Pancreatitis is the most common condition that affects the pancreas. This occurs when the cells stop working properly and become inflamed. Before you contact the doctor, review these 15 signs that this organ is functioning badly.
1. Abdominal pain
Abdominal pain is a common sign of pancreatitis. The pain radiates from the upper abdomen down to the back. The pain may come and go in some patients, or become debilitating in others with little relief.
The symptoms of a fever may occur and dissipate after a few days. The temperature is usually 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
3. Back pain
Back pain usually starts in the abdomen where the organ is located. If the pain is severe, it’s difficult to walk straight, bend over and twist the spine.
When pain near the stomach occurs, nausea is certain to follow and give the feeling of wanting to throw up. This makes eating difficult, and eating may worsen the problem.
Vomiting occurs in extreme cases of nausea. Some people vomit only once, while others do several times a day for weeks. The intensity and frequency depend on the extent of the condition.
Diarrhea results in thin, watery stool. The cause is a lack of pancreatic enzymes that are needed to digest or break down certain foods.
7. High blood pressure
Pain and inflammation may raise the blood pressure by constricting the blood vessels. However, blood pressure may rise and fall rapidly and without warning.
8. Increased heart rate
The heart rate increases with increased levels of stress and pain in the body. The breathing rate also increases, adding to the patient’s discomfort.
9. Fatty stool
Fatty stool occurs when too much fat is present. A lack of proper digestion causes the excess fat to be deposited in the stool.
Constipation is often confused with diarrhea. Constipated patients have dry, hard stool that is difficult to pass through.
Having gallstones is a major cause of pancreatitis. When you have this condition, including one or more of the symptoms mentioned, you could have serious internal problems.
12. Tender abdomen
Touching the abdomen may feel tender. This tenderness is swelling caused by inflammation.
13. Weight loss
When the abdominal organs don’t work properly, the digestive process is hindered. The nutrients are lost instead of absorbed, which causes weight loss.
Jaundice occurs when the bilirubin level is too high because the bile duct is blocked. This is seen in patients with pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.
15. High blood glucose levels
The pancreas produces cells that produce insulin, which is needed to reduce blood sugar levels. When this organ is damaged, there’s a good chance that the glucose levels will rise significantly. Pancreatitis is common in people with diabetes.
Pain is the most obvious symptom that something is wrong with your pancreas. There are many others that are found in physical exams and medical tests. It also helps to review the causes of pancreatic illnesses. As the patient, you are primarily responsible for understanding your health and becoming more familiar with pancreatitis.