Alcoholic Pancreatitis: Why You Need To Quit Alcohol When You Have Alcoholic Pancreatitis

alcoholic-pancreatitisIf you have been diagnosed with alcoholic pancreatitis, you aren’t dead yet from complications and you are reading this right now you need to listen up and listen good to what I have to tell you.

You NEED to quit drinking. Β This means ANYONE who has been diagnosed with pancreatitis whether it is alcoholic pancreatitis or some other form (gallstone, trauma, high blood fats, etc) needs to quit drinking as well. Even though I was NOT diagnosed with alcoholic pancreatitis the first thing my doctor told me after he diagnosed me was that I had to abstain from alcohol.

NO ALCOHOL.

WHY?

Because alcohol is extremely toxic to the pancreas especially so in those who have alcoholic pancreatitis because there has been found there is a genetic variant that makes certain people very susceptible to alcoholic pancreatitis.

If you want to die a horrific painful death just keep downing that booze and you’ll soon have death knocking at your door due to alcoholic pancreatitis.

Alcoholic Pancreatitis Kills People

Alcoholic pancreatitis KILLS people with mortality as high as 30% for those with infected necrosis. It seems that people with alcoholic pancreatitis are more prone to pancreas calcification which means if you keep drinking and you don’t die from a severe bout of acute pancreatitis with complications, that eventually, your pancreas will turn to bone. Your dog, if you have one, may begin looking at you like you’re a Scooby snack! Anyway …

I have known some alcoholics.

I know that alcoholic pancreatitis is tough to beat due to your alcohol addiction but if you don’t stop drinking you are a total idiot and absolute proof that your parents should have used birth control. I can say that because I know what is like to be addicted to some drug and alcohol is a drug.

When I was in the Corps I drank. And when I drank I drank a lot but I didn’t NEED to drink. I am one of the few who are NOT an alcoholic yet could drink most people under the table and myself not even show signs of being intoxicated.

When I was diagnosed with pancreatitis and my doctor told me to quit drinking it wasn’t a big deal for me simply because I actually didn’t drink much then anyway. I had been out of the Corps for about 4 years and maybe had a few beers while shooting pool or a glass of wine with dinner. However …

When I became involved in the vacation timeshare industry I was around some real party animals. I started doing cocaine and soon found myself with a 2 gram per day habit.

I was high all the time and I was making the moneyΒ in order toΒ afford to be high. I was damn good at closing sales and so I never stooped low enough to sell the crap. I couldn’t drink so hell, I did drugs and drank a ton of grapefruit juice. In fact …

Theresa, the bartender at one of the resorts I worked at for awhile, would have a glass of grapefruit juice waiting on the bar for me as soon as she saw me coming in the door.

alcoholic-pancreatitisOne day I overdosed.

It was around 1500 hours (3PM in the afternoon) and I was smoking weed and doing lines on the bar of this little local tavern when I suddenly felt very ill and immediately asked God to let me make it to my car so I didn’t die in a damn bar.

I made to my shiny new 1983 TransAm, opened the door, sat down inside, closed the door and the lights went out. I came to, in the parking lot of the bar, at dawn, around 0400 hours (4 AM) the next morning. I was probably very lucky I wasn’t dead.

That put the fear of death in me for awhile but soon, like an idiot I was doing lines again. It wasn’t until I OD’ed for the second time in 1987 that it really hit home. I survived that one too and this time I was smart enough (yeah I’m a slow learner) to say, that’s enough. I wasn’t gonna see if God would save me three times.

So I quit.

Cold turkey.

Don’t let anyone tell you that white powder isn’t physically addictive because I was sick as a dog for two weeks. And once an addict it takes a LONG time to get over the NEED.

In 1990, I think it was 1990, one of the major TV networks had a special 6 night series on cocaine addiction right after the nightly news.

The first episode opened with someone over dosing. It showed him being wheeled into the ER and on the screen it showed pictures of his heart beating way to fast and it exploded right there in front of me.

The guy died on the table.

Immediately they showed this big pile of white snow, a mound of cocaine and I WANTED some! I had been cocaine free for two years, just watched a guys heart explode from an overdose and I wanted some nose candy!

So, I KNOW what it’s like.

Well, it’s been 23 years now. 23 years of zero recreational drugs and I must admit I am no longer bothered with any thoughts of doing coke. But the first 5 years were tough.

Here’s a young woman who now has pancreatitis due to alcohol consumption explaining her story.

Here’s the deal.

If I can quit a $180 per day habit (1980’s cost) you can quit drinking. It just takes backbone. With maybe a little fear of death thrown in. If you need help quitting do this …

Close your eyes and visualize the severe pain of an acute pancreatitis attack.

Are you doing that?

Good.

Now follow along here, don’t crap out.

alcoholic pancreatitisYou feel your pancreas being consumed by it’s own digestive juices, the pain is intolerable, you begin to bleed internally, you vomit blood, your pancreatic juices begin to flow through your blood stream, attacking your liver, kidneys, heart and lungs and your organs begin to fail.

The doctors and nurses are working frantically to save you from organ failure and internal hemorrhage, the pain is excruciating but, there is nothing they can do for you except pump your dumb ass full of morphine and watch as – your time runs out.

All because you weren’t smart enough to quit drinking when told you had alcoholic pancreatitis.

Is that the way you want to die?

A loser alcoholic?

I don’t care what your sitrep is. I could care less if you were neglected as a child, your daddy mistreated you, the neighborhood bully crapped on your chest or your favorite pet dog pissed down your leg. There is really no good reason to drink, except to have fun and drunks don’t have fun they simply piss people off and get sick all over their shoes.

Right now, if you are an alcoholic diagnosed with pancreatitis and you are still alive reading this and you have actually read this far – you have a choice to make.

Quit Drinking or Die

pancreatitis deathIt’s as simple as that and as clear as the nose on your face.

So tell me what’s it gonna be – Death or life?

Are you a worthless coward or do you still have some backbone?

If you have backbone – you’ll quit drinking. You’ll begin doing what you need to do in order to survive, beat alcoholic pancreatitis and heal your pancreas. And yes, I KNOW it’s gonna be a tough haul for you. Quiting an alcohol addiction is no easy matter but …

Make the right choice. Choose to live. Don’t end up fertalizing grass before your appointed time.Β Your life really does depend upon your choice.

Make the right choice.

I wish you success. πŸ™‚

 

This article has 109 Comments

    1. Hi Derek, No. 2 units per day of alcohol is not ok. Alcohol is extremely toxic to a damaged pancreas. Those who have pancreas damage are playing Russian roulette by drinking. Those who have the newly identified gene that increases the risk for acute alcoholic pancreatitis are really asking for trouble. If you have pancreatitis Derek – QUIT Driniking.

  1. Hey, Thanks for this! I’m gaining a lot of knowledge for many sources. Doc’s not one of them. I’m 29 and drank since I was 13.I love my Saturday nights and it’s not like I drink every week…so July 13, I went out to the bar and drank way 2 pitchers of long island ice teas and 5 beers, along with my prescription vicodin. I had my first acute episode July, 15, 2013. I was in the ICU with 39,000 lipase level and highly elevated white blood count. Starved for 3 days, they said it was ok to try clear fluids on the 4 day for breakfast and soft foods for lunch and I was home by dinner July, 19. Still with lipase @ 600. Thinking I was better and all was ok, I had more than a few beers the next Saturday, July 27. Felt fine, no pain, no sickness. But then again I did take an 800mg motrin. Both Motrin and Vicodin were prescribed to me for spinal injuries I suffered in a hit and run car accident. After the hospital, I began if it was just some more trauma from the accident. So, the following Tuesday, the 30th, I drank again. This time it was a bad idea. Feeling not so hot all day Wednesday, I took a Vicodin and begin feeling better. Not for long. This was a feeling I knew, hot, painful, sick and I suffered through it alone because I did not want to go back into the hospital. But what I hadn’t known is was not my second episode…looking back, there were 3 or 4 times in June that I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning after I night of heavy drinking and fried bar foods. I thought it was my spinal fractures Now I know better. I thought you should know all this to help me gain perspective. I haven’t been back to a see a doctor since the hospital stay. They told me cut down on drinking and pretty much nothing else. Is this something that will stop? Or will I suffer it the rest of my life? Does anyone actually heal? And will there ever be a time when I can enjoy food again? Thank You again. Angie.

    1. Angie, thanks for you visit. Pancreatitis sucks doesn’t it? The docs may have told you to “cut down on drinking” but you need to STOP period. I can’t tell you if you’ll heal or not. Some can and do, some can’t and don’t. I believe if you want to heal badly enough you can but it isn’t easy. It’s a complete lifestyle change and most people don’t want to do that. They are hoping for some magic bullet. Magic doesn’t happen unless you make it happen.

      1st step is to quit drinking. If you don’t well, you may be checking out early.

      2nd step is to start your food diary and diet prep. Once that is completed you can start adding in one food at a time that is on the list of foods normally safe to eat.

