem still persists then surgery can be the last option.
Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for health because of various reasons and one such reason is pancreatitis. Uncured or severe pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer which can be life threatening so one should always remember to take care of themselves and drink moderately to avoid getting this type of life threatening diseases.