Home remedies for pancreas

Contents

Treatment for Pancreatitis

Endoscopic Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). Doctors use ERCP to treat both acute and chronic pancreatitis. ERCP combines upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and x-rays to treat narrowing or blockage of a bile or pancreatic duct. Your gastroenterologist may use ERCP to remove gallstones blocking the bile or pancreatic ducts.

Chronic pancreatitis

Treatment for chronic pancreatitis may help relieve pain, improve how well the pancreas works, and manage complications.

Your doctor may prescribe or provide the following:

Medicines and vitamins. Your doctor may give you enzyme pills to help with digestion, or vitamins A, D, E, and K if you have malabsorption. He or she may also give you vitamin B-12 shots if you need them.

Treatment for diabetes. Chronic pancreatitis may cause diabetes. If you get diabetes, your doctor and health care team will work with you to create an eating plan and a routine of medicine, blood glucose monitoring, and regular checkups.

Surgery. Your doctor may recommend surgery to relieve pressure or blockage in your pancreatic duct, or to remove a damaged or infected part of your pancreas. Surgery is done in a hospital, where you may have to stay a few days.

In patients who do not get better with other treatments, surgeons may perform surgery to remove your whole pancreas, followed by islet auto-transplantation. Islets are groups of cells in your pancreas that make hormones, including insulin. After removing your pancreas, doctors will take islets from your pancreas and transplant them into your liver. The islets will begin to make hormones and release them into your bloodstream.

Procedures. Your doctor may suggest a nerve block, which is a shot of numbing medicine through your skin and directly into nerves that carry the pain message from your pancreas. If you have stones blocking your pancreatic duct, your doctor may use a procedure to break up and remove the stones.

Treatment for acute or chronic pancreatitis may include a hospital stay to treat dehydration and prescribe pain medicine, antibiotics, and nutrition.

How can I help manage my pancreatitis?

Stop drinking alcohol

Health care professionals strongly advise people with pancreatitis to stop drinking alcohol, even if your pancreatitis is mild or in the early stages. Continuing to drink alcohol when you have acute pancreatitis can lead to

  • more episodes of acute pancreatitis
  • chronic pancreatitis

When people with chronic pancreatitis caused by alcohol use continue to drink alcohol, the condition is more likely to lead to severe complications and even death.

Talk with your health care professional if you need help to stop drinking alcohol.

Stop smoking

Health care professionals strongly advise people with pancreatitis to stop smoking, even if your pancreatitis is mild or in the early stages. Smoking with acute pancreatitis, especially if it’s caused by alcohol use, greatly raises the chances that your pancreatitis will become chronic. Smoking with pancreatitis also may raise your risk of pancreatic cancer.

Talk with your health care professional if you need help to stop smoking.

How can I help prevent pancreatitis?

You can’t prevent pancreatitis, but you can take steps to help you stay healthy.

Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight safely

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight—or losing weight if needed—can help to

  • make your pancreas work better
  • lower your chance of getting gallstones, a leading cause of pancreatitis
  • prevent obesity—a risk factor for pancreatitis
  • prevent diabetes—a risk factor for pancreatitis

Keeping a healthy weight—or losing weight if needed—can help lower your chances of getting gallstones, a leading cause of pancreatitis.

Avoid alcohol use

Alcohol use can cause acute and chronic pancreatitis. Talk with your health care professional if you need help to stop drinking alcohol.

Avoid smoking

Smoking is a common risk factor for pancreatitis—and the chances of getting pancreatitis are even higher in people who smoke and drink alcohol. Talk with your health care professional if you need help to stop smoking.

Q and A: Natural Treatment for Pancreatitis

I suffer from occasional severe abdominal pain. After ruling out ulcers, reflux, gallstones, and IBS, the doctor’s new theory is pancreatitis. Can you suggest any herbs to prevent these attacks?
—C. B., York, Pennsylvania

Keville responds: The pancreas produces the hormones insulin and glucagon to regulate blood sugar levels and digestive enzymes. It’s no wonder that inflammation of the pancreas causes digestive problems and pain. This organ is vital for health, so I’m glad you’re consulting a physician, as well as looking to natural remedies. First, get on a lowfat diet and avoid fried foods, saturated and hydrogenated fats, and refined sugar. Drink no alcohol, not even herbal tinctures. Turn to pills, tea or glycerite herbal extracts instead. A particularly good herb for this condition is dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) because it improves the digestion of fats by increasing bile production. So does licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), which is also an excellent anti-inflammatory. (If you have high blood pressure, then look for deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or DGL.) Whatever the source of your problem, cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) will ease inflammation, cramping, and pain. Also helpful are antioxidant-rich foods such as blueberries—a traditional pancreatitis remedy. Just eating the berries is helpful, but you’ll find an even stronger antioxidant in anthocyanosides derived from bilberry fruit, which is available as a supplement. Pancreatitis is promoted by oxidative stress and the resulting production of free radicals. As a result, low levels of antioxidants can make you more prone to developing pancreatitis, and taking antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E and selenium) helps to rid the body of free radicals and also helps reduce the pain and encourage recovery. To treat pancreatic disorders, practitioners of traditional Ayurvedic medicine prescribe Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), probably because it is the richest natural source of vitamin C.

There are indications that polyunsaturated antioxidants extracted from soybeans, known as phosphatidylcholines, help protect the pancreas from damage. In addition to herbs, lecithin aids impaired fat digestion. Pancreatic enzymes such as amylase, lipase, and proteases are needed for proper digestion, so if you aren’t producing enough due to an impaired pancreas, take 500 ml at mealtime to break down certain foods.

Because your pain comes and goes, which is typical with pancreatitis, that indicates something is making it flare up. Jot notations about your eating and other habits on a calendar to get an idea of what makes it flare up. Then you can adjust your lifestyle and eating habits accordingly.

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Khalsa responds: Most of the time, the inflammation of the pancreas is thought to be due to the gland being irritated by its own enzymes. In most cases the specific cause is unknown. Alcoholism or drug toxicity can bring on an acute attack of pancreatitis. About half of patients have a mechanical obstruction of the biliary tract—usually gallstones in the bile ducts. Viral infections also can cause an acute pancreas inflammation. Folks with pancreatitis often experience epigastric pain, fever, malaise, nausea, and vomiting. Mild cases, like yours, are often overlooked or misdiagnosed quite easily. There is no specific laboratory diagnostic test for acute pancreatitis. Medical treatments (other than gallstone surgery) focus on pain relief and using enzymes to substitute for the disabled pancreas. Herbalists use a multifaceted approach to handling this complex issue. Anti-inflammatories include licorice root, guggul gum, and Chinese Baikal skullcap root (Scutellaria baicalensis). Turmeric root is a standout. Start with 2 “00” capsules per day. Increase the dose to best results. For pain, try the combination of cinchona bark (Cinchona spp.) and willow bark (Salix spp.). Take 2 to 4 “00” capsules every two to four hours as necessary.

