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Pancreatic Diseases (Diseases of Pancreas)

Pancreas is located inside the abdomen close to the stomach and it is about 6 to 8 inches long. Pancreas has a head, a middle region and a tail. It has veins like formations, which forms small duct that produces fluids for the pancreatic duct. Pancreas has two types of tissues called exocrine and endocrine tissues. Exocrine tissues make enzymes to digest food and endocrine tissues releases insulin in the blood, which produces energy.

The diseases associated to pancreas are

1. Diabetes mellitus
2. Pancreatic enzyme deficiency
3. Pancreatitis
4. Pancreas tumor

Diabetes mellitus: It is caused by the deficiency of insulin production in blood and it is caused because the insulin producing cells in pancreas die and the patient may need injections of insulin to maintain the glucose levels in blood. The patient may suffers from problems of diabetes such as kidney problem, eyes inflammation or problem in legs and heart.

Pancreas Enzyme Insufficiency: It is a problem, in which, the deficiency of pancreatic enzymes results in malnutrition. Pancreas breaks down fat, protein and carbohydrates to be absorbed by body, but lack of pancreatic cells may make the body incapable of getting the needed nutrients and the person suffers from low weight and malnutrition.

Symptoms and treatment: The patient has frequent diarrhoea and the stool has fat content. The patient can take pancreatic enzymes to replace the enzymes of the pancreas.

Pancreatitis: The most common disease of pancreas is pancreatitis, that is the inflammation of pancreas and it happens when the enzymes released for digesting food in the exocrine pancreas, is released inside the pancreas and it starts damaging the cells of the pancreas. The condition may cause vomiting and nausea.

Pancreatitis is of two types: Acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis: In this type of pancreatitis, the abdominal pain gets severe suddenly and it may even cause internal bleeding. The infection to pancreas in acute pancreatitis can be life threatening, if is untreated.

Causes of Acute Pancreatitis

1. The main cause of acute pancreatitis is the blockage of pancreatic duct, caused by gallstones. The secretions made by pancreas can cause permanent damage to the pancreas in a few hours.
2. Alcohol intake
3. Physical trauma
4. Hyperlipidemia
5. Hypercalcemia

The problem causes an abnormal rise in pancreatic enzymes in the body and it can result in organ failure or shock.

Chronic Pancreatitis

It is a chronic condition caused by increased levels of pancreatic enzymes. The problem causes destructions in pancreas cells and this leads to pancreatic deficiency, which causes bacterial infections and diabetes.

Causes of Chronic Pancreatitis

1. Gall bladder diseases
2. Intake of alcohol
3. Cystic fibrosis
4. Hypercalcemia
5. Hyper lipidemia
6. Use of certain drugs
7. Autoimmune causes

Pancreatic Tumor: Pancreatic tumor can be benign tumours, which secretes high hormones into the body causing adverse effects to the pancreatic cells. The tumor may result in high formation of insulin in blood and the blood suffers from low blood sugar. The tumor is common in people of specific age group and gender, and it can be caused, when the patient is exposed to chemicals of the industries. It is very difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer as there are very low symptoms.

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