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

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

Patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis experience serious pain, located below their rib cage, nausea and vomiting. Chronic pancreatitis can affect the digestion of fats and vitamins in 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, bile gets redirected to the blood, causing toxic effects and jaundice. This condition might also cause blockage of the pancreatic duct. There might be an accumulation as the pancreatic cyst, abdominal pain, vomiting or even gut bleeding. These complications are usually treated with medications, or in severe cases by surgery.

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

Kidney problems and even kidney failure are also the possible complications of chronic pancreatitis, usually as further damage to the 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 suffering from chronic pancreatitis usually live 10 and sometimes 20 years shorter than normal. Pancreatic cancer, intestinal bleeding and the damage to the liver are the risk factors that can significantly shorten life expectancy of patients suffering from pancreatitis.

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

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

Increase Life Expectancy

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

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

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