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Pancreatitis

AMBULATORY CARE:

Pancreatitis

is inflammation of your pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that makes insulin. It also makes enzymes (digestive juices) that help your body digest food. Pancreatitis may be an acute (short-term) problem that happens only once. It may become a chronic (long-term) problem that comes and goes over time.


Common symptoms include the following:

  • Severe burning, stabbing, or aching pain that starts in the top of your abdomen and spreads to your back
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdomen that is tender to the touch
  • Weight loss without trying

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have severe pain in your abdomen and you are vomiting.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You continue to lose weight without trying.
  • Your skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics treat a bacterial infection.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Self-care:

  • Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your usual activities as directed.
  • Do not drink any alcohol. If you need help to stop drinking, contact the following organization:
    • Alcoholics Anonymous
      Web Address: http://www.aa.org
  • Ask your healthcare provider or dietitian about the best foods to eat. You may need to eat foods that are low in fat if you have chronic pancreatitis.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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