A few more clinical tidbits that sometimes help:

• Follow a diabetic diet and keep blood sugar under control
• Avoid alcohol consumption
• Limit intake of hydrogenated/saturated fats, sugar, and highly processed foods
• Increase intake of yellow and orange fruits and dark-­green vegetables
• Add a multivitamin/mineral supplement
• Add chromium to control blood sugar levels and enhance insulin effectiveness
• Use lipotrophic agents—vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, choline, betaine, and methionine
• Take pancreatic enzymes with meals

Kathi Keville is director of the American Herb Association and the author of eleven herb and aromatherapy books including Herbs for Health and Healing (Rodale, 1996). She teaches seminars throughout the United States.

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa has more than twenty-five years of experience with medicinal herbs and specializes in Ayurvedic, Chinese, and North American healing traditions. He is a licensed dietitian/nutritionist, a massage therapist, and a board member of the American Herbalists Guild.

Pancreatitis Treatment: Dealing With Acute, Chronic, and Severe Pancreatitis

There are a number of ways to treat the different types of pancreatitis.

Moderate and severe cases of acute pancreatitis usually require a hospital stay, with tests and IV therapy. Thinkstock

In pancreatitis, the pancreas — a gland located behind the stomach and near the first part of the small intestine — becomes inflamed. There are varying severities of the condition, but abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting are among the most common symptoms of both acute and chronic pancreatitis.

How Is Acute Pancreatitis Treated?

Cases of moderate and severe acute pancreatitis are treated in the hospital. Visits should only last a few days. Doctors will administer blood and imaging tests to diagnose you, and then begin care.

Because of the loss of fluids from vomiting and decreased food intake, the initial treatment for pancreatitis is hydration using intravenous (IV) therapy with one of several different kinds of solutions.

Most often, patients will receive what’s called “aggressive hydration,” which may consist of 250 to 500 milliliters of fluid administered every hour. (1)

Research suggests that administering fluids through IV in the first few hours of onset can help prevent acute pancreatitis from turning into severe pancreatitis. (2)

Aggressive intravenous therapy appears to be most beneficial during the first 12 to 24 hours of treatment, according to the American College of Gastroenterology, but may not help much after this. (3)

After a few days, you may be allowed to begin eating solid, bland foods. But if eating causes too much pain, you may be given nutrients through a feeding tube that’s inserted through your nose and reaches down to your stomach.

There is no medication to stop the chemical chain reaction in the pancreas that’s causing the pain. But drugs are sometimes prescribed to help alleviate that pain. Doctors may use opioids, such as morphine and fentanyl.

Once the pain has subsided and your fluids and other vital signs have stabilized, you will be allowed to go home.

How Is Chronic Pancreatitis Treated?

There is no cure for chronic pancreatitis, but the related pain and symptoms may be managed or even prevented. Since chronic pancreatitis is most often caused by drinking, abstinence from alcohol is often one way to ease the pain.

The following drugs are prescribed for pain relief:

  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen
  • “Weak” opioids, such as codeine and tramadol
  • Stronger opiates if absolutely necessary (morphine and fentanyl)

Chronic pancreatitis typically results in malabsorption, the body’s inability to process important nutrients. So your doctor may prescribe vitamins and medication that may help in digestion.

Surgery may help relieve the chronic pain of this condition, but not always.

Doctors aren’t sure why the pain in chronic pancreatitis is so severe. More recent theories posit that the inflamed nerves of the pancreas stimulate the pain signaling system of the spine in a way that increases sensitivity to and frequency of pain. (4)

It’s long been thought that an inflamed head of the pancreas or a blocked pancreatic duct causes the pain. In cases where doctors believe that to be the problem, surgery will be performed to remove the head of the pancreas. If a blocked pancreatic duct is suspected to be the issue, endoscopic treatments to remove the blockages will be performed.

There is also a surgery performed on those whose pain will not respond to treatment. During this procedure, known as autologous islet cell transplantation, the entire pancreas is removed and the insulin-making cells of the pancreas are reinserted into the liver with a catheter.

When the transplant is successful, it allows patients to make insulin without the pancreas.

RELATED: What Is Insulin? Everything to Know if You Have Diabetes

How Is Severe Pancreatitis Treated?

About 20 percent of pancreatitis cases are severe, meaning they result in multiple organ failure that doesn’t naturally subside within 48 hours. (3)

People with severe pancreatitis may need to be transferred to an intensive care unit for an extended treatment, which could last more than a week.

Due to vomiting, sweating, and reduced consumption of food and liquids, severe pancreatitis frequently causes hypovolemia — a decreased volume of blood circulating in the body.

One of the most common complications of severe pancreatitis is an infection of necrotic tissue in the pancreas, or tissue that has died due to a lack of blood supply. These infections are treated with antibiotics. The dead or damaged tissue may need to be removed surgically.

While some research suggested there may be benefits, the consensus among experts is that probiotics do not appear to reduce the risk of infectious complications in severe pancreatitis. (5)

People with severe pancreatitis may require several weeks of nasogastric feeding, in which a feeding tube carries food to the stomach through the nose.

How Are Pancreatitis Complications Treated?

Antibiotics may also be necessary if an extra-pancreatic (outside of the pancreas) infection has developed.

Up to one-third of people with pancreatitis develop an extra-pancreatic infection, according to a report published in 2014 in the journal Pancreatology. (6) Extra-pancreatic infections can range from urinary tract infections to pneumonia.

Gallstones are the number one cause of pancreatitis. For the majority of these cases, the gallstones are small and don’t remain in the bile duct or pancreatic duct for long.

But sometimes the obstruction doesn’t go away without treatment, and doctors need to remove it using a procedure called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).

If gallstones are found in the gallbladder, the gallbladder may need to be removed via surgery to prevent the recurrence of pancreatitis after treatment.

How Do You Manage Pancreatitis at Home?

In addition to hospital treatment, the following lifestyle changes are recommended to help aid recovery and possibly prevent pancreatitis:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Stop or reduce alcohol consumption
  • Stop smoking, because the habit increases your risk of pancreatitis
  • Refrain from eating foods high in fat

What Is a Pancreatic Diet?

There is no one specific pancreatic diet that can treat chronic pancreatitis.

But there are some general rules for nutrition if you have the condition. It’s extremely important to avoid alcohol, for example, as well as high-fat foods, because they will tax an already overworked pancreas.

The National Institutes of Health says that pancreatitis patients should consume no more than 30 grams of fat a day. (7)

RELATED: The Best and Worst Ways to Quit Smoking

Additional reporting by Carlene Bauer.