      3rd step is to get on the supplements. The supplements coupled with the diet help heal the pancreas.

      The good news is yes I believe you can heal. The bad news is I doubt you’ll ever be eating normal again. You can always try but here’s the deal with us pancreatitis patients – our next meal could be the one that ends up killing us. Once you “get that” and decide you want to live without pain and sickness and possible death the choice becomes clear and easy.

      Once you heal you can enjoy foods on the safe list that you have tried as shown in the diet and food diary posts but you’ll most likely never be able to eat that juicy bacon double cheese burger ever again unless you want to be sick. You most likely will never be able to drink alcohol again and frankly I wouldn’t recommend trying either one.

      Sorry that isn’t what you want to hear but I don’t “flower” stuff up much.

      Hope you feel better πŸ™‚

  2. Hi there, great website!

    I have been diagnosed with Pancreatitis on January of this year. Was miss-diagnosed and sent home. Spent two nights in agony and ended up going back to the hospital cause of the pain, and was admitted for the 1 night.(no food..etc. you know the deal). Pain was gone and I was released. It took me only a matter of 9 days before I started drinking heavily again. Btw, I know im retarded for this. I drank HEAVILY for 7 months after this.(approx – 8-15 drinks minimum) sometimes more. The only thing that stopped me from continuing on daily drinking was the withdrawals. I could no longer function properly at work unless I was drinking all day. I admitted myself into detox(stayed 4 days). Immediately started to drink again for the next week! On the 8th day..I dunno, I woke up – like I knew I was going to die if I kept this up.Was terrified. I haven’t had a drink for 110 days and counting. Question is…how was I able to keep this drinking up for this long without triggering another attack? I know im lucky..but how lucky? I don’t understand how I didn’t have another attack? Also, my eating habits haven’t changed though, I have no discomfort in eating any form of food. Could it possibly be only booze that hurts my pancreas? got allot more questions but ive gotta run.

    feel free to drop me a email..
    I dont mind the tough love..
    Sarge

    1. Hey Sarge – All I can say is you are extremely lucky. You may not have suffered a lot of damage but another acute pancreatitis attack may cause you some real grief. Congrats! on your 110 days! That is awesome. I would suggest you keep dry for life because like I said the next time you may not be so lucky. Good luck to you πŸ™‚

        1. Hey Matt – yeah I traveled some. It is very difficult to travel and eat low fat and safely. But it can be done. For 3 years it was pure torture. But once I took control of my diet and did what I learned things got much better. I was pain free until I had a nasty acute attack in like 2006 or there abouts when I discovered I had eaten turkey sausage stuffed in pork casings. So yes, it can return. I am NOT cured. Just healed again. IF I were to screw up again the same scenario could result. BUT – most people who have only one mild attack heal and are able to live normal lives or so I have read. It would also depend upon WHY the attack occurred and whether or not the problem was actually found and rectified.

  3. Soooo……I have been stalking your site for days now (right after thanksgiving and another trip to the ER, AFTER having been hospitalized for an acute pancreatic attack just three weeks before that (gallbladder removal also).
    I like to think of myself as a pretty smart girl (44). Being released from a very small town hospital, I knew I would have to come home and research myself to death about what had just happened to me. I hadn’t hit on your site at the time but, I ended up not eating, only hydrating. Went to the health food store armed with a list and came home with enzyme tablets, curcumin, grape seed extract, Vit. C, and a whole foods multi vitamin with a gazillion amounts of vegetable and fruit extracts in it. Then when I got off of the water, I went to the local farmers market and bought every bit of kale, apples, ginger, blah blah blah to feed into my Breville juicer and tht became my new food for the nest week after the water binge. (nice weight loss btw!)
    Then came thanksgiving. *sigh*.I was feeling SO good, I decided it might be OK to imbibe a bit. I ate what I wanted and drank some wine mixed elegantly with some OJ and floating pears and apples for added umph.
    Friday, Oh shit. It was back. This time I had the fortitude to shower and get myself ready for my upcoming ER visit. I puked in the ladies trash bucket as she was trying to get my info. My husband had to take over. My lipase level went to a 131. Three weeks ago, I presented with a 170.
    Now I am stumped. Was it the fatty foods? was it the wine? Was it too soon? Or was it a stone still lodged and had been missed?
    Saturday, I found this site. I was pleased to find out, I was doing everything right, sans thursdays over indulgence in food and 3 small glasses of the wine concoction.
    Now I don’t know what to think.
    I will be brutally honest with you, I am having a VERY hard time thinking I will never be able to have a beer or two in my future. (I have NO plans for any alcohol of any kind for a VERY long time)
    I have no alcoholic tendencies. But I do SO enjoy being social with my friends at restaurants and gatherings.
    Please tell me what you think. Is this something in the future that I will be able to handle? With what I have been doing and will continue to do heal my pancreas enough to have that occasional beer or two? Because, even if 5 years down the road…..the thought of a single beer sending me into that panicky, debilitating pain wouldn’t be worth it.
    Any ideas for me and my case for how to proceed in the future?
    LOVE your site btw!
    Lorie

    1. Hi Lorie – You aren’t gonna like what I have to say but here goes …

      If you had not had but ONE attack I’d say maybe you’ll get lucky and be one of the few who heals completely with so little damage that you can live a normal life but guess what? Recurrent AP (acute pancreatitis) means you are up the creek with only half your paddle. You can drink if you want but if you decide to continue down that road you should make final arrangements. Don’t mean to scare you but all you need is one severe acute pancreatitis episode that kills you or damages you so much you wish you were dead. Ever since I started sharing my experience I have met people in support groups who have so much damage it is just unbelievable. Some have suffered infected necrosis, organ failure and/or been filleted like a fish by some over eager surgeon. Some are in so much pain and so sick of being sick they allow a surgeon to completely remove their pancreas. Some of these folks STILL have the pain without their pancreas! A large percentage become diabetic for life and there is NO long-term survival stats I can find for that procedure. So …

      The only way I can see to avoid being like those people (who eat, drink and live in pain) is to do the exact opposite which is to completely change the way we eat. I did that YEARS ago and because of that choice I am pretty much good to go but …

      I sure do miss steak and a beer πŸ™‚

      Almost everything you need to know and DO can be found on this site.

      If you have any specific questions feel free to ask.

      Good luck to you πŸ™‚

  4. Hi Health Guy,

    I am 38 years old male with following history

    Last one year
    I am suffering from stomach acidity for past one year and seeing Gastro doctor regularly (once a month). Doctor is prescribing Neksium 40mg for past one year and suspects fatty foods is causing acidity. Regular use of Neksium provides relief from acidity.
    I have no pain, no nausea. However I get bloating feeling when I eat a large meal.
    I have no history drinking and I don’t eat any meat/fish.

    Last one month
    Last month I insisted my doctor for additional test to rule out any serious disease and doctor recommended CT scan and upper GI Endoscopy.
    Upper GI Endoscopy is normal.
    CT scan shows few foci of calcification at head of pancreas with no duct dilation.

    After tests I consulted multiple (four) Gastro doctors with following diagnosis:
    – Doctor 1: Pancreas specialist: diagnosed nothing, as per him this is not Pancreatitis. Neksium 40mg is prescribed and no change in diet.
    – Doctor 2: Gastro: diagnosed asymptomatic chronic pancreatitis. As per him β€œnothing to worry”. Neksium is prescribed, no change in diet.
    – Doctor 3: Gastro: No pancreatitis and no medicines are prescribed.
    – Doctor 4: Gastro: Diagnosed idiopathic calcifying chronic pancreatitis. Prescribed low fat diet, abstinence from alcohol, Antoxid tablets.

    I am bit confused about different doctor’s diagnosis and worried that pain may start.
    I have read your blog very thoroughly and what’s your opinion from the facts above?

    -Raj

    1. Hi Raj – My opinion and it’s my OPINION ONLY is that doc #4 is a smart cookie and diagnosed you correctly with calcifying chronic pancreatitis whereas the other three shouldn’t be practicing medicine. Calcium deposits within the pancreas are NOT normal. Again, in my opinion doctor #4 is right on the money. I’m not fond of “idiopathic diagnosis'” because there always has to be a cause. IF you can find the cause it may be possible to eliminate it and stop any continued damage (just my thoughts again). Check your family tree for any possible link (heredity). How are your blood fat levels, check them. Were you injured, review any and all possible injuries to abdomen. Gallstones (even sand or sludge)? SOD? Any medications that could be responsible (now or past). Autoimmune disease. Did anyone check your IgG4 levels for autoimmune pancreatitis? Often autoimmune pancreatitis shows up on CT scan and is misdiagnosed as pancreatic cancer. Obviously you’d have mentioned cancer and since you did not I would guess there were no glaringly blatant anomalies. However, MOST autoimmune pancreatitis cases PRESENT as CHRONIC pancreatitis. Because of this you may experience symptoms, such as bloating, that are common with chronic pancreatitis. Again, this is just a thought but if you can find the cause, get rid of the idiopathic part of the diagnosis and eliminate the cause you may be able to stop the progression of the disease. IF it were to be found it actually is autoimmune pancreatitis then you need to look for other autoimmune diseases that cause and are associated and try to treat and or eliminate those as well. Anyway …

      Long winded answer just to say doc #4 is right. Good luck.

