Pancreatitis Specialist in Merced, CA
If you are having symptoms of pancreatitis including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and fever, contact us! Dr. Alfred Johnson and his team specialize in evaluating and treating pancreatitis. Dr. Johnson has 32 years of experience in his field with additional fellowship training in Laparoscopic/MIS surgery. For more information, please contact us or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341.
Table of Contents:
What is pancreatitis?
What causes pancreatitis?
What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?
What are the warning signs of pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis occurs when there is inflammation within the pancreas. The pancreas is a flat, long gland that sits tucked in behind the stomach within the upper abdomen. The pancreas then produces enzymes that help the digestive system and hormones that help to regulate the way your body is processing sugar.
Pancreatitis can occur either as acute pancreatitis which can appear suddenly and last for a few days, or develop chronic pancreatitis, which occurs over many years. Mild cases of pancreatitis are able to improve with medical treatment; however, the same cannot be said for severe cases of pancreatitis, as it can cause life-threatening complications.
It is highly recommended that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Alfred Johnson MD if you are noticing acute onset or even persistent abdominal pain occurring. If your abdominal pain has become too severe that you are unable to sit still, or even find a position suitable enough to allow you to be a bit comfortable, you should seek immediate medical attention and gastrointestinal services.
Pancreatitis often occurs when the digestive enzymes become activated while still within the pancreas, the irritating cells of the pancreas are what is causing the inflammation to occur.
If you are dealing with repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis, this damage can lead to chronic pancreatitis. Loss of function can occur as scar tissue forms on the pancreas. As well, digestive issues and diabetes can be caused if you have a poorly functioning pancreas.
A few of the main conditions that can lead to acute pancreatitis include:
• Certain medication
• Pancreatic cancer
• Abdominal surgery
• Cystic fibrosis
• Injury to the abdomen
And in the end, there may never be a cause found for your pancreatitis, and this is described as idiopathic pancreatitis.
The signs and symptoms may vary when it comes to each individual’s pancreatitis, this all fully depends on which type you experience.
Acute pancreatitis signs and symptoms:
• Digestive disorders
• Pain in the abdomen that radiates to the back
• Abdomen that is tender to the touch
• Rapid pulse
Chronic pancreatitis signs and symptoms:
• Upper abdominal pain
• Pain in the abdomen that begins to feel worse after eating
• Can lose weight without trying
• Smelly, oily stools
There are several factors that can increase your risk of pancreatitis, which include:
• Excessive alcohol consumption
Research has shown that individuals who are heavy alcohol drinkers (average of four to five drinks per day) are at a greater risk of pancreatitis.
Cigarette smoking can on average increase the development of chronic pancreatitis by three times more than people who don’t. The good news about quitting smoking is it decreases the risk by half.
You are much more likely to develop pancreatitis if you are considered obese.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are at an increased risk of developing pancreatitis.
• History in the family of pancreatitis
Genetics can play a large role in many conditions developing; this includes chronic pancreatitis. If you have a family member that has already been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, your odds of developing it yourself increase, especially combined with the other risk factors listed above.
If you begin to notice any of the developing symptoms of acute or chronic pancreatitis, those are considered the warning signs that you need to be aware of, and speak to a specialist in order to get the proper testing completed to diagnose the issues you are dealing with. For more information, please call us or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341. We serve patients from Merced CA, Atwater CA, Winton CA, Bear Creek CA, Planada CA, Le Grand CA, and Athlone CA.