Natural Relief from Pancreatitis Pain

The pancreas is a large organ, located in the abdomen that regulates the production and release of enzymes that aid in the digestive processes. It is also responsible for the production of insulin and glucagon, the two hormones that regulate blood sugar. Pancreatic disorders can result in inflammation of the organ, and an over production of hyper-activated enzymes. These enzymes, so necessary to digestion and the absorption of nutrients, begin to attack the surrounding tissue often causing acute and chronic pain. The most common symptoms associated with pancreatitis are abdominal pain, swelling of the abdomen, nausea and a quickening pulse. Those suffering through bouts of pancreatitis know just how painful and intrusive these attacks can be, but with natural therapies they can soon find relief the relief they seek.

Common Causes of Pancreatitis

The most common causes of Pancreatitis are infection, injury, and excessive levels of calcium and triglycerides in the bloodstream. Lifestyle choices can play a large part in the occurrence of pancreatitis, with alcohol and tobacco being major contributors to pancreatic disorders. The chronic use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids and antibiotics, can also adversely affect the health of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can also accompany, or be caused by, certain other chronic conditions such as ulcers, gallstones and cystic fibrosis.

Whatever the underlying cause, patients suffering with pancreatitis share the common goal of obtaining relief from the painful symptoms that accompany the disorder. Conventional medicine can offer some relief in the form pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs, but they can only do so much to alleviate the symptoms of pancreatitis and in many cases can bring unwanted health problems of their own.

Pancreatic Pain Relief the Natural Way

One of the most important ways to help relieve pancreatitis is to eat raw, blended plant food with digestive enzymes added. This greatly reduces the work the pancreas has to do to digest food. In essence it gives the pancreas a time of rest which is greatly needed in order to heal.

Many patients suffering with pancreatitis have found relief from their symptoms through the therapeutic use of natural herbal supplements. These herbal therapies along with alternative treatments have long been of help in ancient times up to today. Herbs such as milk thistle, red clover and garlic have been used over the centuries to provide much needed relief from the pain and inflammation caused by pancreatitis. Burdock root is often used to stimulate and support the overall health of the pancreas, while dandelion is particularly effective in cleansing the liver and blood stream of toxins that can contribute to the chronic symptoms of pancreatitis.

The use of more commonly recognized dietary supplements, such as selenium and beta carotene, also is proven helpful in the treatment of pancreatitis. These supplements, along with vitamins C, B3 and B5, contain powerful antioxidants like glutathione, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid help to maintain the health of the pancreas, while fighting free radicals that can damage the organ. Those suffering from disorders of the pancreas are also encouraged to add vitamin E in the form of sunflower seeds to their daily regimen. Vitamin E is essential to maintaining the health of all of the body’s organs, and can help to reverse the tissue damage caused by chronic pancreatitis.

Alternative Physical Therapies for Pancreatitis

In addition to a daily regimen of vitamin and herbal supplements, there are a number of alternative physical therapies and alternative treatments that offer a relief from the symptoms of pancreatitis. Pulsed electromagnetic field therapy is helpful when the pancreas is inflamed as is biophoton cold laser treatments. Colon hydrotherapy and lymphatic drainage therapy help reduce toxic load which helps the pancreas to heal.

Prayer and meditation on God’s word can also be highly effective in helping patients manage the chronic symptoms of pancreatitis. Also through the combination of breathing exercises and mental discipline, patients learn to manage their pain without the use of drugs or chemicals. Prayer and meditation on God’s word focusing on the complete wholeness of body, mind and spirit can have a powerful healing effect on the body. Prayer and meditation on God’s word reduces both mental and physical stress, freeing the body to begin the healing process.

Pancreatitis can often lead to other more serious health conditions, including diabetes, malnutrition, kidney disorders and pancreatic cancer. Patients suffering from this disorder should speak with their holistic clinicians to design a suitable treatment program. Natural therapies can do more than simply alleviate the symptoms of pancreatitis; they can help the body repair much of the damage that has already been done. Through a holistic therapy regimen, people suffering with pancreatitis can find the relief they need from their painful symptoms, and take their first steps on the path to renewed health and vigor.

Acute Pancreatitis Risks and Treatment

Risk Stratification of Acute Pancreatitis

In most cases, acute pancreatitis resolves with therapy, but approximately 15% of patients develop severe disease.3 Severe acute pancreatitis can lead to life-threatening failure of multiple organs and to infection. Therefore, it is extremely important to seek medical attention if experiencing signs or symptoms of acute pancreatitis. Several clinical risk-scoring systems are available to help physicians predict who is most likely to develop severe acute pancreatitis. These scores rely on several pieces of clinical data collected at admission and during the first 48 hours of hospitalization. Commonly used scoring systems include:

  • The Bedside Index of Severity in Acute Pancreatitis (BISAP)
  • The Ranson criteria
  • The APACHE II score

Treatment of Acute Pancreatitis

Fluids

One of the primary therapies for acute pancreatitis is adequate early fluid resuscitation, especially within the first 24 hours of onset. Pancreatitis is associated with a lot of swelling and inflammation. Giving fluids intravenously prevents dehydration and ensures that the rest of the organs of the body get adequate blood flow to support the healing process.

Nutritional Support

Initially, no nutrition is given to rest the pancreas and bowels during the first 24 to 48 hours. After 48 hours, a plan to provide nutrition should be implemented because acute pancreatitis is a highly active state of inflammation and injury that requires a lot of calories to support the healing process. In most cases, patients can start to take in food on their own by 48 hours. If this is not possible, then a feeding tube that is passed through the nose into the intestines can be used to provide nutrition. This method is safer than providing nutrition intravenously. There is no benefit to using probiotics for acute pancreatitis.

Pain Control

Intravenous medications, typically potent narcotic pain medications, are effective in controlling pain associated with acute pancreatitis. Nausea is a common symptom and can be due to pancreatic inflammation as well as slowing of the bowels. Effective intravenous medications are available for nausea. Pain and nausea will decrease as the inflammation resolves.

Treatment of Underlying Issues

In addition to providing supportive care, underlying causes need to be promptly evaluated. If the acute pancreatitis is thought to be due to gallstones, medication, high triglycerides, or high calcium levels within the patient’s body (or other external causes), directed therapy can be implemented.

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

ERCP is a procedure in which a physician with specialized training passes a flexible, thin tube with a camera attached to the end through the patient’s mouth and into the first part of the small intestine, where the bile duct and pancreatic duct exit. With this device, a small catheter can be passed into the bile duct to remove gallstones that might have gotten stuck and are the cause of pancreatitis. In certain situations, a special catheter can also be passed into the pancreatic duct to help the pancreas heal. For more information on ERCP, please click here.