      1. Hi Health Guy,

        Heridity: No history in my family: Doctors are checking for gene mutation as possible cause
        Bloot Fat: Triglycerides are normal.
        Thyroid test: Normal
        EUS: got done last week and is normal
        Abdomen Injury:None
        Gallstones/sludge:None
        Fried food: Yes, I have been eating lots of fried food for past 2 decades (Can this be the cause)
        Autoimmune: Will ask my doctor

        I am about to start low fat diet with supplements suggested by you.
        Do you suggest any other changes?

        Raj

  5. Hey,

    One more question
    I visited my doctor #1(pancreas specialist) and he is repeatedly telling me that I am not suffering from CP.
    He got EUS done for further analysis. My EUS is normal and he concluded that I am not suffering from CP. As per him EUS is more accurate in CP diagnosis than CT scan.

    Can EUS be NORMAL when CT showed calcifiation?

    -Raj

    1. I hate to disagree with a pancreas specialist but if your CT scan showed calcification I would think there’s a problem. NONE of those tests are 100% accurate. From what I understand the CT scan is the “gold standard” for pancreas diagnosis. EUS is a very good and sensitive test but it is only as good as the person who “reads” it. Again, no test is 100%. That’s why it is important to have a doctor that can put 2 + 2 together and actually come up with 4.

      1. Hi Health Guy,
        If I start taking multivitamins containing calcium, will it accelerate the calcification of pancreas? If yes please suggest multivitamins which does not contain calcium.

        -Raj

        1. Hi Raj! I gotta say I don’t know. If someone is prone to kidney stones supplemental calcium can be a problem BUT since I just googled for info and found nothing to clue me either way I am going to stick with my original answer and say I just don’t know. In regards to supplements without calcium the ONLY idea I can suggest is to try and locate a brand that offers a multi that comes in a daily pack. I used to know one but they went out of business. But they were packaged in 30 little packs (30 day supply) and you could go through and pick out whatever you wanted to take and discard the rest. It was a cool idea but like I said that company is no longer in biz. I googled real quick for a calcium free multi and found nothing except suggestions that were for high dose calcium supplements – go figure. I also Googled for another brand with the daily packs and Nature’s Life Mega Pck Multiple comes in 30 daily packs. You can take out the mineral caps but i’ll bet you lose more than just calcium because the box says minerals with a pic of 4 caps and it doesn’t show a calcium cap per se. Sorry I am not more help Raj.

  6. Wow, 30 years is a lot! So congrats in some sense πŸ˜‰ I’m 32 and I have alcoholic pancreatitis, actually I had few cases of AP, one of them (the latest one 2 years ago) lead to necrosis which I survived. Since that time I never was in hospital – I finally quit drinking. Probably too late, but I still have hope.
    BTW I always thought grape juice is very sour and acidic, so it probably should damage pancreas (as lemon or orange) not heal it. Very interesting, I’ll probably try it in few days. Do you have any info about how long people with CP live in general?

    1. Hey Alex good to hear you survived. Necrosis can be nasty especially if it becomes infected (necrotizing). congrats on quitting the booze! Not grape juice. Grapefruit juice. Grape juice may be good too since it has some flavonoids that fight inflammation. Grapes are better. The skins and seeds have tons of flavonoids (polyphenols) that fight inflammation. Grape seed extract is even better. How long do people live with chronic pancreatitis? Who knows for sure? A lot depends on how damaged they are to begin with, what they eat, drink and how they manage the inflammation. I was told I’d maybe see another 10 years – that was 35 years ago now. Guess I fooled him πŸ™‚ Anyway I have searched for that same answer over the last couple years and like usual there are various answers. A few say 7 – 10 years. Others say it only shortens life by 7 – 10 years. Here’s what I know. Chronic pancreatitis can become acute. If it is a severe acute pancreatitis attack that is complicated by infected necrotic tissue, bleeding or organ failure death could come very quickly. Try not to let that happen πŸ™‚

  7. Paul,
    I have made following observations for past several weeks:
    1) When I lie down or sleep I feel comfortable. Lying on back is most comfortable posture.
    2) When I sit/drive/stand I get sensitivity in upper right abdomen. I always want to keep a finger or scratch that region.
    3) I have no acidity/pain/nausea or burning feeling.

    What do you think of my observations?

    -Raj

    1. Hey Raj – I have to say I don’t know.But it sounds like, other than what you have just said that most of your symptoms have resolved. I would conclude that is a good thing. Is what you are describing like an itch? Sometimes when healing occurs it creates an itchy feeling (like when a cut heals). Other than that I have no clue.

  8. Just this past Sunday I woke up with an annoying pain in the middle of my ribcage. As the day progressed I was vomiting and burping constantly. The next morning I was able to get in to see my doctor and he ran blood tests and took x-rays. On Tuesday the x-rays were fine, but they told me to go to the ER because they thought I had AP. By that time my pain had subsided by quite a bit, but I went anyway (doctor’s orders). I guess my lipase level was at 1500 from my blood test so they ran another panel on me to determine what was going on. Overnight my lipase had dropped below 700 so I was allowed to go home. He told me to go on a bland diet and return to my regular diet when I felt better. By Wednesday night I was eating pizza! I was back in class, cleaning the house, doing laundry and shopping and cooking dinner. There was a little annoyance in that same area, but other than that I felt fine. From what I’ve been reading I hope I only had a mild pancreatic attack and no damage was done. It’s 5 days later and I feel almost 100% back to normal even with no liquid diet or supplements. I have been drinking tons of water to flush out my system. I just hope and pray that I don’t ever experience that again!

      1. Thanks for your reply. Things have been great, I’ve been eating a low fat diet and lots of water and 100% fruit juices like cherry and grapefruit. I’ve also added supplements of grape seed extract, curcumin and milk thistle. Even though I feel fine the paranoia has set in after all of my research. I’ve been in contact with my doctor and we decided to do another run on blood tests today. Results are in tomorrow and I hope it’s good news!

          1. Thought I’d update you. My tests results came back and everything is in normal ranges. Well except my cholesterol is about 10 points high, but I’ll take that considering. Just wanted to say that there is hope and I know for sure the supplements and juices that I’ve seen recommended definitely contributed to my path to healing. Keep up the great work with informing those out there that have no answers. Your blog I believe saved me from making some poor choices and helped me incorporate the healthy lifestyle I’ve now adapted and is giving me a much more enjoyable life!

          2. Michelle thank you for the update. That is good news! I’m glad things are working out for you. I hope you continue to stay the course and keep well. It gets hard sometimes and you’ll want to cheat, especially if you are feeling good again. Don’t cheat. It isn’t worth the possible consequences. Stay in touch and stay well! πŸ™‚

  9. My ex husband is currently hospitalized with CP. Drinking is his problem. He is 44 yrs and had his first attack just before 9/11/2001. He was hospitalized for nearly 6 weeks and out of work for 12. He quit drinking for 2 years. Then he started drinking again and it wasn’t until 2013 when he had another severe attack. By then he was drinking 12-18 beers a night. We had been separated for a year at that time.
    Now he has been in the hospital for a week and lost a significant amount of weight – about 25 lbs within the last month. He is under 100 lbs currently. If this does not wake him up then nothing will. We have 2 amazing kids- ages 20 and 16 and it is heartbreaking for me to see them watch their Father slowly dying. They are still doing tests and I am afraid that there is more internal damage than the family is telling me. Why is this disease not talked about? Why is there not more awareness about this debilitating illness? It is horrible- even friends in the healthcare field are not aware of it.
    Thank you for this blog- I am going to show it to my kids and hope they can convince him to get into treatment asap.

    1. Polly, I can read your concern in your comment. I can’t be of much help. I doubt anything I do will be of much benefit as long as he continues to drink. He really needs to quit drinking. Hopefully it isn’t to late. Good luck to you, him and your kids. πŸ™‚

  10. My mom has been an alcoholic for 30 years. She has an autoimmune disease as well that’s afforded her a lifetime of experimental drugs… she had liver failure in November last year. She had kidney problems this March. She was admitted to the hospital Wednesday and is being treated for pancreatitis. I know the end is coming soon, she lies and always makes up reasons for these issues explained by her autoimmune disease and the meds she’s on for those, but I know she’s dying of alcoholism. I’m the oldest of four, raised my siblings and my mother turned 54 this year…. her greatest legacy has always been (and, it shall continue, given this latest development) the messes she leaves for everyone else. I’m worn out from a lifetime of this and I’m struggling to have any sympathy or empathy for her when all she has done is hurt us all so much. At least the end is nearing, I suppose.

