Alcoholic Pancreatitis: Who Gets Alcoholic Pancreatitis?

alcoholic-pancreatitis

Alcoholic pancreatitis may not be caused simply by drinking to much alcohol for years like once thought. As I mentioned in a previous post about Alcoholic Pancreatitisย and the need to quit drinking, there may be underlying factors, like a DNA variant,ย present in those who suffer from alcoholic pancreatitis. The important thing to understand no matter the reason for your case of pancreatitis, you must stop drinking.

Over 100,000 Americans (didn’t even think this many people had pancreatitis) suffer from chronic pancreatitis and many cases are caused by abuse of alcohol but gallstones, medical procedures, heredity, prescription drugs, viruses, autoimmune disease and trauma also cause pancreatitis.

Doctors seem to think that only alcoholics get pancreatitis which of course is ridiculous considering that gallstones cause more acute pancreatitis than alcohol yet …

It is true that alcoholic pancreatitis is most often seen in those who abuse alcohol for years but …

Research indicates it may also be due to genetics since only 3% of alcoholics develope chronic pancreatitis, suggesting a pancreas-specific risk factor.

alcoholic-pancreatitis

In a study conducted over a 10 year period, involving over 2,000 patients all of whom underwent DNA testing researchers discovered that there was a common DNA variant on the X chromosome that is present in 26 percent of men without pancreatitis, but jumps to nearly 50 percent of men diagnosed with alcoholic pancreatitis. Women have two X chromosomes, so most women with the high-risk DNA variant on one X chromosome appear to be protected from alcoholic pancreatitis by the other X chromosome, if it is normal. Men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, so if they inherit a high-risk X chromosome, there is no protection.

I find this fascinating but then I am easily entertained when it comes to weird stuff that most other people could care less about. In any event …

IF you suffer from alcoholic pancreatitis it may not be just excessive drinking that is to blame. In fact according to the study one could have the DNA variant, be a causual drinker and end up with pancreatitis due to some other injury to the pancreas. Now …

If you find this information regarding alcoholic pancreatitis fascinating as well you can continue to read more about this DNA variantย connection here: Genetic Link Between Pancreatitis and Alcohol Consumption. If it isn’t that interesting to you but you’ve been diagnosed with alcoholic pancreatitis yet you swear on a stack of Bibles that you truly are not an alcoholic just know that you may have the variant that predisposes you to alcoholic pancreatitis.

This article has 30 Comments

  1. Dear Sir I was diadnosed with CP due to alcohol abuse over the years and a fatty layer across my pancreas. Also have stones in pancreas and calcification. I am a 45 year old white female. Am on high protein low fat diet. Do you think if I follow your eating plan I can also live a long and healthy life esp. with the geape seed extract? Have written to you before on face book. My Faith is strong but am still worried because of the calcification and stones in pancreas. It’s only been since Jan 2014. Haven’t had pain since early March and I praise Jesus for that and for sticking to my eting plan. Kind regards. Heather from S.A.

    1. Hi Heather – I can’t tell you what will happen in your life regarding longevity or health. Pancreatitis is extremely volatile. One wrong food choice can change everything. I can tell you I am quite sure that if you follow a regimen consisting of a low-fat diet, ZERO alcohol, and supplements (grape seed, curcumin, vit C) that you may have some good years left. I can also tell you that if it were ME who had pancreatic calcification I’d be looking into edta chelation. IV edta chelation isn’t cheap and insurance wouldn’t pay for it because it is not an approved protocol for pancreatic calcification but if you have a progressive ACAM doctor in your area. I’d be getting in touch to get his thoughts and recommendations. Now understand these guys use edta chelation to clear clogged arteries. Edta chelates calcium from the cardiovascular system so it MAY chelate calcium from the pancreas. I am only guessing. But again if it were me I’d be looking into chelation and trying it if I could find a doc to do it for me. IF I couldn’t find a doc for IV chelation I might try oral chelation. You can buy edta in capsule form. It’s cheap. But there are some things you really need to know before you embark on such a journey. So learn everything you can about chelation and see if you can locate a real ACAM doctor to chat with. And just remember that what I just said was only a “thought” of mine and I am not a doctor or a scientist or even a college graduate. I’m just a guy who reads a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you so much Mr Health Guy your response was very helpful that I immediately googled the Chelation Therapy site and came across a Dr who deals with homeopathy and Interative Medicine, i.e. Chelation Therapy. I eagerly await her response. I also googled the EDTA Chelation site and see it has a lot to do with the removal of calcium and other metals and improved the ratio of HDL and LDL cholestrol. Well it definitely does not hurt to try. Thank you so much for your input. I really do want to live a long and healthy life and prove the doctors wrong on these websites that say chronic pancreatitis patients only have a lifespan of approx. 7 years after diagnosis. After all, the Word says Humans say Seeing is Believing but Jesus says Beleiving is Seeing” (smiley face)! Thank you once again and have a Blessed Day