The Following Procedures can be Performed With ERCP:
  • Sphincterotomy

    Using a small wire on the endoscope, a physician finds the muscle that surrounds the pancreatic duct or bile duct and makes a tiny cut to enlarge the duct opening. When a pseudocyst is present, the duct is drained.

  • Gallstone removal

    The endoscope is used to remove pancreatic or bile duct stones with a tiny basket. Gallstone removal is sometimes performed along with a sphincterotomy.

  • Stent placement

    Using the endoscope, a physician places a tiny piece of plastic or metal that looks like a straw into a narrowed pancreatic or bile duct to keep it open.

  • Balloon dilatation

    Some endoscopes have a small balloon that a physician uses to dilate, or stretch, a narrowed pancreatic or bile duct. A temporary stent can be placed for a few months to keep the duct open.

It is well documented that one of the main side effects of ERCP is pancreatitis; however, there are several clearly defined situations when urgent ERCP is indicated for acute pancreatitis.

Antioxidant therapies

Basic and clinical evidence suggests that the development of both acute pancreatitis (AP) and chronic pancreatitis (CP) can be associated with oxidative stress. Findings show that free radical activity and oxidative stress indices are higher in the blood and duodenal juice of patients with pancreatitis.

Based on these findings, the idea of using antioxidant regimens in the management of both AP and CP as a supplement and complementary in combination with its traditional therapy is reasonable. In practice, however, the overall effectiveness of antioxidants is not known, and the best mixture of agents and dosages is not clear. Currently, a trial of a mixture of antioxidants containing vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and methionine is reasonable as one component of overall medical management.

In summation, there is no definite consensus on the dosage, length of therapy, and ultimately, the benefits of antioxidant therapy in the management of AP or CP. Further well-designed clinical studies are needed to determine the appropriate combination of agents, time of initiation, and duration of therapy.

Treatment Considerations for Severe Acute Pancreatitis

Necrotizing pancreatitis:

The definition of severe acute pancreatitis includes cases in which a portion of pancreatic tissue is no longer viable because of injury—this is called necrosis. Over time, the body will resorb this dead tissue. In some cases, this dead tissue can become a source of infection. When infection is suspected, diagnosis can be made by needle biopsy, and if confirmed, medical treatment with antibiotics is required along with consideration of drainage.

Pancreatitis – discharge

After an episode of pain from pancreatitis, you should start off with drinking only clear liquids, such as soup broth or gelatin. You will need to follow this diet until your symptoms get better. Slowly add other foods back to your diet when you are better.

Talk with your provider about:

  • Eating a healthy diet that is low in fat, with no more than 30 grams of fat per day
  • Eating foods that are high in protein and carbohydrates, but low in fat. Eat smaller meals, and eat more often. Your provider will help make sure you are getting enough calories to not lose weight.
  • Quitting smoking or using other tobacco products, if you use these substances.
  • Losing weight, if you are overweight.

Always talk to your provider before taking any medicines or herbs.

DO NOT drink any alcohol.

If your body can no longer absorb fats that you eat, your provider may ask you to take extra capsules, called pancreatic enzymes. These will help your body absorb fats in your food better.

  • You will need to take these pills with every meal. Your provider will tell you how many.
  • When you take these enzymes, you may also need to take another medicine to decrease the acid in your stomach.

If your pancreas has a lot of damage, you may also develop diabetes. You will be checked for this problem.

13 Powerful Home Remedies for Pancreatitis

There are a number of helpful home remedies to treat pancreatitis, including the use of acupuncture, tofu, red grapes, reishi mushrooms, yogurt, spinach, ginseng, and blueberries, along with certain lifestyle changes.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, a small gland that is present near the top of the abdominal cavity. When the gland becomes inflamed, the surrounding blood vessels can also get inflamed, and there may be bleeding and infection. In time, the pancreas starts to produce too much digestive juice and “digests” itself. Pancreatitis can be of two types: acute and chronic.

In cases of chronic pancreatitis, which can go on for months or years, seeing a medical professional is strongly recommended. If left untreated, pancreatitis can result in more serious complications, such as diabetes, kidney failure, infection of the pancreas, respiratory distress and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. That being said, many cases of pancreatitis can be treated naturally, with some of the home remedies outlined in more detail below.

Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas. Photo Credit:

Home Remedies for Pancreatitis

Let us look at the remedies for pancreatitis in detail:

Blueberries

The presence of free radicals can aggravate or bring about pancreatitis. One of the best free-radical-fighting foods you can eat are blueberries, which are packed with antioxidants and can reduce inflammation throughout the body very rapidly. Eating a handful of blueberries every morning can lower your risk of suffering this condition.

Tofu

Switching to tofu-based meals is a popular meat alternative for people, particularly those who suffer from chronic pancreatitis. This is because high levels of fat in the blood are one of the most common causes of pancreatitis, which can be caused by eating a lot of red meat. If you cut out high-fat foods, such as red meat, you can lower your chances of inflammation in the pancreas.

Ginseng

Ginseng is one of the oldest and most trusted natural remedies for a wide variety of health issues, especially those that are inflammatory in nature or affect the gastrointestinal system. For a case of pancreatitis, ginseng tea or ginseng root supplements can be taken to lower inflammation throughout the body and relieve pain.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient remedy for pancreatitis, and there are a number of key pressure points and areas of the body where acupuncture can relieve the pain and inflammation of this particular gland in your body.

Yogurt

People consume yogurt for many reasons, but it is primarily to regulate the balance of bacteria in the stomach to improve digestive efficiency and prevent infections in the gut. This can significantly strengthen the immune system, which can then work harder to reduce inflammation in other areas and glands near the stomach, such as the pancreas.

Reishi Mushrooms

This particular variety of mushroom is one of the most densely packed foods when it comes to antioxidants and active organic compounds that can affect our health. In pancreatitis, reishi mushrooms are able to soothe the stomach and bring down inflammation.

Spinach

Spinach and other leafy green vegetables are a common suggestion for someone suffering from this condition. Pancreatitis is often worsened by vitamin deficiency, specifically vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C, as well as selenium. Fortunately, these essential nutrients can all be sourced in spinach, so don’t be afraid to load up a salad and enjoy the quick relief!

Coconut Oil

When cooking, you should avoid the use of traditional vegetable oils if possible, as the fat content is not helpful for pancreatitis. However, coconut oils and other alternative cooking oils are much healthier, and have a better balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, helping prevent the inflammation of this condition.

Red Grapes

Another powerful antioxidant that has been shown to work well against pancreatitis is resveratrol, which is found in high concentrations in red grapes. Not only is this a delicious remedy, but also a highly effective one!

Cut Out Sugar

High levels of sweets, candies, cookies, and sugary foods in your diet can be a major contributing factor to pancreatitis. This can increase levels of bad fats in your blood, and also force your pancreas to work harder to compensate for the sugar in your system. This can put stress on the gland and cause it to malfunction or become inflamed.