      1. It’s ok, there’s not much to say. Sometimes (actually, probably a lot of the time) with alcoholics there simply isn’t much to say. I’m going into surgery a week from today for a work related injury but other than healing from that, I’m just focused on helping and supporting my family through this. We are strong and I doubt this will take is down. πŸ™‚

        1. Hang in there Lady Ninja. I know you are having a tough time, your mom, whether her own fault or not, is also having a tough time. Pancreatitis is not fun. And then there are the other issues. Liver and kidney function and autoimmune disease. I wish you, your family and your mom the best possible outcome. Good luck on your own surgery. πŸ™‚

          1. Thanks, Health Guy. I appreciate your words of support and encouragement. My surgery will be a breeze (fingers crossed)!

            Lady Ninja out.

          2. Hi, Heath Guy –

            I wanted to follow up here, for whatever help it may be to others or whatever support it may bring to someone in a situation similar to mine…

            Last year my Mom collapsed when she got out of bed, bleeding from her mouth. The paramedics were called, they needed to break down the door when they arrived to get to my Mom to help her. Upon admittance to the hospital, she was given two units of blood. That’s a lot of blood. The doctors found that she had a severe bleeding ulcer in her stomach. That was surgically fixed and she went home about a week later.

            5 months ago my mother was in the hospital. She was diagnosed with an acute pancreatitis. That was the first of three visits at one of the best hospitals in the nation. They would take away food, give pain meds, wait for the attack to subside, reintroduce food. My Mom was firm that she thought there was something else going on. The doctors did find a clot in her portal veins between her liver and her stomach. They gave heparin (IV blood thinner) to try to bust the clot out and then put her on an oral blood thinner as part of a preventative measure as she continued to heal in the coming months. This is standard treatment for portal vein thrombosis. The doctors though admitted that they too were concerned (by the third visit) that there was something else going on as her pancreas was 3 times it’s normal size. They tried to get images but Mom is allergic to contrast and as such, the pictures were crap. The only hope for better pics was through an endoscopic ultra sound – that means that they go down her throat, through her insides until they’re outside the pancreas. They then would be able to get images of what was going on in the pancreas, but only once the inflammation subsided. She was discharged after the third visit and was scheduled back in a month to hopefully schedule the procedure to get the images the doctors wanted.

            Of course, she never made it that long. Each time she went to the hospital and was discharged, the time she was out was shorter and the time that she was in was longer. It started with a week in, 2 weeks out, then a week and a half in, a week and a half out, and so on. By the fourth visit to the hospital, she decided to go somewhere else for care as she believed that the doctors at the first hospital were treating her like she was “an addict or a drunk”. And, let me be clear here, she was an alcoholic for more than 30 years. That said, she had not been drinking after the first hospital stay. Let me also be very clear here and say that it didn’t matter – what she did to her body over the years that she drank, paired with her disease, it was too much and I’m going to tell you what happened in the next two months. I hope it scares the shit out of each and every one of you out there reading this and drinking after having AP.

            It was May 22nd, 2016. My 34th birthday. Mom was in the time just before her 3rd hospital stay. That last ‘home time’, it was just 5 days. She sent me grill for my birthday, she’s been nicer these past few years…. I’m not sure why, none of us kids are. Maybe she realized we were all grown and wouldn’t stay and didn’t have to talk to her, maybe she saw that she was lonely, maybe she was sad, she sure as shit didn’t ever think that her drinking had been an issue so it wasn’t that she wanted to change that… Anyway, by the 2nd week in June she was into her 4th visit. Things were looking bad. She called me and asked me to come, from Maine to North Carolina. I got on a flight that day. I traveled there, took care of figuring out what the hell was going on and kept my family updated. They’re busy, all of the kids have busy lives and short patience for mother at this point. She’s just taken too much, been to hard, and we’ve all grown and we’re living different lives than the one that she lived. The doctors found pseudo-cysts on her pancreas and they were concerned they the cysts would pop. If that happens, apparently the fluid that the pancreas makes to help digestion flows out into the body cavity and literally you digest all of your organs. And you die. Of course. So, to fix that, they put a stent in between her pancreas and her stomach so that all of the fluids could flow to a safe place, the stomach and her pancreas would be able to heal and they could get their pictures. During this visit, they also found two huge esophageal ulcers that were not there just a month earlier. I’m still not sure what the heck caused those but they are dangerous and can easily puncture or perforate and a patient can bleed out and die.

            After a few days of recovery in the hospital, they discharged her to go home. She had over 30 pounds of fluid on her from the fluids they pushed while she had been in the hospital during this visit and the prior 3. She was 90% covered in psoriasis so she was basically a huge open wound. She could hardly walk, couldn’t really eat, was in pain all the time. She fell in the bathroom her first day home, I had to help her. I found her covered in shit (literally), half naked, sprawled on the floor between the toilet and the tub. It took me over an hour to get her onto her feet (I’m a 110 pound woman who just had reconstructive surgery on both elbows…), she couldn’t even bend her knees to 90 degrees to help me get her up, her legs were too swollen. Even if she could have bent her knees, she was weak as hell – she’d been in bed for nearly 3 months by this time. I still haven’t figured out how the fuck there was shit on the shower curtain – that was over her HEAD and her ASS. IDFK.

            I stayed for over a week and let my step dad have a normal week. His first normal week in over 3 months. I managed the meds. She ate less than 4 total ounces of food each day, on the good days. She took 20 mg of oxi every 4 hours. She wasn’t able to really walk or stand, her blood pressure was 80/50 at it’s best. She had half of the blood volume she was supposed to have. I had to get her a special toilet seat that was 8 inches lifted and had handles on both sides and a transitional shower stool – she couldn’t lift her legs to get into the shower let alone stand there. I took her to a follow up with her PCP 2 days after she was discharged. He did blood work to monitor how things were looking and told me that I had to go home and tell my Dad to take 3 months off from work to take care of Mom, that if he didn’t she was going to die and that if something went wrong, she was going to die. I think that scared Mom, I know it scared me, it certainly scared my Dad. I told him though and Mom was to see the doc every week for blood work. Doc said that if she didn’t feel right, if something was different, anything at all – she should go right to his office (if they were open) and they’d do blood work and tell her if she needed to go to the hospital, and if they weren’t open, to go straight to the hospital. I relayed all of the information. Dad took the time off from work. By July 15th, I was back at home in Maine.

            July 29th was Mom’s 56th birthday. She was in good spirits. She was still recovering, there were good days, there were not so good days but things seemed to be continuing to improve overall. On August 3rd, she was back at the hospital for her follow up appointment to see if they could take the stent out and if the inflammation in the pancreas was looking good enough to get those images they wanted of the pancreas. She had the CT with no contrast to see about the size of the pancreas. On her way out of the test, she fell. She broke her patella and had to be put in a full leg brace for 6 weeks. She called me that night, I was irritated with her. The worst part here is that I actually thought that she was joking about breaking her knee, until nearly 45 minutes into the conversation… Such a shit daughter I am. Anyway, she made it 36 hours at home after that knee…

            On August 5th she was admitted to the hospital, she was “feeling funny” and Mom and Dad decided to go to the hospital (it was late in the night) rather than tough it out or wait, as per her doctor’s orders. She had also accumulating fluid in her abdomen. They did a pereosentisis where they drain fluid from the area and then test it to see what’s going on. She was diagnosed with antibiotic resistant ecoli. There was only one antibiotic that might work on it and so they started administering that. She was doing ok for those first few days, I talked to her every day from Saturday through Tuesday. On Tuesday she was talking to me about how she was going to have a central line placed (they couldn’t get any pick lines or IVs into her anymore, there had just been too many – that plus her low blood volume and low blood pressure made it impossible) and that they said she could go home with the IV antibiotics. She even seemed ‘happy’ about PT, OT and nurses coming by to help out which was weird.

            Wedneday, August 8th, I talked to Dad. She said that Mom was sleepy and sort of out of it but doing well and still hoping to go home in the next couple of days. Thursday I called all day, on the hour every hour, she didn’t answer. That night I finally called Dad at home. He said he too had tried to call but that she didn’t answer so he called the nurses station and the nurses told him that mom had been sleeping all day. He decided to take a break from the hospital for the day if she was going to be sleeping so he would go in on Friday. On Friday, I called at about 7.30 pm. Dad said he’d been there for about 8 hours and that Mom hadn’t spoken to him at all. I asked if he’d gotten a nurse or talked to anyone about that… he said no. I directed him to do that and to get the names of the meds that Mom had been started on. I hung up and called my nurse sister who lives in the same city. I explained. She said that it sounded to her like Mom had Hepatic Encepholopthy. This is something that happens when the liver stops working correctly and Ammonia builds up in the body. It crosses the brain-blood barrier and causes brain swelling. This makes the patient catatonic or in a coma like state at it’s worst. She said that she’d be going to the hospital first thing in the morning to talk to the doctors and see what was going on.

