If you are worried about deadly shooting pains in the upper left side of your abdomen
If you have episodic burning or shooting pains in the middle and left side of your upper abdomen and you want to know the cause of your pain
If shooting pains in the left side of the stomach make you scared. Read more.
Doctors believe that the most common clinical manifestation of chronic pancreatitis or chronic inflammation of the pancreatic gland tissue is severe pain that recurs in the upper abdomen (middle and left upper abdomen). This pain has a quality that usually shoots backwards.
The pain that occurs with the above conditions is called burning pain or shooting pain.
If you want to know about the most common and main cause of shooting left ventricular pains, read more
You will read more about chronic pancreatitis below.
Abnormal inflammation or pathological inflammation of the pancreas is called pancreatitis in medicine.
Doctors say that if pancreatitis is mild and has mild symptoms, it may go away without the need for hospitalization and treatment.
Severe cases of pancreatitis may be associated with life-threatening complications.
In order to know more about chronic pancreatitis as the main and most important cause of upper abdominal shooting, we first need to know a little about the anatomy and function of the pancreas.
Anatomy and function of the pancreas
The pancreas is located in the back and upper abdomen ٫ behind the stomach. The pancreas has a head and a tail.
The function of the pancreas is to produce and secrete enzymes that are essential for the digestion of food. The main blood glucose-regulating hormone called insulin is also secreted from part of this gland.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreatic tissue. There are many causes of pancreatitis in humans. Pancreatitis can go away quickly. It will be chronic and cause inflammation of the pancreatic gland. Treatment depends on whether it is acute or chronic and the cause of the pancreatitis
What are the types of inflammation of the pancreas or the types of pancreatitis?
Doctors say there are two types of pancreatitis:
- Acute pancreatitis:
In acute pancreatitis, the onset of inflammation of the pancreas is very sudden. Usually the inflammation and problem will disappear after a few days of treatment. Gallstones are considered to be the most common cause of acute pancreatitis. The ducts in the pancreas are said to carry enzymes produced and secreted by the pancreatic tissue and drain them to the beginning of the small intestine or duodenum. On the other hand, the bile duct carries bile from the liver, which helps digest fats, from the gallbladder to the beginning of the small intestine or duodenum.
Both ducts meet at the same point and enter the duodenum together. Obviously, in the presence of gallstones, the bile duct and pancreatic enzymes to the beginning of the small intestine will be blocked. And cause the pancreatic tissue to digest itself.
Due to this process, severe inflammation and damage to the pancreatic tissue occurs.
- Chronic pancreatitis:
Chronic pancreatitis, or chronic inflammation of the pancreas, develops over time. People with chronic pancreatitis usually have permanent damage to their pancreas. These people are said to have scars or tissue damage caused by this inflammation and long-term damage to their pancreas. It may force the pancreas to reduce or even stop the production and secretion of normal amounts of digestive enzymes or hormones secreted by the pancreas, including insulin. People with chronic pancreatitis are said to have difficulty digesting fats. These people are more likely to develop diabetes. Chronic alcohol consumption is considered to be the main and most common cause of chronic pancreatitis in adults worldwide. Of course, there are other causes for chronic inflammation of the pancreas, which we will talk more about later.
In industrialized or developed countries, the incidence rate of chronic pancreatitis is estimated to be five to twelve per 100,000 adult adults per year.
The prevalence of chronic pancreatitis is estimated at 50 per 100,000 population.
Chronic pancreatitis usually affects people between the ages of thirty and forty
Chronic pancreatitis is more common in men than women
Risk factors for pancreatitis
Who is at risk for pancreatitis?
Risk factors for inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis are as follows
- Extreme users of alcoholic beverages (reliable studies have shown that professional alcoholics, which means people who drink alcohol more than five times a day, are at the highest risk of developing chronic pancreatitis:
- fat people
- People with a family history of the disease
- People who are in constant contact with toxins such as tobacco, alcohol and some metals
- People with pancreatic injury and trauma
- People with obstructive bile duct problems
- People with tumors
- People with gallstones
- People with some immune system problems such as cystic fibrosis
What are the signs and symptoms of chronic pancreatitis?
People with chronic inflammation of the pancreatic tissue or chronic pancreatitis show the following symptoms and manifestations. These symptoms are as follows:
- Upper abdominal Pain:
- Upper abdominal pain is the main manifestation of chronic pancreatitis. These pains are usually burning or shooting in nature and are mostly felt in the upper left side of the abdomen.
- Lose weight without a specific dietary restriction
- Scattered abdominal pain that may be shooting back
- Abdominal pain in a person with chronic pancreatitis is usually exacerbated by eating heavy and fatty foods.
- increase of heart rate
- Fatty diarrhea
What causes chronic pancreatitis?
