Do you suffer from a nagging, pulling pain in the upper abdomen, which sometimes transfers to the left side? Then a problem with the pancreas could be the cause. The pancreas is an important organ for the breakdown of waste products in the body. In addition to its function in digestion, the pancreas also plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels. Pain in the pancreas can be the result of inflammation or pancreatic cancer. In addition to chronic alcohol abuse, other causes can also play a role in the development of pancreatic problems. What are the main causes of pancreatic problems and what treatment is appropriate?
Stabbing pain on left side
The pancreas is an organ that is not easy to locate in the body, because it is somewhat hidden behind the stomach. The pancreas, also called the pancreas, is located near the duodenum, on the left side of the upper abdomen. Because determining the location of the pancreas is not so obvious for the average patient, a problem with the pancreas is often experienced as a problem with the stomach, or “the abdomen” in general. A nagging, pulling or stabbing pain in the left side may indicate a problem with the pancreas.
The pancreas plays an important role in digesting food. It is the pancreas that breaks down nutrients. High levels of certain substances can put a lot of pressure on the pancreas to process waste products, which can lead to pain. This can happen, for example, as a reaction to certain medications, or as a result of long-term use of alcohol . Furthermore, the gland also regulates blood sugar levels through the production of two hormones: insulin and glucagon.
Symptoms of pancreatic problems
Pain in the upper abdomen
Due to the location of the pancreas, among other things, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether this is actually a problem with the pancreas. Pain in the pancreas is mainly manifested by a nagging pain in the upper abdomen , which continues to the left side. Pain in the pancreas can therefore be felt from the diaphragm to the left side. The pain can turn into a stabbing sensation that can be experienced as very unpleasant.
Additional symptoms that may be associated with a disease of the pancreas include:
- stomach ache
Pancreatic pain: causes
Pancreatic problems and pancreatic pain are usually the result of pancreatitis or pancreatitis. This can be caused by various problems, of which chronic alcohol abuse is one of the best known.
Other possible causes of pancreatic pain and inflammation of the pancreas include:
- genetic factors
- use of certain medications
- too much calcium in the blood
- too much iron in the body (hemochromatosis)
- too many fats in the blood (hyperlipidemia)
In very severe cases, disease of the pancreas can lead to pancreatic cancer . Then traditional cancer treatments are possible, more specifically surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Pancreatic cancer came into the spotlight when the world-famous CEO of Apple Steve Jobs died from complications of this disease in 2011.
Pancreas pain: treatment and tips
First of all, a problem with the pancreas must be diagnosed with certainty through examination by the doctor. If the patient often uses alcohol, the solution should mainly be to avoid alcohol.
Medicines or surgery
If it is due to other causes, the doctor will prescribe treatment with appropriate medication. Furthermore, surgical intervention or the placement of a stent may also be recommended to promote better drainage of the pancreatic juices.
Furthermore, in case of severe pain, the doctor will also prescribe painkillers to the patient. Painkillers to combat pancreatic pain can include paracetamol, NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, diclofenac) or codeine. These painkillers may be sufficient for mild to moderate pain. If these painkillers are not sufficient, stronger, morphine-like painkillers such as Fentanyl can be used.
Additionally, nutritional supplements to support the pancreas can be useful to prevent additional problems. Certain pancreatic supplements can help promote the organ’s function. You can take these supplements in combination with painkillers and pancreatic medications prescribed by the doctor.
Some examples of pancreatic supplements:
- Biotics Cytozyme Pancreas
- Pancreas Formula Vere
- Meridian complex Pancreas Spleen
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- Chronic pancreatitis: causes, symptoms & treatment