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Nutritional Management Of Pancreatitis – The Pancreatitis Diet

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Pancreatitis Diet
Pancreatitis Diet (Representational Image, Photo by Alexandr Podvalny from Pexels)

Inflammation of the pancreas leads to pancreatitis. Pancreas is a big gland at the back the stomach and close to the duodenum which secretes digestive enzymes to small intestine through a tube called the pancreatic duct. These enzymes in turn assist the digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in food. Some common types of pancreatitis are Chronic Pancreatitis, Hereditary Pancreatitis, and Acute Pancreatitis.

The Pancreas Is By Far The Most Complex Organ In The Body

Causes of pancreatitis may include alcohol abuse, gallstone, medications, hereditary disease, exposure to certain chemicals, high fat levels in the blood, infections such as mumps (not common), surgery and other medical procedures, trauma, and abnormalities of the pancreas or intestine.

Pancreas – Organ (Photo credits: Columbia University)

Other Factors That Lead To Pancreatitis

  • Structural abnormalities of the pancreas
  • Viral infections like hepatitis and Epstein-Barr virus
  • Pancreatic cancer, which can obstruct the flow of pancreatic enzymes
  • Inherited diseases, especially cystic fibrosis

Signs And Symptoms Of Pancreatitis

Signs and symptoms of Pancreatitis include harsh pain in upper abdomen, swollen tender abdomen, rapid pulse, fever, nausea and vomiting, dehydration and low blood pressure, internal bleeding, and shock.

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Nutritional Management Of Pancreatitis And The Pancreatitis Diet

  • Quit alcohol and nicotine. This is because they stimulate the pancreas to a great extent. Stop smoking and chewing tobacco also.
  • Maintain a low fat diet consisting of 30% fat.
  • Try to eat food that is high in carbohydrates and proteins as they reduce the work pressure of your pancreas.
  • Stop eating rich and spicy food to reduce the chance of another attack.
  • Don’t try to eat large meals at a time. Rather go for small frequent meals.
  • Avoid concentrated sweets and desserts that are very sweet if your blood glucose level is high or above normal.
  • Caffeine and gas-forming food items stimulate pancreas. So avoid these type of food.
  • Margarine, butter, bacons etc., should also be avoided
  • Quit red meat. Rather go for chicken.
  • You can include soybeans in your diet as they are very good anti-oxidants.
  • You can eat light chicken soups or vegetable soups frequently.
  • Green leafy vegetables are also very good for pancreatitis.
  • Keep some fruit juice with you and whenever you are tempted to have alcohol, sip it.
  • Drink plenty of fluids in the form of soups and juices.

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