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Pancreatitis, inflammation of the Pancreas, Acute pancreatitis

A condition in which the cells of the pancreas become inflamed. The most common causes of pancreatitis in the United States are alcohol ingestion and gallbladder disease with gallstones. Also people with very high triglyceride levels (fat) in the blood stream may develop pancreatitis, and patients taking certain medications occasionally develop pancreatitis. The medications most commonly causing pancreatitis are birth control pills, estrogens and steroids (i.e. prednisone or cortisone). For patients with alcohol induced acute pancreatitis, the treatment is to stop alcohol consumption. If continued alcohol consumption occurs, the patient my develop chronic pancreatitis. Both conditions are associated with upper abdominal pain (sometimes radiating straight through into the back), nausea, vomiting and weight loss. In chronic pancreatitis, the function of the pancreas may be destroyed. When this is the case a person will no longer be able to digest and absorb nutrients adequately because of the inadequate production of digestive enzymes. As a result, abdominal cramps, gas and diarrhea will develop along with profound weight loss. This condition can be corrected by the ingestion of pancreatic enzymes with meals.

Dr. Jose Nieto, chairman of the Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy Center at the Borland-Groover Clinic, uses a new medical device called the Hot AXIOS stent to help his patient suffering from pancreatis.