Pancreatitis services offered in Inland Empire, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Pancreatitis is a digestive disorder that causes severe abdominal pain. At Hussein Abidali, DO Digestive Health Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga, California, the team specializes in diagnosing and treating pancreatitis. Hussein Abidali, DO and the team take a patient-centered and holistic approach to care, helping heal the pancreas and improving overall health. For comprehensive pancreatitis management, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Pancreatitis QA

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis means inflammation of the pancreas. Your pancreas is a gland that makes insulin to manage blood sugar and digestive enzymes to help break down food for digestion.

Pancreatitis occurs when digestive enzymes attack the pancreas, causing inflammation. There are two types of pancreatitis:

Acute pancreatitis 

Acute pancreatitis causes sudden pain in the upper abdominal area that sometimes radiates into the back. You may have mild pain that worsens when eating. The pain may become more severe and last several days. 

Someone with acute pancreatitis looks and feels very ill and needs immediate medical attention. 

Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is ongoing inflammation of the pancreas. People with chronic pancreatitis may have upper abdominal pain that worsens after drinking or eating. However, some people have no pain at all.

In some cases, the abdominal pain goes away as the condition worsens because the pancreas is no longer making digestive enzymes. 

What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?

In addition to abdominal pain, people with pancreatitis may also have diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and weight loss. Elevated heartbeat, excessive thirst, and fatigue are also common symptoms.

Fatty stools, called steatorrhea, are also a symptom of acute and chronic pancreatitis.

What causes pancreatitis?

Previously, excessive drinking was thought to cause pancreatitis. But only a small percentage of alcoholics develop the inflammatory condition. More common causes of pancreatitis include:

  • Smoking
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Gallstones
  • High triglycerides
  • Pancreatic surgery
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Side effects of medications

You can also develop pancreatitis after abdominal surgery or injury to the abdomen.

What are the treatments for pancreatitis?

The team at Hussein Abidali, DO Digestive Health Inc. conducts a thorough evaluation when you come in with symptoms of pancreatitis to determine the root cause of the inflammation. 

Treatment depends on the cause and may include gallbladder surgery, pancreatic surgery, or procedures to remove bile duct obstructions. Digestive enzymes and fat-soluble vitamins are also prescribed. 

Finding and eliminating the underlying cause of pancreatitis is essential. Genetic testing and genetic counseling may help determine your risk of developing pancreatitis. 

If you have genetic mutations, the team at Hussein Abidali, DO Digestive Health Inc. sometimes recommends pancreas removal with autotransplantation of the insulin-producing cells to prevent diabetes. This radical surgery is only for patients with a debilitating disease.

To learn more about pancreatitis and your treatment options, call Hussein Abidali, DO Digestive Health Inc., or schedule an appointment online today.