Acute/Chronic Pancreatitis

Man facing pain in stomach.

Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology Treats Pancreatitis in Denver, CO

The gastroenterology doctors at Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology can treat nearly any condition that affects the digestive tract, including pancreatitis. With 15 offices, six state-of-the-art Endoscopy Centers, and a specialized pathology laboratory, our team comprises the largest gastroenterology practice in the Denver, CO area. We see thousands of patients annually but still maintain a strong relationship with each as a result of our commitment to providing the best possible care. Pancreatitis, either acute or chronic, can cause a host of issues for sufferers. To help ease the pain and relieve any associated symptoms, we deliver exceptional treatment at all our convenient locations. If you suspect you are suffering from acute or chronic pancreatitis, call us today to learn how we can help.

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. When it does not improve over time, the condition is considered to be chronic. Your pancreas is a gland behind your stomach in the upper abdomen that aids with digestion and regulates the way your body processes sugar. Chronic pancreatitis describes a persistently inflamed pancreas, and it can lead to permanent damage, scarring, and the development of calcium stones and cysts that block digestion. Such a hindrance can cause additional medical issues including malnutrition and diabetes.

Differences Between Chronic and Acute Pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis involves persistent inflammation of the pancreas. This inflammation causes irreversible damage to the organ and must be addressed using various forms of comprehensive treatment. Conversely, acute pancreatitis is an isolated episode of active pancreas inflammation. Four in five instances of acute pancreatitis are related to alcohol use or biliary stones and accompanied by rises in blood enzyme levels. However, acute pancreatitis can lead to chronic pancreatitis.

Causes of Pancreatitis

Though there are many potential causes of pancreatitis, roughly 70% of all instances are related to alcohol consumption. Anyone with a history of alcohol abuse is at an increased risk of developing the condition. Other causes include autoimmune diseases, a narrow or blocked pancreatic duct, cystic fibrosis, and genetics. There is a hereditary link among pancreatitis sufferers. The condition most commonly develops among people between the ages of 30 and 40, and it is more prevalent in men than women.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Pancreatitis

Unfortunately, pancreatitis symptoms are often undetected until the condition has progressed to a relatively advanced stage. Because of this late notice, it is important to seek help from Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology as soon as you notice any symptoms. Quick action will help ease your treatment and recovery. In addition to feeling unwell, pancreatitis can cause:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatty stools
  • Shortness of breath
  • Jaundice
  • Internal bleeding
  • Intestinal blockage

Diagnosing Chronic Pancreatitis in Denver

Imaging tests are the most reliable way for Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology to diagnose your pancreatitis. Blood tests are often inconclusive because changes in the pancreas are difficult to notice using blood. However, our specialists may still test your blood following diagnosis to determine its concentration of pancreatic enzymes. The imaging tests that are best for diagnosing pancreatitis include x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We may also utilize an endoscopic ultrasound to create detailed images of your pancreas and other areas of your digestive tract.

RMG Can Treat Pancreatitis Effectively

The goal of chronic pancreatitis treatment is to reduce pain and improve digestive function. It is impossible to undo any damage that has been done to your pancreas, but we can manage the symptoms using a variety of methods, including:

  • Medication – We can prescribe pain relievers to ease your discomfort and artificial digestive enzymes to help you digest food, among other medicines.
  • Endoscopy – Our gastroenterology specialists can use an endoscope to remove pancreatic stones and place stents in your pancreas to minimize pain, improve flow, and close leaks.
  • Surgery – Invasive surgery is not usually necessary, but we may have to remove part of your pancreas to relieve your pain. Surgery can also unblock or widen the pancreatic duct and drain cysts.

Contact RMG for Chronic Pancreatitis Treatment Today

If you have significant abdominal pain, fatty stools, or nausea and vomiting, you need to be evaluated by a gastroenterology specialist. All these symptoms could be caused by chronic pancreatitis, so it is essential that you visit a gastroenterology clinic for diagnosis and treatment. Patients throughout the Rocky Mountain region have trusted Rocky Mountain Gastroenterology for all of their gastrointestinal needs since 1997. Our state-of-the-art facilities and highly-skilled gastroenterology doctors can help treat chronic pancreatitis quickly and efficiently. If you fear you are suffering from the condition, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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