Exercise Regularly

Improving metabolism is key to maintaining overall health and regulating the function of the pancreas. By ensuring that you exercise regularly, your body will naturally burn off calories and prevent excessive storing of fat, which greatly lowers your risk of having an inflamed pancreas.

Turmeric

The antioxidant potential of turmeric, with its active ingredient curcumin, is practically legendary. If you mix turmeric in water every morning and drink the mixture, you help eliminate all inflammatory conditions quickly and easily.

Lose Weight

Along the same lines of a healthier, low-fat diet and regular exercise, your ultimate goal should be to lose weight, especially if you are obese. This is a key contributing factor to pancreatitis, so do your best to shed the pounds, specifically if you suffer from a chronic version of this condition or are at high risk due to other factors.

Word of Caution: Again, while most cases of pancreatitis clear up in a few days (or even faster with the remedies listed above), there are a number of potential complications if you fail to treat a chronic version of this condition. These remedies should be seen as complementary after speaking to a medical professional about more formal options for treatment.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of pancreas. Pancreas regulates the digestion process through its enzymes and regulates blood sugar level by producing insulin hormone.

Acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis are two types of pancreatitis. Generally, acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and its symptoms can last for a week or more. Chronic pancreatitis lasts for several months to several years.

Signs and symptoms of pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis Chronic pancreatitis
Upper abdominal pain Upper abdominal pain
Abdominal pain Losing weight without trying
Nausea and vomiting Steatorrhea (Smelly and Oily Stools)
Abdominal Tenderness Fatigue and excessive thirst

Alcoholism, cigarette smoking, infections, gallstones and medications are common causes of pancreatitis. Other causes include cystic fibrosis, hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, high triglyceride levels, etc.

Pancreatitis Remedies

Acute pancreatitis may require hospitalization and treatment of underlying cause of inflammation. Fasting is a good remedy for acute pancreatitis, which is also an important part of acute pancreatitis management in the hospital.

Here are some home remedies effective in chronic pancreatitis.

Nut grass water

Nut grass (Cyperus rotundus) has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It works well in reducing inflammation of pancreas. (1, 2)

It reduces abdominal pain and increases appetite. It is also beneficial in reducing fats in the stools.

How to Use

  • Take two glasses of water and add 3 grams nut grass powder.
  • Boil the water with nut grass powder and simmer it until the water remains half.
  • Now, add a pinch of black pepper and Kala Namak.

Drink this water once every day for a month. Sipping nut grass water frequently in a day can also help tremendously in chronic pancreatitis.

Precaution

If you have symptoms like bloating, intestinal gas and abdominal distention, then add a slice of ginger along with nut grass powder. Nut grass powder may cause bloating when taken in excess dosage.

Giloy and Ginger

Giloy is digestive stimulant, detoxifier, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulator and anti-oxidant. Therefore, it is also effective in reducing chronic inflammation of the pancreas.

Ginger also has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and digestive stimulant properties.

The combination of Giloy and ginger helps reducing inflammation, pain, steatorrhea and excessive thirst that occurs in the pancreatitis.

How to Use

  • Take 3 grams Giloy powder (or 500 mg Giloy Satva) and 500 mg dried ginger powder and mix them.
  • Take this mixture twice a day with warm water.
  • Alternatively, you can also use Giloy juice and ginger juice. For this, take 20 ml Fresh Giloy juice and add a half teaspoon of fresh ginger juice. Drink it 30 to 60 minutes before meal.

Bitter Gourd (Karela) Juice

Bitter Gourd is also effective in pancreatitis. It reduces inflammation, rectifies pancreas functions and prevents gallbladder stone formation. It is also used as adjuvant for some ayurvedic medicines used in gall bladder stones.

How to Use

  • Take fresh Bitter gourd and extract its juice.
  • Take 20 ml bitter gourd juice for a few days and then increase its dosage to 50 ml per day in divided doses.

Precaution

However, some people may feel difficulty to drink bitter gourd juice. People with pancreatitis may experience loss of appetite after taking this juice. However, it is uncommon and in fact, bitter gourd improves appetite. If you feel loss of appetite or indigestion after taking it, then it may occur due to bitter taste of bitter gourd. You should start drinking 5-10 ml juice from first day, and then you can increase its dosage as per your comfort to 50 ml a day (in divided doses).

What Are the Treatments for Pancreatitis?

Initial treatment of acute pancreatitis includes pain control, hydration, and nutritional support. If you have an attack of acute pancreatitis, you may receive strong drugs for pain. You may have to have your stomach drained with a tube placed through the nose. If the attack is prolonged, you may be fed and hydrated intravenously.

If your pancreatitis is caused by gallstones or an obstructed bile or pancreatic duct, you may need surgery or have an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) done once your symptoms have subsided. An ERCP is a procedure that involves the insertion of a tube down your throat into the stomach and upper intestines to the place where the bile duct and pancreatic duct drain. A small incision is made to remove stones in the bile duct or a plastic tube called a stent is inserted into the ducts to relieve the obstruction.

If you have chronic pancreatitis, the doctor will focus on treating pain — guarding against possible addiction to prescription painkillers — and watching for complications that affect digestion. You may be placed on a pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy to restore the digestive tract’s ability to digest nutrients; this will also likely reduce the frequency of new attacks.

You may have to avoid fatty foods and will have to abstain from drinking alcohol. Injection of anesthetics into the nerves near the spine may give pain relief. If the pain does not respond to medication or nerve blocks, the damaged pancreatic tissue may be surgically removed, but only as a last resort.

Pancreatitis: Management and Treatment

How is pancreatitis treated?

Patients with acute pancreatitis are primarily given intravenous fluids and pain medications in the hospital. In up to 20 percent of patients, the pancreatitis can be severe and patients need to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). In the ICU, the patient is closely monitored, since pancreatitis can cause damage to the heart, lungs, or kidneys. Some cases of severe pancreatitis can result in death of pancreatic tissue. In these cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged pancreatic tissue.

An acute attack of pancreatitis usually lasts only a few days, unless it is caused by gallstones. An acute attack of pancreatitis caused by gallstones may require removal of the gallbladder or endoscopic surgery of the bile duct.

Pancreatic surgery can be performed as a laparoscopic or “minimally invasive” procedure. During laparoscopic surgery, five or six small (5 to 10 millimeter) incisions (cuts) are made in the abdomen. The laparoscope and surgical instruments are inserted through these incisions. The surgeon is guided by the laparoscope, which transmits a picture of the internal organs on a monitor. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include smaller incisions, less risk of infection, pain, and scarring, and a more rapid recovery.

