Posted by: hockeygrl1 | November 16, 2013

The diagnosis is…

pancreas

I had my Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) on Thursday and met with my doctor on Friday to discuss the results.

Just in case you don’t know what pancreatitis is, here’s a definition from WebMD:

“The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach and next to the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine). The pancreas has two primary functions:

  1. To secrete powerful digestive enzymes into the small intestine to aid the digestion of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat
  2. To release the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream; these hormones are involved in blood glucose metabolism, regulating how the body stores and uses food for energy.

Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage occurs when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are secreted into the duodenum and begin attacking the pancreas.”

There are two types of pancreatitis; acute and chronic. Acute happens suddenly for a short period of time. Chronic pancreatitis occurs most commonly after an episode of acute pancreatitis and is the result of ongoing inflammation of the pancreas.

Symptoms of acute pancreatitis may include:

  • Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back; patients may describe this as a “boring sensation” that may be aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat.
  • Swollen and tender abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis

The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are similar to those of acute pancreatitis. Patients frequently experience constant pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back. In some patients, the pain may be disabling. Other symptoms may include weight loss caused by poor absorption (malabsorption) of food. This malabsorption occurs because the gland is not secreting enough enzymes to break down the food normally. Also, diabetes may develop if the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas become damaged.

They compared the results to the one I had a year and a half ago and saw significant changes (worse) from the last one. so the diagnosis is Chronic Pancreatitis. They took a biopsy to see if the problem is autoimmune. The results of the biopsy are not in yet. They did see fibrosis and the doctor that did the EUS stated that my pancreas look like one of someone much older than 41.

The treatment is going to be enzyme replacement therapy. I take one pill before each meal or snack to place the enzymes that the pancreas would secret already in my digestive system and hopefully the pancreas would work less. I’m just going to have to live with the chronic pain because taking pain medications could cause the pain to be worse and addiction.

I still need to meet with my primary doctor to discuss my dizziness and fainting. This is keeping me from returning to work. I’m sure they don’t want me to faint in front of the guests.

I’m at a loss with this diagnosis because the pain is hard to take and I feel so weak and dizzy right now. I’ll keep you up to date on here.

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