            Saturday came, I waited by my phone while I made pancakes for the household. They accuse me of being a stress cooker. LOL. By 10.30 I was getting worried. I texted my sister. She said she was busy talking to doctors, that she would call as soon as she could. She called at about 11.30. She said that mom did have the HE thing that she thought it was. They were giving her meds, she couldn’t speak, that I needed to come now. I tried to book a flight that night but nothing was flying, some weird issue with all of the east coast. I ended up arriving in North Carolina at about 11.30pm on Sunday night. Mom opened her eyes and I saw her for a moment, for the last time. I could see that she knew I was there, that she was confused and afraid. I told her it would be ok and that we were going to figure it out. I went to my sisters house, napped for a couple of hours, got up and was back at the hospital for 07.00 on Monday morning.

            We talked to the doctors. Mom was unconscious, occasionally moaning and moving around a bit. They placed a GI tube (feeding tube) so that they could continue to administer meds since she wasn’t able to follow any commands. My other sister, my younger brother and my Dad all arrived by 10am. Mom had more fluid drained from her tummy. They continued to treat her for the HE. They then took her for a liver biopsy around 14.00 (2pm). We all waited in the GI surgical waiting room. A code was called in our unit. My entire family burst into tears, hysterics and chaos. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to calm them all down, saying things like “we don’t know if it’s her, it could be any of the patients having a procedure today” and “there’s nothing we can do, we have to be calm and wait”. It was the longest 17 minutes of my life. I was able to get everyone under control by the time the chaplain walked into the room 17 minutes after the code was called with my Mom’s doctors. She had aspirated during the procedure and the fluid went into her lungs, she stopped breathing. The code team came and intibated her, she was on a ventilator and would be moving to Medical ICU. I knew the end was close. I didn’t leave the hospital again for more than 2 hours.

            We went to the MICU. The Chaplain was kind and took us there, she even helped us move Mom’s things. You know, there is this feeling you get when a hospital Chaplain accompanies you to anywhere in a hospital… It was sad and not real all at the same time. I’m not religious but there are members of my family who are, I hope that she helped them. That was Monday. On Thursday we got the news, Mom’s pancreas had atrophied to the point that it would never work again, she had a systemic yeast infection in her blood so we couldn’t give her nutrition through the feeding tube, her bowls were blocked so the meds for the HE were not going to work, the liver was finished – she was in end stage liver failure and even if the HE cleared up, it would come back forever, she’d been without air when she coded for nearly 5 and a half minutes, she was bleeding internally somewhere and her blood volume was getting critical, her heart was giving out. There was literally nothing that we could do. She was never going to recover and was likely never going to wake up again.

            I stood and watched my family receive the news that I had expected for years. I didn’t cry, I’m not sure I even breathed or blinked. I watched and waited. The doctor at the hospital was kind, his eyes were full of tears… My father was bright red, every freckle on his face was a little more clear… My sisters were sobbing. My youngest sibling, my brother, sobbed uncontrollably at 20 years old. He’s still living at home, he shouldn’t be saying goodbye to his mother. My brother in laws – one stood in the hall, 4 large pizzas and all the sodas and plates balanced, sweating… He had just arrived to feed us all. My other brother in law stood in the doorway holding yet more things for us all – had I really been there for 5 days without sleeping more than 2 hours at a time? I rubbed a sister’s shoulder. I hugged my Dad and let him sob. I tried to hold my 215 pound all muscle brother up off the floor as he collapsed in my arms. I reassured the nurse sister that she had been so brave, had helped so much.

            We walked out of the hospital for a family meeting and to eat some food. We ate outside of the children’s cancer hospital. It was nice there, but hot. My Dad’s sister took a short walk with him and tried to offer comfort and support. Last night he’d been sure that she would be coming home by the end of the week. Mom and he are building a custom house, ground broke the day before this news. This isn’t supposed to happen to them, this isn’t supposed to be my ‘vacation’. We ate, we talked. I shared a story that made the entire family laugh. I was happy to see them smile, to hear their laughter through the tears and the stress. Mom didn’t have a will, no living will, no advanced directive (despite my begging her in recent months).

            Over the next 3 days I watched my family go through the hardest, worst, most terrible and most selfish thing my mother has ever done to any of us. Yeah, she was a terrible mother. Yes, she was a cold bitch, she was mean, cruel – made fun of us, tortured us, emotionally and mentally abused us for all of our lives. Yet – somehow – we are still conditioned biologically to love our mothers…. I don’t fucking know how it happens or why we can’t let go but – we just can’t. I watched my family and my Dad decide to take away life sustaining meds, to take the ventilator out, to watch my mother die. I watched them have to go through the decisions that NO FAMILY should have to go through. I painted Mom’s nails, we made her pretty, brushed her hair, got rid of that stupid leg brace that they’d refused to take off and she’d shit all over. We had the GI tube removed, we brought her a scarf, did some silly pics with snapchat. We told her stories, shared memories, played her music and talked to her about how strong we’d be in her absence. We were kind and compassionate in her last hours, something that she NEVER was with us.

            Why – why did we do those things? Well, I can tell you why I did them. I am not defined by my mother, and though she was cruel and unkind, mean and hateful, nasty and angry – and drunk, though she was all of that, she was still my mother and she was still a human being. That and – nobody deserves to die alone. I know she was afraid and I know I’m a better person than she was, I imagine I’m much more of the person she wanted to be. I’d no more leave her to die alone than I’d leave anyone to die alone. It’s not something I could feel ok about later. I try to live my life in such a way as to never have regret over the things I’ve done or the choices I’ve made. I made the right choice here, and so did my family but I can’t tell you with words, with anything, how cruel her punishment to my family was. I cannot tell you how hard it was to watch them suffer as she died, to see them sob and cry, to watch them loose their mother – their wife, their sister, their friend.

            At the end, she left at 01.48 am (my nurse sister and I were there, I hadn’t slept in 4 days). She stopped breathing (I forgot to mention that she got pneumonia from aspirating and COPD for years prior) after her O2 levels had fallen to the 20’s for more than a few hours. Her heart though, that beat strong for more than 3 minutes after she stopped breathing. I watched my baby sister slump over, red, tears streaming down her face, not breathing because she would make more sound. She’s getting married (the ‘other’ brother in law I talked of) 6 weeks from today. It’s going to be a hard 6 weeks, a hard wedding, a hard year. I think though that it’ll be an easier life. I’ll never have to worry about my mother watching my children while drunk, or need to explain why ‘grandma is the way she is’. I’m going to move to NC to be near my family again, I was left in Maine at 16 after being hit by a one ton truck and left in a wheel chair for what was supposed to be forever (I do walk today – cause I’m a Ninja!). That’s just one of the things that my Mom did to my family. I could spend the next many years telling you of the other things, many much more horrific than even leaving your child after she’s been paralyzed (I promise you things worse than that do in fact exist). I’m not going to do that though. I am going to look forward and focus on the fact that we’ve paid our dues – it’s over and we never have to be hurt by her again. I never have to hate her for hurting my siblings, I never have to be sad or alone because she doesn’t know how to be a mom.

            I GET to do so much more now that those dues are paid. I get to see my baby sisters and brother again. I get to be part of my family, for real – with no lies, with no hiding, with no pretending or making up excuses for Mom. I get to be fully engaged, enjoying my life, my nephews and all of the memories that I’ve been left out of for so long. It’s been nearly 2 decades – my mother took my baby brother and left when he was only 2. My youngest sister 5, the other 13. They’re 20, 23 and 30 today. The 30 year old has 2 beautiful boys that are 8 and 6, I’ve missed so much. I can’t tell you how much happiness I have inside my heart knowing that I get to see them and torture them and laugh with them and cry with them for years to come soon. I will forever regret that my mother wasn’t strong enough to be the woman she could have been, the woman that she wanted to be. I will also be forever grateful that she put me through hell and back. I would certainly not be the person that I am today, and I am sure that my siblings wouldn’t be who they are today either without the influence of my mother. For all the terrible that she did, for all the horror that she brought…. She was my mother and she did give us 4 life. I wouldn’t have them (or me) without her and for that, for that I am grateful. She’s shown us all who not to be and how not to be. She’s hurt us, yeah, but she’s made us strong as hell. We’ll make it through this and I am sure that the future looks good for all of us (well, I’m not sure about Dad, my heart really hurts for him, she never deserved as good a man as he is).

            For anyone reading this and hoping that you can continue to drink with AP or that your drinking problem “doesn’t hurt anyone else”. Let me be loud and steadfast in my message to you – it does matter – IT DOES HURT. It hurts in ways that you’ll never know. Or, maybe (even likely I suppose), you do know. Maybe you’re in denial. Maybe you’re looking for information to validate the lie that you can handle this, that your body will heal, that your life will continue. It won’t. Eventually, it will catch up with you. I can tell you that my mother suffered, that she was in immense pain, that she looked like she was 100 years old when she died at age 56. She was 78 pounds. I don’t know what you look like, I don’t know what you feel – but, I ask you – do you think you could walk around and live your life at 78 pounds? Likely not. Your family will have to watch you suffer, they will have to miss you and hate you and be angry at you. They will wish you were different, they will be hurt forever because of your choices to hurt yourself. You are the only one capable of making different choices, you are the only person who can control your life.

            For all of you reading this from a similar situation as mine…. I’m so sorry. There are no words for what I’ve been through, for what my family has been through. Just know that you are not alone. There are many of us who suffer with you in silence and even those of us who do choose to use our voices, or our alias’ voice… πŸ˜› Most people won’t understand, and that’s ok. It’s also ok that you’re frustrated and feeling alone. it’s not fair, it never was. Use the fire from all the hurt you have had to do more than anyone thought you could. You do matter. You are important. More important than you think, more important than they showed you. For whatever it’s worth, they really did love you.

          3. Lady Ninja – Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you had to be a part of that not so pretty story. I can hear your pain. I am sorry you hurt and even though your mom was not kind to you I know it is still hard to lose a parent. It is really hard to watch them die, especially die hard. I can tell you it never gets out of your head. I can also tell you (even though you don’t believe) that God loves you. He can help ease the pain, the loss, the hurt and anger and give you incredible peace. All you have to do is call on Him. If you ever want or need to talk just holler. Thank you again for sharing. Your story may help wake someone up. πŸ™‚

  11. Hi there!

    I have had “stomach issues” since I was 14- was not diagnosed with pancreatitis until I was 17 (I’m 18 now). Stupid doctors thought I had appendicitis and went through surgery when it wasn’t even inflammed, I strongly believe that was my first pancreatitic episode! Also had a cyst removed on my overies during this but was never told why, anyway…

    I’ve had four hospitalisations with RECOGNISED DIAGNOSIS of pancreatitis, I was judged and shamed as a binge drinker or drug abuser because of how rare it is for people my age to be suffering from these attacks. Wasn’t until one morning when a team of doctors came in (always lose track of the doctors you meet during these one week+ stays) and posed the question “do you have the cystic fibrosis gene?” At birth it was recognised through the healprick test that I am infact a carrier of the gene- so when I said yes it was as if a lightbulb went off within all the heads of those dopey doctors! So now I’m a real special case, am having enzymes formulated specifically for me, am happy to contribute to medical science πŸ˜›

    Anyway I’m commenting on this post in particular because I would like an opinion on whether ONE alcoholic drink would cause me harm? I’m stressed out with exams and there’s a lot of parties coming up where peers are drinking, I’m not going out with the intention of getting absolutely hammered I would just like to have one spirit. Is it a risk worth taking or is it equivalent to internal suicide?

    Really enjoying browsing your blog πŸ™‚

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Jordyn, sorry to hear you’ve been indoctrinated at such an early age and have run in to the average, dumber than barber hair, doctor who couldn’t diagnose a pimple on his own nose without a culture. I swear most of them i’ve met received their M.D. from Cracker Jack U. I knew that cystic fibrosis usually caused pancreatitis somewhere along the course of the disease but what I didn’t know is that a carrier of the gene could have the same risk. This could be information that could help others. Thanks for mentioning it in your comment. πŸ™‚

      In regards to the alcohol – You might skate once, even twice, even three times or more because many times that is exactly what happens. I am not going to tell you some fib that one drink will most asuredly kill you because that isn’t necessarily the case but here’s the problem …

      What if your luck runs out and you have a severe acute pancreatitis attack, your pancreas suffers infected necrotic tissue, they have to remove that tissue surgically which often results in more complications (ascities, psuedocysts, diabetes, calcification, organ failure, etc), pain and suffering than you have now? What if they have to perform a whipple (surgical procedure) which fillets you like a fish and your insides no longer look like those belonging to a human? I talked with one lady who had this happen and she is constantly in pain and puking. In fact, the people I talked with who had the most surgical intervention usually had the most complications and find it very difficult to live life. I can’t tell you what to do Jordyn but I’d suggest you seriously consider the possible results. Eating like a normal human (high fat foods) and drinking alcohol is basically playing russian roulette when you have pancreatitis.

  12. Husband had been drinking alcohol for 40 years and had a pancreatic attack from the alcohol. Luckily he is surviving not drinking but eats constantly now is that normal? He was told just one drink of alcohol he would be dead?

    1. Hi Roxanne, hey if he can tolerate eating constantly more power to him. he should definitely stay away from alcohol. hopefully he won’t have anymore attacks and be one of those lucky few who have one acute attack and never have another problem. very rare but happens.

  13. thanks for this! a year ago i was treated for alcoholic pancreatits. i quit drinking cold turkey and it’s been tough. from time to time i play with the thought of having a few drinks, like just now i was perhaps looking for an opinion about it in my favour. thanks for putting my dumb ass in line!

    1. Hey Ron, no problem man and congrats on quitting alcohol! Anytime you feel the need for abuse just come back and read that same post ha ha πŸ™‚ Seriously stick to your guns and stay off the sauce. That stuff could kill ya. Heal up, stay safe, live a long life.

  14. I started drinking later in life, at around 27. Apparently I went at it with gusto because I’ve had pancreatitis several times since then. The first couple times I’d hear the doctor say “You cannot drink anymore”, but it was never THAT serious. I fasted for a few days and then right on doing the usual.

    A couple times I’d feel that “uh oh” pain and just drink it away. It actually did go away, who knows why.

    Well, as I sit here now, I was just released from a hospital stay of 4 days. The pain this time was so intense that I knew I was dying. This time I have resolved to quit cold turkey, and I have no doubt I’ll do it (I quit smoking cold turkey too).

    My question for you is this: though most of the acute pain in the pancreas area is gone, my stomach/sides/kidneys areas are still very sensitive and sore. Like I’ve been punched too many times in the gut. Is this just natural damage that the attack did, or should I worry about my other organs failing or something? The doctors signed me out saying I would be fine as long as I didn’t drink, but the lingering pain is worrisome.

    Thanks,
    Greg

    1. Hi Greg – keep an eye on your condition. IF you develop a fever and begin feeling really crappy go to the ER. Otherwise it is probably residual soreness from damage that needs to heal. My abdomen was sore for years. BUT I also hadn’t found grape seed and curcumin yet. Once I discovered grape seed, coupled it with vitamin C and took large amounts things began to change remarkably. So you may heal a lot faster, even better than I did. Let’s hope so. Stay off the booze. It could kill you.

      1. Thanks Health Guy,

        The soreness has gotten less, and not as tender. I think my whole system was just out of whack. Now my intestines are cramping, I think it’s just everything getting back to semi-normal, after the damage from the attack and fasting.

        And just today I picked up grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C (took my first dose 10 minutes ago!) I’m gonna start a little smaller than you…300mg/day with the grape seed and 500mg/day with the curcumin (I have to return the vitamin C tomorrow, I accidentally got chewable…yuck.)

        As far as the booze goes, no worries. I haven’t had a drop in a week and I know I never will again. I don’t think I’m an actual alcoholic in that sense, I just really loved abusing it. Funny how pancreatitis will change your view of things! I don’t even miss it.

        Thanks for your advice, will let you know if anything new pops up.

        Greg

        1. Greg sounds to me like it’s residual tenderness and should resolve soon, especially with the supplements and diet. You are wtaching what you eat right? Anyway, it sounds like you are definitely on the right track and starting out slow with the supplements is a good move. If you don’t see results you can always increase the doses until you do. Get well, stay well. πŸ™‚

  15. I have been looking for a but “why can’t I drink even a glass of wine anymore” non stop answer since my diagnosis a few days ago.

    Because I said so does not work for me.

    This is my answer – finally. No one would explain it to me biologically and scientifically. No one would tell me why.

    I am by nature not someone that takes someone’s word as law without challenging it first – so Doctor speak just was not working.

    What does work? Explaining it in hard facts what happens if I do drink.

    I wish this article would be required reading for every alcoholic diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis.

    Thank you. I am sitting in a parking lot of a grocery store with tears running down my face. I get it now. And I feel more at peace.

    1. Also. I would add that I am very lucky. They found calcification son my pancreas ACiDENTIALLY when I got a CT scan to look at a Kidney Stone.

      An ECP showed moderate chronic pancreatitis.

      Pretty amazing and incredibly lucky – I never experienced any symptoms, and have not been given dietary restrictions other than no alcohol.

      Because of how fortunate I was in this case, returning to alcohol is not only irresponsible, but reckless. I have been given a gift.

      But your article is the clarity moment I need.

    2. Hi Jeff – you’re welcome. I don’t know if you have read my other posts regarding alcoholic pancreatitis but one doesn’t have to be an alcoholic to actually get alcoholic pancreatitis. All that is necessary is for someone to have the gentic variant (gene variant) that predisposes them to pancreatitis because of alcohol usage. One could have the gene variant and simply be a social drinker or weekend party monster and end up in the hurt locker. So what I’m saying is that those who are genetically predisposed don’t need to be constantly consuming alcohol to become a victim.

  16. Hi Health Guy. I was also diagnosed with what seems acute pancreatitis. Same as many posts with abdominal pain almost unbearable and unfortunately I was in Turkey when it happened. Didn’t make it home for three days and was in a lot of pain. I’m 36 and have stags and weddings coming up etc. I certainly hear what you are saying when it comes to alcohol and pancreatitis and the Russian roulette you speak off….. I have a friend that has 2 pints of Guinness on a Friday only and he has been fine the last three years. Other doctors advise if you don’t stress the pancreas and stay within normal limits you will be ok. A lot of confusion here but I must say I dread the though of not holding a Guinness for a toast or something at the weddings I have to go too.

    I intend to stop fully for 6 months…. Only 3 weeks in…. But take real good care of myself along with my gym and dog walking etc I’m generally a fit man. I eat healthy and don’t gorge on fatty foods etc but I’m Irish. Our culture is having a few. Could I replace it with non alcoholic beer – would this help matters?

    I know ethanol is in petrol….. As much as it is in alcohol – so I understand the dangers but Guinness has a lot of good properties and is a stout.

    Just wondering what you think?

    Kindest Regards

    Irish Dermot

    1. Dermot – ANYTHING ending in “ol” is alcohol. Sorbitol for example is sugar alcohol used as a cheap sweetner etc. I’d stay away. IF you have had only ONE mild acute pancreatitis attack you have the opportunity to heal completely and MAYBE NEVER have to deal with this stuff on a permanent basis. IF it were me I’d be maing sure I did everything possible to avoid another acute attack and heal properly. But that’s me, what you do is up to you.

  17. I am doing well…havent had a drop of alcohol since I recovered and I’m doing fine! I can even eat fat with no discomfort…I know you don’t wanna hear that. but, I really think I’ll be fine with laying off the sauce. Good you’re doing well too man.

    1. Hey I don’t mind hearing you are doing well, even eating fat lol – hey that is great news. Maybe you have healed and will stay that way. Don’t ever think I’m not for THAT. Heck, I wish none of these people that come to this blog were sick. If I had my way everyone would be well, happy and living life to the fullest πŸ™‚

      1. Awww, I know you’re happy for those you’ve helped. I didn’t mean it that way. I know if I was smart I’d be watching my diet but…oh well, who knows. Crossing fingers and keep praying! Love ya man, you helped me immensely.

  18. You have put a lot into this site to help benefit others. You deserve a lot of praise and credit. Clearly you are an inspired caring individual with a purpose.
    Currently I am trying to find some answers.
    I am 31 was basically an alcoholic (6 to 12 shots of liquor) per day the last 4 to 5 years. Never had much issues or symptoms l.
    After drinking way too much this last thanksgiving I suddenly became extremely distended on my upper abdomen. Super bloated like I was 3 mos pregnant.
    No nausea. No vomiting. No pain anywhere else.
    But severe constipation. I went from going 3 to 4 times a day to not going in almost 3 days! This has never happened, so this combined with the bloating sent me to do the doctors office yesterday.
    She ordered blood work and xray and didn’t really give me much attention but wants to follow up in 3.5 weeks.
    Currently its uncomfortable to eat so im not doing much eating. I dont know how i will survive 3.5 weeks of not eating but the bigger question in my opinion is, based on my symptoms what is your reaction knowing my lifestyle?
    Thanks
    Zac

    1. Hi Zac – thanks for the kind words but God deserves the praise. I’m just the messenger πŸ™‚ Anyway …

      I can’t diagnose and there are so many conditions that can cause bloating that you really need to have a very thorough work up. Even then, they (docs) miss a lot. BUT … since you have had a history of some alcohol abuse it could be possible you are experiencing alcoholic pancreatitis which OFTEN presents as “chronic” first. They have found a genetic variant (mutation) that can be found via genetic testing that may offer some real help in diagnosing. IF you have that genetic variant it could definitely be pancreatitis. It could also be some other biliary disease such as liver damage or IBS (in some form). So I know this answer isn’t much help but it’s important to get correctly diagnosed. THAT is the first step. Then you can attack the problem from there. Hang in there. IF you aren’t satisfied with what your current doc is doing, go find another. Good luck dude! Let me know how things turn out. πŸ™‚

  19. Hi
    Been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and had 3 attacks in last year, all fairly mild and lipase was at most 755 with last. Not going to lie, did take time off drinking but went back to socially drinking in between, guess I didn’t learn my lesson. Unfortunately I have pain now that comes and goes and seems to move around, have done clear liquids along with 300 mg of GSE and 3000 mg of C (out of curcumin). Also taking protonix, have had two blood tests done in last two weeks and all shows normal but there is still pain or at least irritation most of the time.
    I’m giving up drinking and will do anything to get better once and for all. Have had stomach issues on and off for 15 years and I’ve had it. Thanks for the info, if there’s any advice on doses of the supps please let me know, I do notice that when I take the supps by themselves only on water fast there is irritation usually inch above my belly button. Can’t stand this pain

    1. Hey Josh – yep drinking is not a good thing anyway you can live without it. It may be tough at first but soon it’ll be a memory. GSE, grapefruit seed extract or grape seed extract? If you are only doing 300 mgs per day of grape seed extract you may need more. Sometimes folks get some stomach irritation with supplements. Curcumin usually, but grape seed extract has also been a culprit at times. I don’t know what to tell you. You didn’t mention Ibuprofen. Go get some. Ibuprofen works wonders in stiff doses 800 – 1000 mgs for AP. 200 – 400 mgs for moderate pain and inflammation. Hopefully you’ll be better soon. IF not go to the ER.

  20. Hi there, just want to thank you for your article, I had a bout of pancreatitis caused by booze 2 years ago and haven’t drank at all, but lately I’ve been feeling the pull. I have read your article there and youve worded it perfectly! No I am not gonna die to booze! I’m staying sober. Thanks again!

  21. I lost my partner of 6 years he had been alcohol dependent for 25 years he was 42 when he died 6 wks ago he had pancreatitis which he died from so people out there who drink constantly think about ur body and what ur doin dont let what happened to my partner happen to u or ur partner friends family

  22. Hey there, my name is Tina and I suffered from acute pancreatitis. I was always a drinker but I drank really heavy for about two years straight, no days off,it was bad! On November 29th 2014, I went to the emergency room for severe stomach pain and that was the last thing I remember up until, around February 2015. I was in a coma for almost two months and I had a ton of complications. I had a collapsed lung,one of my lungs filled up with fluid,I was near death a coupe times,I had kidney failure and I was on continuous dyalisis,my body swole up because I was third spacing and it was causing stress on my organs,so they had to cut my stomach open to relieve the pressure and they left it open for a few weeks. The secretions from my pancreas caused a hole in my colon and by the end of February last year,I was on my 18th surgery. That surgery was to close my stomach up 80% and because my colon was messed up,I had to get an Ostomy bag. I ended up having a blood clot in my lung too,which actually happened on this day last year. I stayed in ICU until March 22nd 2015 and was finally able to go home on April 17th 2015. On September 21st 2015, I had surgery number 19 and that was to fix my colon and a hernia repair. I had a few minor set backs after that but things are going great so far. With 3 separate hospital stays,I spent 5 months in the hospital last year.

    I turned 36 in December and it’s a miracle I’m still alive!!!

  23. Wow. motivational speaker are you? πŸ˜‰ thanks. currently writhing in pain from an attack on Sat from overeating bar food. only had one drink. sometimes it’s food. sometimes it’s booze. but this is prob the worse so far. and from research wondering if docs weren’t wrong and SOD and NOT pancreatitis from activity of onslaught of attack… nonetheless. divorced single mom. life’s really hard. didn’t think it should be so at turning 53. yeah. no pity party. just drinking and smoking are the only things i enjoy anymore sadly. appears i need to find new hobbies or renew old ones. :(((((( keep up the good work. πŸ™‚ have just spent the afternoon with you.
    Sorry, don’t know where that came from. πŸ˜‰

  24. I just got out of the hospital with chronic pancreatitis. Went back 3 times. I had it 5 years ago and did good not drinking for about 7 months then thought I was ok. The hospital gave me a few things to eat but if you have other ideas that has worked for you let me know. Enjoyed and scared thes—- out of me. I hope I have a new beginning.

  25. Very interesting reading I’ve just left hospital after my 2nd bout of pancreaits the 1st last November I was told not to drink for a month I didn’t drink for 8 weeks then started to have the odd pint here and there on the day I was admitted back into hospital I’d had 5 pints now I been told never to drink again and what I can eat not a easy time at the moment as I did like to drink but only at weekends and not more than 5 pints
    Regards Alan

    1. Hi Alan – Glad to hear you are going to give up alcohol. It is definitely NOT safe for those with a damaged pancreas. 5 PINTS or 2 1/2 QUARTS of booze in a short period of time would definitely NOT be a good idea. It is amazing you have not died from alcohol poisoning.

  26. You want to sit here and say my parents should have used birth control? Well maybe I’ll tell you that I should torture you and cut off your eyelids and throw sand in your eyes and cut off your microscopic oenus and pour salt in the wound. Maybe it’s YOU who should die, you little millennial shitbag. And I have the perfect idea about the way you deserve to die. It goes both ways, little bitch.