The need for surgery is determined by the severity of the pancreatitis. After the gallstones are removed and inflammation subsides, the pancreas usually returns to normal.

Chronic pancreatitis can be somewhat difficult to treat. Doctors will primarily try to relieve the patient’s pain and improve the nutritional and metabolic problems that result from loss of pancreatic function. Patients are generally given pancreatic enzymes and insulin, since these substances are not being secreted or released by the pancreas. Pancreatic enzyme pills are usually prescribed to be taken before meals to aid in nutrient absorption. A low-fat diet may also be helpful.

Surgery may be necessary to relieve abdominal pain, restore drainage of pancreatic secretions, treat chronic pancreatitis caused by blockage of the pancreatic duct, or to reduce the frequency of attacks.

Patients must stop drinking alcoholic beverages, follow their physician’s and dietitian’s dietary recommendations, and take the proper medications in order to have fewer and milder attacks of pancreatitis.

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7 Strategies to Heal Pancreatitis Naturally

Pancreatitis can be a debilitating condition that results in overwhelming pain and malnutrition. Chronic pancreatitis in the United States results in more than 122,000 outpatient visits and more than 56,000 hospitalizations per year. Painful flare ups bring these patients in for help. The most common causes of pancreatitis and additional flare ups include alcoholism and obstructive gallstones in the liver that block the pancreatic duct.

As a healthcare provider, I feel compelled to help these patients deal with their pain naturally and relieve the causes as best as possible. Many of these patients experience their lives being changed forever due to an inflamed pancreas and they go to the medical doctor to receive pain medication and told to consume a low fat and low salt diet. This leaves the patient severely malnourished. They may be pain free, but the effects of opioids, NSAIDs, and malnutrition make the body function decline drastically.

Unfortunately, there is currently little research done on natural ways to overcome pancreatitis. However, this article will dive into the few natural strategies that have been proven to help control pain and increase nutritional absorption.

Anatomy and Physiology

The pancreas is located in the upper abdomen close to the liver and rests just behind the stomach. It has a connecting entrance into the duodenum of the small intestine. The pancreas is known for having exocrine and endocrine functions, meaning that it secretes hormones externally and internally respectively.

The pancreas has a pancreatic duct, which runs along the middle of the pancreas and joins the common bile duct and enters the duodenum at the ampulla of Vater. This opening is surrounded by the sphincter of Oddi, which helps to control the rate at which the pancreas and gall bladder elicit secretions into the duodenum (1).

Exocrine Secretions

There are three main enzymes, which hare high in protein content and an electrolyte-rich fluid, secreted by the pancreas in order to digest food particles. The secretion itself is alkaline because of the high concentration of sodium bicarbonate present in the fluid.

The alkaline secretion enables the enzymes to neutralize the highly acidic gastric juice before it enters into the intestines. If the pancreas is not secreting enzymes correctly, the acidic gastric contents can go directly into the duodenum and become excruciatingly painful.

The main enzymes are:

  1. Amylase: Aids in carbohydrate digestion
  2. Trypsin: Aids in digestion of proteins
  3. Lipase: Aids in the digestion of fats
  4. Nucleases: Aids in the breakdown of Nucleic acids

Other enzymes are secreted to breakdown more complex foods, but these four are the main ones to be focused on. The secretion of these enzymes is stimulated by hormones produced in the gastrointestinal tract. Secretin is the major hormone that stimulates increased sodium bicarbonate secretion from the pancreas and the hormone released by the small intestine called CCK is the major stimulus for secretin.

Both of these are located in the cells of the duodenum. As soon as gastric juices enter into the duodenum, the pH and contents stimulate the release of these hormones that cause the pancreas and gallbladder to respond with bile and enzyme release. The vagus nerve also plays a role in exocrine pancreatic secretion (1).

Endocrine Function

The endocrine portion of the pancreas houses cells known as the islets of Langerhans. These are composed of alpha, beta, and delta cells. Insulin is produced by the beta cells, glucagon by the alpha cells, and somatostatin by the delta cells. These are the three hormones secreted internally by the pancreas that will be focused on here.

  1. Insulin’s function is to lower blood glucose by stimulating the uptake of glucose into the cells. Once it is pushed into the cells, it is either used for energy or stored as glycogen for later use. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat and protein synthesis. The level of insulin secreted by the pancreas is controlled by the amount of glucose in the blood.
  2. Glucagon has the opposite function of insulin. It is used to raise blood glucose by converting stored glycogen into glucose in the liver. Glucagon is secreted by the pancreas when blood glucose levels decrease.
  3. Somatostatin interferes with the release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland and glucagon from the pancreas. Both of these factors act to raise blood glucose levels while somatostatin acts to bring it down.

Significant dysfunction of the pancreas must occur before enzyme secretion is impaired and inhibits proper digestion of fats and proteins. Normal pancreatic enzyme secretion is between 1,500-3,000 mL/day (1).

Geriatric Considerations

As the body ages, or metabolic dysfunction ensues, there is an increase in the amount of fibrous material and fatty deposition in the pancreas. The rate of pancreatic secretion is decreased, which means decreased amylase, trypsin, lipase, sodium bicarbonate and other enzymes. This could be due to delayed gastric emptying and pancreatic insufficiency.

These malfunctions can cause decreased absorption of nutrients and result in many deficiencies. Promoting dietary choices and supplements that help maintain a healthy pancreas is crucial for nutrient absorption and overall health (1).

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas caused by the release of pancreatic enzymes into pancreatic tissue, which causes hemorrhage and necrosis. Hemorrhage means that there is excessive bleeding caused by tissue damage. Necrosis is premature cell death due to injury, disease, or lack of blood supply.

Typically, enzymes are not activated until they reach the inside of the intestines where the environment is able to handle activated enzymes. Therefore, when these enzymes get congested and release into the pancreatic tissue, the enzymes begin to digest the pancreas and this is extremely painful.

Most people are aging very poorly due to a number of lifestyle factors including poor dietary habits, exposure to environmental pollutants, medication usage, insufficient sleep, economic pressure and emotional stressors. These all impact the ability of the pancreas to function normally.

Acute Pancreatitis

There are approximately 5,000 new cases of acute pancreatitis in the United States every year. This can be a deadly attack; studies show that the mortality rate associated with acute attacks alone is 10 percent.

The etiology is not completely clear but alcoholism and gallstones are the primary risk factors for acute pancreatitis, but there are still 20 percent of cases where the cause is unclear. Gallstones can obstruct the pancreatic duct or cause bile reflux, which can activate enzymes in the pancreatic duct system and cause auto digestion, inflammation, swelling, and pain in the pancreas.

