Acute pancreatitis or acute inflammation of the pancreas is characterized by abdominal pain and loss of body fluids. This complication is not common in pregnancy, but can sometimes make the health of the mother and fetus very bad. Your gallstones can cause an attack of abdominal pain and acute pancreatitis by blocking the outflow of pancreatic secretions.
In this article we will talk about gallstone pancreatitis during pregnancy treatment.
What is acute pancreatitis and why does it occur?
Sudden inflammation of the pancreas is called acute pancreatitis. The pancreas is the site of production of a variety of enzymes needed to digest the fats and proteins of food, which are poured into the intestine through a thin canal that opens into the space at the beginning of the small intestine to digest the food you eat.
The duct through which these gastrointestinal juices travel to the intestinal wall eventually merges with the duct that carries bile from the liver, so gallstones may become trapped in the perforation of the intestinal wall.
By blocking the outflow of gastrointestinal juices from the pancreas, these juices will accumulate behind the obstruction site and push back.
In fact, the accumulated digestive juices cause digestion and destruction of the pancreatic tissue itself, causing severe inflammation. As a result of this process and inflammation of the pancreas, acute pancreatitis develops.
What are the symptoms of acute pancreatitis?
Occurrence of sudden pain that is felt as a painful band in the upper abdomen and sometimes in the back:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Flatulence and swelling of the abdomen
- Sometimes hiccup
Acute pancreatitis pain can bother you for hours.
Acute pancreatitis pain worsens with eating, lying down, leaning forward can reduce the severity of the pain
Acute pancreatitis in pregnancy
This complication is rare, but recognizing its symptoms is very important because sometimes it heals on its own and sometimes it takes the person to death.
In pregnancy, acute pancreatitis is usually caused by obstruction of the duct of the gastrointestinal tract, which is located in the wall of the beginning of the small intestine, which leads to gallstone pancreatitis.
Why does Gallstone pancreatitis occur in pregnancy?
Weight gain and changes in female hormones during pregnancy increase the formation of gallstones in pregnancy.
It is also said that during pregnancy, the amount of a type of fat called triglyceride in the body of a pregnant woman rises. An increase in blood fats can cause problems with oxygen supply to the pancreatic tissue and cause pancreatitis. Alcohol and trauma are some of the causes that can cause acute pancreatitis in pregnancy.
Treatment of gallstone pancreatitis in pregnancy
If the cause of acute pancreatitis in a pregnant woman is gallstones, usually the removal of the gallbladder should be delayed until after delivery. Your gynecologist, in collaboration with your gastroenterologist, will monitor and monitor your condition to ensure your health until the end of your pregnancy.
Rest of the gastrointestinal tract by not eating food
Receiving energy and necessary materials through intravenous feeding
And control of intake fluids
It is one of the things that will be carefully applied to you so that you can end your pregnancy safely without the need for invasive procedure.
But if the pregnant woman’s condition is such that she cannot wait until the end of pregnancy, the surgery should be performed calmly and safely.
If the cause of pancreatitis in pregnancy is an increase in triglycerides, the administration of certain medications and appropriate physical activity and diet will be prescribed to prevent the recurrence of seizures.
If gallstone pancreatitis occurs late in pregnancy, your doctor will usually help you terminate the pregnancy and remove the baby.
Leaving the baby and the placenta lowers the mother’s triglyceride in the blood
Complications of acute pancreatitis due to gallstones in pregnancy
The mortality rate of mothers with acute pancreatitis in pregnancy is less than one percent. But in 20% of women with acute pregnancy pancreatitis, preterm labor occurs.
If the cause of acute pancreatitis in pregnancy is not gallstones, it seems that premature delivery is more likely to occur.
Therefore, all pregnant women are advised to inform their doctor and refer to a reputable medical center if they suffer from abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.
Causes of acute pancreatitis in pregnancy
Alcohol abuse (5-10%)
High maternal blood triglyceride or hypertriglyceridemia (5%)
Fifteen percent unknown reasons
Relapse of pancreatitis attack
It is said that if a pregnant woman develops an acute pancreatitis attack due to gallstones, the risk of relapse of the pancreatitis attack is high. 70% of pregnant women who develop gallstone pancreatitis in the first trimester will develop an acute pancreatitis attack during pregnancy.
Fetal mortality following recurrent acute biliary pancreatitis relapse will be approximately 21% and maternal mortality following recurrent acute biliary pancreatitis relapse will be approximately 60%.
Ways to control acute pancreatitis in pregnancy
Your doctor will usually monitor your acute condition as follows:
- Nasal suction to drain the gastrointestinal tract
- Administration and injection of intravenous fluids
- Bowel rest
- Prescribing appropriate analgesics, antispasmodics and antibiotics
- Reduce fat intake
The condition of your gallbladder will be checked with the participation of a gynecologist and a gastroenterologist.
If your condition is such that your doctor can take you to the end of your pregnancy with accurate observation without the need for surgery, surgery will not be performed, but sometimes doctors may decide to perform surgery due to the symptoms and risk of spreading inflammation and infection. To take.
Care after acute pancreatitis in pregnancy
If you are pregnant and have a history of pancreatitis, follow these tips:
- Eat high amounts of fiber with your food
- Avoid animal fats such as butter, etc.
- Include healthy oils such as olive oil and sesame oil in your diet
- Do not eat fatty red meat and fatty dairy products
- Use omega-3 supplements with a doctor’s approval. Also, do not forget the natural sources of omega-3s, namely sardines and salmon.
The final words
Although acute pancreatitis is not a common phenomenon in pregnancy, but with timely treatment and principled follow-up, recurrences will be prevented and labor will not lead to preterm delivery.
Although it is best to avoid surgery during pregnancy, sometimes the risk of complications and conditions will be such that the removal of the gallbladder from the body of a pregnant woman called cholecystectomy can be done without concern.