The symptoms of pancreatitis can mimic several things, so the first time I was diagnosed and hospitalized with pancreatitis I was quite surprised. I was sure I had a really bad ulcer, But when I got too sick to stand, I headed to the ER. After they ran some test results the doctor came in and said, “No wonder you are feeling so sick. You have pancreatitis.”
Here are some common symptoms of pancreatitis and the complications that can arise.
Common Symptoms of Pancreatitis
This is often the first symptom of pancreatitis. The pain may be severe and can radiate to the back or chest. It may also worsen after eating or drinking. Mine always got much worse after eating.
I had been saying for weeks that it felt like my stomach was digesting itself every time I ate. It was really the pancreas doing the digesting.
The pain from pancreatitis can be pretty severe. Quite a few of the hospital staff commented on how painful it can be and they didn’t doubt the need for pain meds once I test results came back..
Nausea and Vomiting
These symptoms may occur due to the inflammation of the pancreas, which can cause digestive problems.
This was so bad that the 2nd time I was hospitalized with pancreatitis they had to place a feeding tube to I could get some nutrients.
A fever may indicate an infection, which can occur when the pancreas becomes inflamed.
Chronic pancreatitis can cause malabsorption of nutrients, leading to weight loss.
An elevated heart rate may occur due to dehydration or shock, which can be caused by severe pancreatitis.
This occurs when the liver cannot process bilirubin properly, causing yellowing of the skin and eyes.
Loss of Appetite
Loss of appetite, also known as anorexia, is a condition characterized by a reduced or lack of desire to eat. It can manifest as a complete lack of interest in food or a decreased desire to eat. People with loss of appetite may experience feelings of fullness, nausea, or discomfort after eating even small amounts of food.
Chronic pancreatitis can also cause diarrhea, which can be chronic or intermittent.
cute pancreatitis attack, the pancreas becomes inflamed, and enzymes that are usually released into the small intestine for digestion start digesting the pancreas itself. This can lead to significant pain and weakness due to the release of inflammatory mediators and the disruption of normal pancreatic function.
Greasy or Fatty Stools
These occur due to the inability of the pancreas to produce enough digestive enzymes to break down fats.
I ended up with most of these symptoms, but ultimately it was the weakness that forced me to the ER. I was to weak to stand for more than a few seconds.
Complications from Pancreatitis
In severe cases, pancreatitis can lead to complications such as pancreatic pseudocysts, abscesses, or even death. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if they persist or worsen over time.
Pancreatic pseudocysts are fluid-filled sacs that form in the pancreas as a result of inflammation or injury. Unlike true cysts, which have a lining composed of cells, pseudocysts are composed of a collection of pancreatic enzymes, blood, and other fluids, and are surrounded by a fibrous wall made of scar tissue.
A pancreatic abscess is a collection of pus that forms within the pancreas or in the surrounding area. It is a serious complication of acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis and can also occur as a result of pancreatic trauma or surgery.
Death from pancreatitis is a rare but serious complication that can occur in cases of severe or untreated acute or chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed, which can cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms.