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Pancreas is organ in thehuman body that helps in the digestion of consummated fat. This organ is alsoresponsible for the regulation of the human metabolism, since it produces insulin(metabolic hormone). Pancreas could be damaged byhyperlipidemia (high fat in the blood), high cholesterol and thyroid levels,but also by overuse of alcohol. Chronic pancreatitis is the conditioncharacterized by inflammation of pancreas.

The most likely causes ofchronic pancreatitis are: alcoholism, smoking, gallstones and heightened levels of calcium (hypercalciemia), triglycerides (hypertriglyceridaemia), and parathyroid hormones (hyperparathyroidism) in theblood. Cystic fibrosis and pancreatic cancer are also probable causes ofchronic pancreatitis.

Patients suffering fromchronic pancreatitis experience serious pain, located below their rib cage, nauseaand vomiting. Chronic pancreatitis can affect the digestion of fats and vitaminsin the body and provoke diabetes.

Consequences of ChronicPancreatitis

Pancreatitis could cause the blockage of the bile duct,leading to the lack of bile in the intestines. Instead going to the gut, bilegets redirected to the blood, causing toxic effects and jaundice. This conditionmight also cause blockage of the pancreatic duct. There might be an accumulation as thepancreatic cyst, abdominal pain, vomiting or even gut bleeding. These complicationsare usually treated with medications, or in severe cases by surgery.

Pancreatic cancer is a condition frequently found in chainsmokers suffering from chronic pancreatitis.

Kidney problems and even kidney failure are also thepossible complications of chronic pancreatitis, usually as further damage tothe body, after the pancreas and bile duct blockages.

In rare cases, these patients might develop ascites(blockage of the gut) and blood clots in spleen and pancreas blood vessels.

This condition is slowly progressive, and people sufferingfrom chronic pancreatitis usually live 10 and sometimes 20 years shorter thannormal. Pancreatic cancer, intestinal bleeding and the damage to the liver arethe risk factors that can significantly shorten life expectancy of patientssuffering from pancreatitis.

The mortality of these patients is about 5 to 10%, but amongthe group of people who survived 10 year after the diagnosis had been established, mortalitygoes to 60 to 80%.

Chronic pancreatitis is the condition that usually affectsadults. However, sometimes, after the pancreatic injuries or because of thegenetic predisposition, children may also suffer from this condition.

Increase Life Expectancy

Patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis are recommendedto avoid alcohol and quit smoking immediately, since both of these can damagethe liver and kidneys even further. Doctors recommend eating plenty ofvegetables (especially green leafy) and fruits and using mostly whole grains inthe diet. Avoiding the fat and drinking plenty of water are a must for thesepeople.

There are also some supplements, beneficial for chronicpancreatitis patients, including: pancreatin, selenium and vitamin C.

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