  3. Hi Healthy Guy

    I have chronic pancreatitis and I’ve been on Amitriptyline for depression before the CP was diagnosed. I read the Amitriptyline leaflet but still want to ask you a couple of things as I didn’t find the answers in there.

    Is it dangerous for someone with CP to take Amitriptyline?

    Does grapefruit interact with Amitriptyline?

    Is it true that Amitriptyline relieves the CP pain in some patients?

    Thanks

  4. Had one acute attack of Pancreatitis 5 years ago. Was hospitalized due to excruciating pain. Treatment was no food, broth or anything for 5 days. Crushed ice and water by mouth was allowed. IV with the usual minerals 24hrs a day. I was told not to drink ever again. as at the time I was drinking 6 out of 7 days. Now I think I know better and on average drink vodka and diet coke 2 or 3 times a month. When I do go out however my average consumption is 6 to 10 drinks.
    After a good hangover the day after drinking, I was very concerned about the risk I was taking, even though my drinking compared to 5 years ago was substantially reduced. After reading all of your articles. I have truly seen the light and will abstain totally.
    I take the tranquilizer Klonopin 1mg three times a day. It lowers my fast heart rate and also in combination with my blood pressure pill, keeps my pressure nicely controlled. Relief of anxiety attacks, which are not that frequent, is another benefit of taking the Klonopin.
    What are your feelings on Klonopin being a benefit in combating Pancreatitis, either acute or cronic?
    Any thoughts?
    Thank you,
    Jim

    1. Glad you are abstaining from alcohol James cuz it isn’t good. I can’t find anything from a quick bit o fchecking on Klonopin in regards to pancreatitis. I know there was supposedly 45 peopl who claimed it caused their chronic pancreatitis and reported it to the FDA but I wasn’t able to find anything to back up those claims. That doesn’t mean it is safe, it just means I couldn’t find any articles from the FDA or anywhere else to substaniate the 45 claims. Stay well ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Hi Health Guy,

        I just got my first Accute Pancreatitis attack this week. I was lucky they figured it out in the ER, put me on deluaded (sp?) got me a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis, and instantly put me on IV and ice chips only for 24 hours. However what ensued over the next three days was they insisted I was an alcoholic, had drug addiction counselors hound me and tried to get me to join their re-hab program.I am one of those that can and will swear on a stack of bibles I am not an alcoholic! I saw four doctors. two said I was in denial, one wasn’t so sure, but the fourth one said “it is irrresponsible to conclude that until we can get you an ultrasound to ensure it isn’t gall stones.” Either way drinking left my life this week.But the process was humiliating to not be believed and to try to have somebody hound me into a re-hab treatment I don’t need nor can afford. I have worked for industries where drinking for MONTHS was not in the cards. I would not call my self a binge drinker or a regular drinker. I grew up in a family of heavy drinkers and have avoided heavy drinking all my life because of this.

        Thank you so much for your clarification above. My boyfriend is supportive and said to not take it personally we know what to do now and we do it.

        Your website is a god send.

