Definition of pancreas
Pancreas is gland and a largest organ in our body, and it plays a crucially important role in our well been and health. It is divided in two parts, one being head, trough common bile duct runs, and the body, which is a part closer to spleen and left kidney.
Pancreas has two vital roles in our body: first, it produces all kind of digestive fluids, enzymes and juices that lead into our intestines in order to help our digestion, and second very important role is production of hormone called insulin, which is hormone responsible for blood sugar level maintenance. Blood sugar is the main energy component of the body and without insulin body has not enough energy.
There are several most common pancreas disorders, and any pancreas disorder endangers the whole body. These disorders can be identified by the symptoms they produce, and they might be pancreatic cancer or tumor, diabetes mellitus and chronic and acute pancreatitis.
Symptoms of pancreatitis
Abdominal pain is the common symptom of all the pancreatitis disorders. Abdominal pain may be sudden and severe. If the abdominal pain appears after a meal, than it is a symptom of pancreatic problems. Another common symptom for all types of pancreatic disorders is increased pain in cases when person is lying down.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis which is a case of swollen pancreas, may be presence of blood fats pain in the abdominal area, gallbladder disorder, etc.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are very similar to acute one, but in addition they also may be low blood pressure, rapid pulse rate, fever, vomiting, dehydration, loss of weight and malabsorption.
Complications of pancreatitis
There are two types of possible pancreatitis complications; systematic and local ones. Systematic complications of pancreatitis may be respiratory failure, shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation and metabolic disorders such as hyperglycemia and hypocalcaemia.
Local complications from pancreatitis may be abscess, necrosis, pseudocyst (which is fluid collection), fistualazation, ileus, GI hemorrhage, pseudo aneurysm and phlegmon.
Other common complication may also be heart and kidney failure, low blood pressure, diabetes, accumulation of the fluids in the abdomen, ARDS (adult respiratory distress syndrome) ascites and abscesses or cysts in the pancreas.
In severe cases of acute pancreatitis there are several most serious complications. In cases when pancreas is damaged, infection may occur from the bacteria from the small intestine. Signs of this type of infection include possible organ failure high white blood cell count and fever.
For many of those serious complications of pancreatitis, surgery is performed as the only option.