Earlier this week, Travis Barker, husband of longtime Blink-182 drummer and Courtney Kardashian, was taken to a local hospital on a stretcher from his Los Angeles building after suffering from pancreatitis. Barker’s pancreas became inflamed following a colonoscopy procedure.
The musician’s health scare has left many wondering what pancreatitis is and how to treat it. According to the Mayo Clinic, pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas, a flat gland located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen, becomes inflamed. The pancreas is vital for the body to process sugar through digestion and hormones. Instead of regulating blood sugar levels in the body, the pancreas becomes inflamed when these digestive fluids invade the organ.
Acute pancreatitis is a mild form of the condition that occurs suddenly and only for a short time. However, chronic pancreatitis can last for a long time and can lead to death without proper medical attention. Chronic can appear randomly for many years while causing severe discomfort to the body.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms vary from person to person based on the type of pancreatitis. The acute version causes pain in the upper abdomen, abdominal pain in the back, tenderness when the abdomen is touched, fever, rapid pulse, nausea and vomiting.
Travis Barker hospitalized for pancreatitis: report
However, chronic pancreatitis can be fatal and cause more serious damage to the body. According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms include upper abdominal pain, increased abdominal pain after digestion, unexplained weight loss, and greasy, foul-smelling stools. For acute or chronic abdominal pain it is recommended that people make an appointment with their doctor and take immediate care if the pain caused by pancreatitis makes it impossible to sit or stand still.
What are the causes?
When digestive enzymes are stimulated, pancreatitis occurs from irritated cells in the pancreas, causing inflammation of the organ. Some of the habits and conditions that can cause pancreatitis are alcohol consumption, abdominal trauma, obesity, high levels of triglyceride in the blood, and gallstones. Moreover, untreated acute pancreatitis can become chronic and lead to digestive problems and diabetes.
Other factors such as a family history of pancreatitis, excessive cigarette use, and alcohol consumption can increase a person’s risk of pancreatitis.
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How do you treat it?
Depending on a person’s condition, medical professionals may treat ovulation and in some cases the underlying cause of pancreatitis differently. However, some early treatments are to reduce your daily diet to help your body recover. Doctors may also prescribe to patients suffering from pancreatitis pain medications if the condition is severe. If a person is hospitalized, intravenous (IV) fluids are injected intravenously to prevent dehydration until the pancreas recovers.
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