        Linda

        1. Hi Linda ๐Ÿ™‚ – Sorry to hear you have joined our pancreatitis hall of pain and have also come to know what many of us have experienced from doctors. The good news is that they diagnosed you right away! That means that IF you have no underlying cause and your damage was minimal you could be among the 80% who evidently completely recover with no recurrence of acute pancreatits and no chronic inflammation (chronic pancreatitis). I’m glad to hear you have given up alcohol and it may be beneficial to completely abstain even if you completely heal, just to avoid any possibility of a replay. I have read your other two comments (haven’t responded yet) and I’m thinking with your family history it may be possible that you have a genetic variant that predisposes you to pancreatitis; IF they have found no other reason for your attack. People do NOT just get acute pancreatitis. There is always a reason. The pancreas simply doesn’t wake up one morning saying “I think I’m gonna be sick today.”

          “Your website is a god send.” Funny you should say that because God did tell me to share what He taught me. Get well, stay well. ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. I have one question. Non-Alcoholic Wine? When I was a bar tender I got promoted to Sommelier in Training. I loved wine. So when I heard about Non-Alcoholic wine I got excited and bought some bottles. Bouquet was kind of sour but it had complexities of light strawberries and almond. I took a sip and my boyfriend said “Put that down!” So I did he showed me on the bottle a .5% alcohol by volume. ๐Ÿ™ Well, shit man, Did I just by a couple of bottles of Cooking Wine?

          2. Yep – Linda it doesn’t take much alcohol to cause problems. So watch things like vanilla extract, soy sauce, mouthwash, cold/flu remedies etc because alcohol hides in those products.

  5. Hi my name is Jody I just got diagnosed with pancreatitis the doc said he thought its mild I did clear liquids for4 days now I’m eating fruits an veggies some chicken an fish I’m concerned cause my xrays showed calcifications in the area of the left kidney an says may be vascular an renal calculi cannot be excluded an suspected vascular calcifications are also noted in the pelvis doc says nothing to worry about I’m very scared should I get a second opinion I don’t know anything about about all this stuff please help if you can

    1. Hi Jody – sorry to hear you are having difficulties. 2nd opinions are certainly not a bad thing. Did your doc say why he/she thought you had pancreatitis to begin with or is that what you are asking me if those calcifications could be a possible cause. If that is what you want to know I can’t say because I don’t know. Sorry I’m not any help. ๐Ÿ™

      1. My Lipase, CBC with differential, urinalysis microscopy and other blood work turned up abnormal an that’s why he said I have mild pancreatitis an I still dont know what the calcifications an stuff mean if you could tell me anything I sure would appreciate it thank you an god bless you

        1. Hi Jody – Sorry I haven’t responded until now. Like I sais in my last comment answer I don’t see where calcification in the kidneys or arteries are connected to pancreatitis. I suppose anything is possible but it would seem to me that something else may be responsible. What I’d do if it were me would be to check with a chelation doctor in your area and see if edta chelation might be useful in eliminating the calcification.

  6. Your info is brilliant I have chronic Pancreatsis not from alcoholism ive been on oxycodone and oxycontin for 6 years , 400mg a day ive cut myself down to 40mg slowly as like you have started, it masked pain, & I am sure it made me depressed now taking antinflammertory drugs and massive improvements!! Cheers your a legend ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ Lucy x

    1. Hi Lucy – Thank you for the kind words. Glad to hear things are working out for you! It only gets better as your pancreas heals. Diet and supplements Lucy. Keeping getting well ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Just got a call from my Mother today. My Great-Grandmother had gall stones and eventually died in the 1970s of Pancreatic Cancer (She was 82). My Grandfather (her son) had to have his gall bladder removed in his 50s. My Uncle (his son) had pancreatic problems (no one is sure of the diagnosis) until his 77th year when he died of a heart attack. He severely abused alcohol and drugs. My Mom is fine although a heavy drinker, but apparently I am the inheritor of this disease. I am hoping your advice here will keep me from further attacks and I will pass this life with this being the only one.

    Thank you for your knowledge.

    1. Linda you are welcome – try to find out why you had the acute attack. Make your docs dig if it isn’t blaringly evident (gallstones). I and the doctor who diagnosed me originally thought my attacks were the result of an injury I sustained while playing highschool football but as it turns out celiac disease is probably why I originally became sick with pancreatitis. There is ALWAYS a cause. IF you get a diagnosis of idiopathic pancreatitis don’t accept it. A diagnosis of idiopathic pancratitis – is well – idiotic. It simply means your doctor has no clue why you became sick and is too lazy to find out. Make him/her find out the cause and if they won’t find another doctor who will (if possible).