Alcohol causes the duodenum of the small intestines to become edematous, or retain water. This causes an increase in pressure and spasm of the sphincter of Oddi and this can obstruct pancreatic enzyme flow. In addition, alcohol actually stimulates the production of more pancreatic enzymes so this just adds more pressure and swelling to the connection point of the pancreas and duodenum

Other causes include tissue ischemia related to trauma or surgery, pancreatic tumors, third-trimester of pregnancy, infections, elevated calcium levels, and hyperlipidemia. Medications that have associated with the disorder include thiazide diuretics, estrogen, steroids, salicylates, and NSAIDs (2).

Symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis

  • Epigastric pain radiating to the back (often induced by a fatty meal or excessive alcohol intake)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal distention and rigidity
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Elevated temperature

Acute pancreatitis is a medical emergency and help should be sought immediately. The damage done by digestive enzymes on the pancreas can quickly escalate into bleeding internally, dying tissue, edema, pressure in the abdominal cavity, congestion and failure of other organs and lactic acidosis.

Treatment for acute pancreatitis is typically eliminating the cause, hydration and reintroducing food once the inflammation has gone away (2).

Chronic Pancreatitis

Causes of chronic pancreatitis are less clear because they typically do not have classic manifestations of the disease. However, these patients do suffer from long-term effects such as hormone imbalances, enzyme deficiency, chronic pain, and nutritional imbalances. Common characteristics of chronic pancreatitis include chronic inflammation, fibrosis and dysfunction of pancreatic tissue.

Currently, it is deemed by the medical field as irreversible and will eventually lead to pancreatic insufficiency. Alcoholism and malnutrition are the most common risk factors. Approximately 10-20 percent of cases have no identified cause. A genetic link has been made to a specific gene mutation associated with cystic fibrosis in these cases. Cystic fibrosis patients are likely to develop chronic pancreatitis as well.

When chronic pancreatitis is related to alcoholism, the concentration of insoluble proteins increases in the pancreatic secretions. This results in the calcification of the proteins and plug formation that blocks the pancreatic ducts and the flow of juices (2).

Other cases may be related to a stricture or stone that is blocking pancreatic outflow, which is known as obstructive pancreatitis. Recurrent episodes of inflammation will eventually lead to fibrotic changes to the tissues and loss of exocrine function, which leads to malabsorption and pancreatic insufficiency. When endocrine function is disrupted, diabetes may ensue.

Medical Model

Treatment for chronic pancreatitis typically evolves around pain management and aiding nutrition absorption. Surgery is also an option.

Patients are typically given opioids to control pain, which can worsen constipation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are very common to give for inflammation. Most people believe NSAIDs are harmless. However, studies show that they damage the stomach lining, which leads to reduced protein absorption and a much greater increase for food allergens and stomach ulcers.

Pancreatic enzyme supplements are usually given to help with absorption. H2- blockers and proton pump inhibitors are typically given to neutralize or decrease gastric secretions, which further worsens the ability for the body to digest and absorb nutrients. This also slows gastric motility and can worsen constipation. This also puts the patient at risk for developing infections due to the sterilizing effects of stomach acid (2).

Low stomach acid levels are associated with increased risk of developing small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Candida overgrowth, B12, iron and zinc deficiencies. In addition, many individuals with low stomach acid develop protein malabsorption and leaky gut syndrome.

Endoplasmic Reticulum Involvement

There is little research to support the pathogenesis of pancreatitis but a new study has revealed that endoplasmic reticulum stress and calcium signaling could play a big role in this chronic disease. This finding has suggested the need for more research in this area (2). The endoplasmic reticulum is important organelle in human cells that plays a major role in producing, processing, and transporting proteins and lipids.

It produces transmembrane proteins and lipids for its membrane and other cell components such as lysosomes, secretory vesicles, the Golgi apparatus, and the cell membrane. Without this functioning properly, proteins and lipids cannot be transported and processed properly in order to form different structures that are needed. Damage to the endoplasmic reticulum has been found as contributing factor in many chronic diseases and is now recognized as a contributing factor to chronic pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis is caused by toxins that induce acinar cell calcium overload, zymogen activation, cytokine release and cell death, yet is without specific drug therapy. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated but the mechanism not established.

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan

Eating a low salt and low fat vegetarian diet has been shown to decrease painful attacks (3). However, this does not provide the beneficial nutrients of fats and proteins and would leave the patient malnourished. Fats are a vital part of our diets for blood sugar stabilization, decreased disease, hormone production, cell production and protection, decreased inflammation, and overall function. A diet without quality fats is detrimental to our health.

In addition, consuming anti-oxidant rich vegetables from the cruciferous family including broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower and watercress is very beneficial for pancreas function. I also recommend using broccoli and kale sprouts, which provide easily absorbable nutrients needed to support the pancreas.

Using granny smith apples, lemons, limes and berries which are all loaded with anti-oxidants and tissue regenerative nutrients is highly recommended. Look to use as much anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger, cilantro, milk thistle, cinnamon, dandelion, parsley and cardamom whenever possible.

Use MCT Oils

One study was conducted to review the effects of a formula consisting of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and hydrolyzed peptides on the pain associated with post meal pain for patients with chronic pancreatitis. The conclusion was that this formula minimally increased plasma CCK levels, which means that there was minimal stimulation of the pancreas. This proved effective for reducing the amount of pain these patients feel after a meal.

MCT’s are fatty acids present naturally in coconut and palm oils. They are great for stabilizing blood sugar and increasing ketone production. Ketosis is a state where the body is fat adapted and promotes decreased inflammation, steady blood sugar levels, weight loss, and optimal functioning.

MCT oil is effective in reducing inflammation, improving metabolism, and enhancing cognitive function. They are easily digested and do not rely on bile to be excreted from the liver, making them great for people with mal-digestion and absorption issues (4, 5).

Steps to Alleviate Acute Pancreatitis

If you are dealing with acute pancreatitis, then it is important to do a liquid fast with diluted bone broth, green juices, herbal teas and anti-oxidant extracts. It is important to go at least 3 days without any solid foods and absolutely no high sugar, protein or fatty foods. Solid foods put more stress on the pancreas and other digestive organs and will aggravate the symptoms.

Some great herbs for improving pancreatic function include milk thistle, holy basil, ginger, dandelion and turmeric. These herbs can be juiced, found in many organic herbal teas and also in supplements. Drinking water with lemon, lime or apple cider vinegar and various herbal teas is strongly recommended to soothe the pancreatic duct.

I also have my clients juice lemon or lime, ginger, dandelion, cucumber, celery and kale and make nutrient dense green juices. These help to naturally soothe the pancreatic duct and allow for optimal secretion of pancreatic enzymes. I have my patients rest as much as possible, stay hydrated with the recommendations above and use coffee enemas to help move out toxins and relax the pancreas and gallbladder.

