GI Specialists of Houston, LLP
Gastroenterology located in Baytown, TX & Houston, TX
Pancreatic disease can cause severe pain and affect the production of vital insulin. If you have symptoms of pancreatic disease, GI Specialists of Houston, LLP, with locations in Baytown, North Loop, Houston, and Humble, Texas, where the experienced gastroenterologists can diagnose and treat your condition. To benefit from their expertise, call the most convenient office of GI Specialists of Houston, LLP, today or book an appointment online.
Pancreatic Disease Q & A
What is pancreatic disease?
Pancreatic diseases affect the functioning of your pancreas, a large glandular organ near your stomach. The pancreas releases juices containing enzymes that assist with digestion. It also produces essential hormones such as insulin, which regulates the levels of sugars in your blood.
There are several forms of pancreatic disease, including:
Acute pancreatitis is inflammation that develops suddenly and lasts a short time. Your pancreas resumes normal functioning when the inflammation subsides.
With chronic pancreatitis, inflammation is persistent. It typically develops following repeated attacks of acute pancreatitis, which lead to scar tissue formation. The ongoing inflammation prevents your pancreas from functioning normally, and the damage tends to get worse over time.
Pancreatic cancer causes tumors to develop that consist of rapidly multiplying mutated cells.
What symptoms does pancreatic disease cause?
Pancreatic disease symptoms may vary somewhat depending on the cause of your condition. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Severe upper abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Rapid, weak pulse
- Chest pain
- Shallow breathing
- Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes)
Chronic pancreatitis can also cause your stools to be oily and foul-smelling.
When problems with the pancreas disrupt insulin production, you might experience symptoms of diabetes. However, with Type 2 diabetes, these symptoms can take a long time to become noticeable.
How is a pancreatic disease diagnosed?
Diagnosing pancreatic disease begins with a consultation at GI Specialists of Houston, LLP, where your provider performs a physical exam, examines your medical history, and discusses your symptoms and current health with you.
Diagnostic tests can help to pinpoint the type of pancreatic disease you have. For example, blood tests show whether you have an infection or a condition like anemia and measure your blood glucose and pancreatic enzyme levels.
Diagnostic imaging tests such as an ultrasound or CT scan may also be necessary. In some cases, your provider might need to do an ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). This minimally invasive procedure enables them to look at your pancreas using X-rays and a tiny lighted camera on a flexible tube.
What treatment might I need for pancreatic disease?
The treatment you require for pancreatic disease varies depending on the type of condition you have and its severity.
Severe acute pancreatitis might require a hospital stay with pain medication, intravenous fluids, and a period of rest for your gastrointestinal system. Chronic pancreatitis treatment typically involves a combination of:
- Diet modification
- Prescription pain medication
- Oral digestive enzymes
Sometimes, surgery is necessary to extract the diseased parts of your pancreas. If you have pancreatic cancer, you might also undergo radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.
If you have symptoms of pancreatic disease, call GI Specialists of Houston, LLP, today or book an appointment online.
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