  8. How much grape seed extract should a person take I read it somewhere in your posts but can’t find it now.Back when I wrote you they had diagnose me with pancreatis an said there was something in or on my pancreas that measured 2.2 by something an didn’t feel it necessary to have checked well now thanks to them idiots I have pancreatic cancer. I need to know how much grape seed cause I read an article where it said grape seed could kill off cancer cells

    1. Ah crap Jody – That diagnosis definitely presents a challenge. Did they tell you what type of pancreatic cancer, endocrine or exocrine? Have they staged your cancer yet? Do they have an orthadox pancreatic cancer treatment plan figured out for you yet? The reason I ask is if they have caught it early they may be able to remove it successfully. Let’s hope for that ๐Ÿ™‚

      To answer your question there are several natural substances that kill cancer cells Resveratrol and OPC’s both of which are found in grape seed extract, turmeric the extract of which is called curcumin and vit C. None except the vitamin C has ever been proven in a clinical trial on humans with pancreatic cancer. Just in vitro (petri dish) and rats. The vitamin C was done in huge intravenous doses that can not be copied via oral doses. And the research I read is no longer available for some reason. Probably because vitamin C can’t be “patented” and so it’s probably very cheap even in an intravenous solution.

      Curcumin has shown some possibilities with pancreatic cancer which just doesn’t want to die. Most conventional treatment, unless there is new research, is ineffective. The bad news is that even if it’s resected it often recurs even after the five year “clear” date for most other cancers. One thing you need to understand is pancreatic cancer treatment is WAY above my pay grade. I’m not a doctor and my knowledge is very limited. I don’t know what I’d do IF it were me. I suspect if curcumin, grape seed extract and vitamin C were to be of benefit it would take large doses. When I mean large doses I mean the types of doses that may likely produce side effects (nausea, vomiting) because they are extremely potent antioxidants and even though they are suppose to be non-toxic or non-lethal they may still make someone sick with the doses that would be necessary to see results with cancer.

      The usage of those three natural alternatives in conjunction with orthadox medical treatment may help enhance the chances of recovery or at least remission. I’m sorry – There is very little promising research in regards to pancreatic cancer whether it be big pharma chemicals or natural alternatives. Now please do not take what I just said as gospel because I am not privy to the absolute newest research to which your onocologist will have access.

      IF it were me I think I would start out with fairly large doses in all three. 250/300 mgs of grape seed extract 3 – 4 times per day, curcumin 500 mgs at 3X daily and vitamin C at 5,000 mgs daily and work up to 10,000 mgs. If you tolerate the grape seed extract and curcumin at those doses you can begin to “work up” until it isn’t a pleasant experience and then just back down a notch or keep going with that barely tolerated dose. Again, I have NO information I can show you that clearly states any of those actually kill pancreatic cancer in humans. Just in vitro and in rats.

      I will pray for you Jody because what is impossible for humans is entirely possible for God. DO NOT give up. You can’t win without a fight. If you belong to God now is the time to bring your petitions before Him. He loves you unconditionally and will help you whether this storm. All you have to do is ask. There is a prayer page. You might consider posting a request so that others may pray for you as well. Don’t be a stranger. let me know how you are doing, please? ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I am wondering for those people who do have Chronic Pancreatitis if you are able to still workout, lift weights, go snowboarding, jiu jitsu, hiking, running, climbing etc or if you essentially have to give all of that up? Anything you could relay would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

        1. Brian – Hold on, not quite sure I said that. There is always the possibility of doing more harm but unless you are playing contact sports, fighting (MMA etc), where there is the possibility of pancreatic trauma you should be ok. I did a lot of stuff BUT that doesn’t mean it’s perfectly safe.

          1. Thanks again for the info. So you think something like Jiu Jitsu would be out of the question? If you’re unfamiliar it is essentially wrestling.

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