Hydrolyzed Peptides

Hydrolyzed peptides are easily digestible because they are broken down proteins. Hydrolyzed means to be broken down by water. Collagen is the most abundant protein present in the body and provides the building blocks for connective tissue, the musculoskeletal system, skin, hair, bones, and joints.

Vital proteins has produced a high quality collagen peptide that I recommend to my pancreatitis patients. Their sources are from pasture raised bovine hides to ensure a high quality product.

Adding MCT oil and hydrolyzed peptides to a low salt and low fat diet may be the best way to get fat and protein introduced to these patients when they are struggling with pain (6).

The diet should be advanced as tolerated to include more protein and fats to ensure adequate nutrition. Diluted bone broth protein and low doses of coconut oil mixed in with tolerable foods may be good beginning places for advancing the diet.

Supplements For Nutritional Benefit

Supplementation is extremely important for people struggling with chronic pancreatitis. A good systemic enzyme supplement should be used to help replace the lost enzymes due to pancreatic insufficiency (7).

Systemic enzymes promote healthy neurological aging, healthy thyroid function, a healthy respiratory tract, central nervous system health, cardiovascular health, management of fibrocystic breast conditions, skin health, coronary circulation health, prostate and sexual function health, reproductive function health, urinary tract and kidney health, knee and hip health, joint health, anti-inflammatory health, and recovery from exercise.

Systemic and Digestive Enzymes

The systemic enzyme we use is called Proteo Enzymes and it can help with the pain, decreased absorption, and utilization of the nutrients that are absorbed. It should always be taken away from meals to ensure it dosn’t act as a digestive enzyme and instead has the whole body anti-inflammatory support we are looking for.

Meanwhile, when you are having food, it is is extremely beneficial to take a specific digestive enzyme to help metabolize the food for absorption. This is absolutely VITAL for individuals with pancreatic insufficiency. This enzyme is geared specifically towards the absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, and fatty acids. These enzymes are also designed to survive the variety of pH levels throughout the gastrointestinal tract.

Pain control

Controlling pain naturally and optimizing nutritional absorption are the most important interventions for pancreatic patients. If optimal nutrition absorption can occur without overstimulation of the pancreas in chronic pancreatic patients, this is the best method for controlling pain and increasing nutritional absorption. Unfortunately, these patients may still suffer from nutritional deficiencies but these methods will help the patient get to their optimal potential for their situation.

Using an anti-inflammatory protocol that decreases sugar, grains, processed foods, trans fats, and chemical exposure, can help promote a decrease in systemic inflammation and help with pancreatitis pain flare ups. (8)

Each pancreatic patient and their pain should be handled according the individual’s needs. Most likely, no two pain control regimens are going to be the same or tolerated the same by different individuals.

A review of studies came to a conclusion that antioxidant micronutrient therapy that supplied methyl and thiol proved effective for aiding in pain control for many patients. Many patients with chronic pancreatitis are deficient in antioxidants, which are vital for reducing free radicals and reducing inflammation. Using the herbs and foods listed in this article will provide the key methyl and thiol groups needed to heal pancreatitis over time.

Strategies for Pancreatitis Management

Here are the best action steps to get started with on your journey to prevent and/or beat pancreatitis. You should always consult with your physician before stopping or changing medications or taking on new health strategies.

Additionally, you should be working with a functional health practitioner to help guide you through these strategies. This is not an exhaustive list and there are other natural therapeutic strategies that I and functional health practitioners will utilize to help individuals with pancreatitis.

1. Anti-inflammatory Diet and Lifestyle: Follow an Anti-Inflammatory nutrition plan here and consider the auto-immune diet diet, both of which you can find here These nutrition plans eliminate sugar and processed foods and use an elimination diet that restricts the foods allowed and slowly reintroduces to see what is flaring up the symptoms.

2. Refraining from NSAID and Opioid Usage: Using medications to control pain may provide some relief but they only cause more long-term problems for the pancreas. If you are in extreme pain, you may need the NSAIDs or opioides but you will want to get off of them as soon as possible and begin following the strategies in this article to get well naturally.

3. Support Mitochondrial function: We discussed the role of the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria in the development of pancreatitis. This article goes into detail on advanced strategies to improve mitochondrial function. In addition, there are specific supplements I use to support the mitochondria such as Brain Supercharge here

4. Control Pain Naturally: Use a liquid diet and a wide variety of anti-inflammatory foods and herbs such as turmeric, ginger, dandelion, lemon/lime, cilantro, kale, parsley, diluted chicken broth and others. Systemic enzyme supplements can also be very helpful to reduce pain.

5. Reduce Stress: Mental and emotional stressors dramatically effect digestive juice production, resulting in less stomach acid, bile and pancreatic enzyme production. Stress also creates an environment for gall stone formation and pancreatic inflammation. Take 5 minutes and focus on doing deep breathing at least 2-3 times daily. In addition, use a gratitude journal to focus on what is going right (as opposed to what you are frusturated about) and walk outside in nature daily to reduce stress levels.

6. Pancreatic Enzyme Supplements: Using systemic enzymes between meals or during a liquid fast will help to reduce pain and overall bodily inflammation. This is a great strategy to improve the healing process of the pancreas. In addition, when solid food is introduced, be sure to use digestive enzymes such as Super Dzyme just before meals. Also doing things like chewing on ginger root and using a tbsp of apple cider vinegar in 4 oz of water about 15 minutes before the meal will help with enzyme production (9, 10).

7. Antioxidant Support: Using a wide variety of anti-oxidants can be very helpful with pancreatitis. You will get these from the foods and herbs I have listed for you to consume and also I recommend taking in extra vitamin C with bioflavonoids. I recommend using Super C, which has a 1:1 ratio of vitamin C and bioflavonoids which will reduce inflammation and tissue damage to the pancreas. For acute pancreatitis, I recommend 2 caps – 6 times daily, while with chronic pancreatitis it is best to do 2 caps – 3 times daily.

Sources For This Article Include:

4. NSAIDS –
5. Shea JC, Bishop MD, Parker EM, Gelrud A, Freedman SD. An enteral therapy containing medium-chain triglycerides and hydrolyzed peptides reduces postprandial pain associated with chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatology. 2003;3:36–40.
6. Medium-chain triglycerides Link Here
8. Altieri B, Grant WB, Casa SD, Orio F, Pontecorvi A, Colao A, Sarno G, Muscogiuri G. Vitamin D and pancreas: the role of sunshine vitamin in the pathogenesis of Diabetes Mellitus and Pancreatic Cancer. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016 Mar 31:0. PMID: 27030935
10. Zaouche A, Loukil C, De Lagausie P, et al. Effects of oral Saccharomyces boulardii on bacterial overgrowth, translocation, and intestinal adaptation after small-bowel resection in rats. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2000 Feb;35(2):160-5.

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