The pancreas is an organ located right behind the stomach and just below the rib cage. It produces hormones that help the body function and enzymes to aid in digestion. The most common hormones produced by the pancreas is the insulin and the glucagon, which helps the body control the food for energy.
Pancreatitis is a medical condition that occurs when the pancreas is inflamed. The inflammation can cause pancreatic damage which will result in the digestive enzymes be activated before they are released into the small intestine. The enzymes will ‘digest’ the pancreas.
There are two types of pancreatitis:
Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation that occurs suddenly that will lasts for only a short time. The severity of acute pancreatitis can range from mild discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. Most individuals with acute pancreatitis that were given prompt and right treatment will recover completely. However, in severe cases, the condition can result in several serious life-threatening complications including bleeding, cyst formation, and serious tissue damage and damage to other nearby organs.
This type of pancreatitis is long-lasting and would usually appear after an episode of acute pancreatitis occurs. Heavy alcohol consumption is another cause. However, it will take some years of alcohol drinking before the symptoms will start to appear.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of acute pancreatitis include but not limited to:
- Pain that is located on the upper portion of the abdomen that will radiate into the back. It will worsen when eating especially if the food is high in fat.
- The abdomen is swollen and tender to the touch
- Nausea and vomiting
- There is an increased heart rate
Acute and chronic pancreatitis has similar symptoms. Pain in the upper abdomen is frequent common and to some can be disabling. Weight loss due to malabsorption of food and diarrhea are also common.
If you think you are suffering from Pancreatitis you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Pancreatitis as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).