Doctors believe that there are many different causes that can lead to chronic pancreatitis. The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis, which can be the main cause of shooting pains in the left side of your abdomen, is long-term alcohol abuse.
It is estimated that approximately 70% of all diagnosed cases of pancreatitis are due to alcohol abuse. In addition to alcohol abuse, which is the most common cause, autoimmune disorders are said to cause pervasive inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. We call it chronic pancreatitis.
The causative agents of chronic pancreatitis are as follows:
- Long term alcohol abuse (as the most common cause)
- Autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders in which your immune system mistakenly alienates and attacks healthy and normal cells in your body, damaging them and causing inflammation in them.
There are a number of autoimmune diseases that can cause damage and inflammation to the cells and normal tissue of the pancreas.
- People with narrow duct pancreatitis:
The pancreas is a duct that carries digestive enzymes made by the pancreas to the small intestine.
- Obstruction of pancreatitis:
People with ductal pancreatitis, such as gallstones or pancreatic stones or tumors, or people with cystic fibrosis, which is a genetic disorder.
- High in calcium:
High blood calcium, or an increase in serum calcium, called hypercalcemia, is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic pancreatitis.
High levels of triglycerides in the blood, called hypertriglyceridemia, can also cause chronic pancreatitis.
People with certain genes have been shown to be more likely to develop pancreatitis.
How is chronic pancreatitis diagnosed?
During the early stages of acute and chronic pancreatitis, changes in your pancreas will not show up in blood tests.
Blood tests are used for the following purposes.
- To determine the amount of pancreatic enzymes in your blood:
- A complete blood cell count is performed by blood tests.
- Also, according to the findings obtained from the blood test, kidney and liver function can be evaluated, but as we said, in the early stages of chronic pancreatitis, there is no specific characteristic of pancreatic damage that can be used in blood tests.
In addition to the blood tests mentioned above and their use in the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis, the presence of foul-smelling fatty diarrhea or steatorrhea can be a good indicator that leads the doctor to the possibility of chronic pancreatitis.
In addition to blood tests, radiological methods are used to guide the medical team to the main diagnosis. These radiological modalities include the following:
- An X-ray of the abdomen
- CT Scan
With the advancement of medical knowledge, it is now possible to perform endoscopic ultrasound. In this method, your doctor will perform the ultrasound process during the endoscopic process, so that he can better study the stomach and small intestine, as well as the pancreas behind the stomach.
In other words, the reflected sound waves recorded from the pancreas will be used to evaluate the features in the pancreas.
What can be done to treat chronic pancreatitis?
Treatment for chronic pancreatitis is aimed at reducing pain and improving gastrointestinal function
Damage to the pancreas prevents many nutrients from being absorbed by your digestive system. For example, indigestion of fats is associated with steatorrhea or fatty diarrhea.
Generally, physicians use three different processes in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis. These processes are:
- Endoscopic treatments
- Surgical treatment
- Pharmacological treatment:
- Prescribing painkillers
- Prescribing artificial pancreatic enzymes to people whose levels of enzymes in the body are insufficient to digest food.
- Insulin administration in case of a person with chronic pancreatitis
- Prescribing corticosteroids in cases of autoimmune pancreatitis.
- Endoscopic treatments:
Today, endoscopic therapies are increasingly used to open the obstruction in the pancreas to establish the flow of pancreatic secretions through the pancreatitis duct.
The endoscope is actually a narrow, flexible tube that is inserted by your doctor through the mouth through the throat and esophagus into the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. We said that the pancreatitis drain hole is located at the beginning of the small intestine. By inserting the endoscope into the beginning of the small intestine, the doctor can move the gallstones or pancreatitis of the acetones trapped in the duct and remove the obstruction. Small tubes, called stents, may also be inserted with endoscopy to provide better flow inside blocked areas.
- Surgical procedure:
Certainly not all cases with chronic pancreatitis require surgery.
However, in cases where the pain and discomfort is very severe and has not responded to analgesics and injectable painkillers, and the patient has severe symptoms, removing part of the pancreas can help the person to recover. The important point is that after recovery and relief from chronic pancreatitis, consumption of alcohol and cigarettes should be stopped.
What are the complications of pancreatitis?
Malnutrition due to intestinal malabsorption is the most important complication of chronic pancreatitis. This complication follows the loss of the ability of the pancreas to produce quality enzymes sufficient for digesting food. The next complication of diabetes is sweet; it is estimated that forty-five percent of people with pancreatitis will develop diabetes.
When should we see a doctor immediately?
It should be noted that the outlook for a person with chronic pancreatitis depends on their general health and the underlying cause of the disease. Also, the patient’s age at diagnosis and whether the person will continue to drink alcohol or smoke play an important role in the recovery of a person with chronic pancreatitis.