    1. Hey Valerie – You should re-read what I wrote. Maybe you should re-read it several times since you seem to have difficulty comprehending what was said. I’ve heard that alcohol kills brain cells – you must be proof? Anyway …

      Have a NICE day somewhere else πŸ™‚

  27. Hi there just like to add I’ve been drinking what is called sin alcohol in Spain it turns out that not all sin is free of alcohol and some contains upto 1 percent alcohol so sin not sin unless it say zero zero on the bottle and at times I have upto 4 bottles in a night with no affect, I’m not saying it works for everybody but I now only have zero zero

  28. i was told i had ap 3 months ago was in hospital for 2 nights my level was ten thousand i have been drinking everyday for the past 8yrs the pain was unbearable i drank a 12 pack of beer 3 weeks ago and was fine but….ihad that discomfort feeling for days afterward i dont want to experience a attack ever again i only drank that one night after that diagnose and to tell you the truth i dont need it want it i go to the bar 3days a week and still hang out play pool when i walk in bartender says water or a ice cold pop you ppl that think and write hoping to hear those words yes its ok to drink if only a few no its not you mite get lucky and get away with it but do you always want to have that in the back of your mind everytime you drink a beer oh man i hope i dont have a attack ppl please dont waste your time or life that you have for that buzz i feel gr8 everyday i eat better exercise more look better its amazing how much a difference not drinking does for youhey i miss beer to but one thing im glad i found was me again and the life i still have if you ever had a panic attack think about this you know how you sit around allday thinking not another one of these thats what youll be thinking wen yr drinking dont do it i have more fun sober than i ever did buzzed if you wanna go out in binge go ahead you will have a attack again maybe not that day maybe not the next but do u want to maybe end up worser off than you were the first attack mostly all ap sufferers worry bout is alcohol and most are probably writing while holding a beer in there hand while your doing that is because you know yr not supposed to yr smart enough to know that so please be smart enough to look in the mirror and see that you dont need that yr next attack could be yr last

  29. Dear
    thanks for your superior blog

    My name is ganesh .. I m from India … I have one question…. I have chronic Pancareatitist… Can I drink 1 beer once in a month ?

    Please reply

        1. Hi Ganesh – You can do anything you want if you enjoy being sick. Alcohol is very inflammatory to a damged pancreas. Drinking alcohol with CP is asking for AP and more damge, posibly huge damage, even death. I would strongly suggest you stay clear of alcohol. Sorry, it’s just the way it is.

  30. Hey….i was suffering from this disease but now its been 3months I have maintained my diet and have not consumed any alchohol…but all I want to know is can ocassional drinking can be bad for me

  31. Hi Health Guy.

    Extremely interesting site and like so many others I have researched this to no end. I must give some serious kudos to you for your dedication and effort to help so many over the countless years so congratulations on that. I too had a bad AP attack this time last year 2015 and a year on after 2 more attacks I battle every day with my alcoholism and the so many pondering sessions over how? Why me? I need a drink! Etc – in the end I still fall (and I luckily have made it through each time)…. now – so afraid it will be my last time. Let me elaborate a little more on my story…

    I’m an Irish male at 37 years old. A mathematician by trade….yet I cannot swallow the odds one gives me on surviving! How stupid right? Anyway I was on holiday in Turkey at an all inclusive resort and everyday I was consuming copious amounts of beer and vodka combined. This was the straw that broke the camels back in my case. I had been consuming 6 beers almost nightly due to job stresses etc. I couldn’t manage and with young twins all was just to much I turned to this nasty toxin – alcohol. Great for escapism….. yup just great until you add time into that equation. So many years, around 20 I’d guess, of abuse that what seemingly felt normal to me has now landed me in this precarious position. Get busy drinking then get busy dying as there is simply no cure. We can only arrest pancreatitis and follow instruction on keeping us pain free.

    The issue and the reason I am writing here is that I find it so hard to avoid social situation and informal meet ups etc. I always feel as if I need a drink. I am overwhelmed at times and get anticipatory anxiety kicking in. So with minimal meds I can do some of these. My question is about advice and how you managed to quit your habit. Death is a huge deterrent don’t get me wrong at all but these so called idiosyncratic behaviours born in to my own subconsciousness are really so tough to change. What methods did you use? Any particular programmes etc? I’d really love to hear your thoughts. I feel I’m still falling down the rabbit hole and a slip or blunder could be my last hurrah…..this will sound extraordinary as us Irish like a drink or so the taboo goes….. but I would still take the gambler knowing my odds. Crazy or what gezzz. I would love the methodologies and techniques to manage and get off this potential road for absolute destruction ending in my demise. Sorry I’m rambling here Health Guy as stated I applaud your work but I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I would believe I am close to possible necrosis of the pancreas but my last visit suggested things were looking very good. I can eat pretty much what I want so I am blessed there but how to stay away forever from alcohol and other social drugs I find hard to do. The drugs aspect is 3 or 4 times a year so I have that under control.

    Look thanks for listening

    Your Irish pal Dermot

    1. Hi Dermot – thanks for the kind words, glad you like the site.

      Question: “My question is about advice and how you managed to quit your habit.”
      Answer: I never had an alcohol problem. I drank a lot when I was in the Marine Corps (weekend pass binges) but I never had to have a drink. So quitting booze wasn’t a big deal. Quitting drugs was mainly due to the fact I’d already OD’d twice and didn’t think a third time would be beneficial lol. So, I just quit. It wasn’t easy but I did it. I didn’t use any programs etc. I just quit. I know that isn’t what you probably wanted to hear but it’s how it was.

  32. I have a friend who has been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, time after time he goes to the hospital for weeks at a time only to come out and drink again. Now he is bleeding in his rectum. I’m emotionally drained by this! Any suggestions

    1. Hi Debra – sometimes there is simply nothing you or anyone can do (except pray) for someone who doesn’t want to help themselves. Alcohol is an extremely tough addiction to conquer. I don’t know where you and your friend stand with God and His Son Jesus but I can tell you that things that are not possible for humans to overcome by themselves can be overcome through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. IF he can not cope with alcohol, is bleeding from his rectum (he needs to have that checked) I’d suggest he turn his life over to Jesus. There is magnificent power in the name of Jesus.

  33. Hi I am a 47 year old male recovering alcoholic with 13 years of unbroken sobriety..I have been recently diagnosed with CP…my gp came to that diagnosis on the fact that a routine amylase test came in at 134units per/l..the cut off in the testing lab is 85u/pl…it has been that high for over a yeare…anyway for those who might be struggling with abstaining from alcohol….I have been a member of alcoholics anonymous since I decided to get some help and it has worked for me 1 day at a time for the last 13 years..if you need help….it’s out there.

      1. thank you…enjoyed your blog….bought the supplements…had a chat with my wife about the diet …all set for a new adventure…kind of lol

  34. I’ve suffered from Pancreatitis for 36 years from the age of 18 since I had my first acute attack. I’d had undiagnosed mild chronic pain since the age of 11. I also have a younger brother with the illness. Having read many articles on the condition, it seems to me that chronic alcohol abuse causes alcoholic pancreatitis in some alcoholics and in other cases alcohol USE seems to exacerbate other forms of the disease.

    My understanding is that doctors cannot diagnose early chronic pancreatitis and don’t understand fully the relationship between acute pancreatitis and chronic disease(is pancreatitis acute to chronic or chronic to acute). Chronic pancreatitis can be pain free or cause mild symptoms. Especially when it is of genetic origin.

    I believe I had chronic pancreatitis from childhood exacerbated by alcohol use in my late teens/ early 20s which caused acute attacks from 18 years of age. I haven’t drunk alcohol for 25 years and wasn’t a heavy drinker in my youth. The problem for me was not addiction but peer pressure in late adolescence to drink when socialising.

    I didn’t recognise the significance of my childhood mild chronic pain until the last 15 years being told in my youth that pancreatitis was always acute to chronic.

    In American studies, pancreatitis is now considered to be a disease that in over 50% of cases has genetic factors as it’s root cause rather than alcohol abuse.Bearing this in mind,
    I wonder how many sufferers do experience abdominal mild insipid pain early in life or carry pain free chronic pancreatitis without anyone ever knowing it.

    If either chronic or acute disease is diagnosed, alcohol use should be stopped as you can be causing further damage without causing immediate symptoms.

    Julian

    1. Hi Julian – thank you so much for sharing your story. I agree with what you say. You have very good insight. 36 years is a long time to deal with AP and CP. I pray that the Lord blesses you with many more years of life and that those years be pain free. πŸ™‚

  35. It’s all well and good going on about not drinking but people drink for lots of reasons. Me personally I drank to forget about life and service in the forces and life after the forces and mental health issues. For me it’s each to their own and don’t be judgmental we all make choices rightly or wrongly.

    1. Hi Steve – I wasn’t being judgemental. It’s just a simple fact that drinking doesn’t do your damaged pancreas any good. In fact, it will do harm. Have a safe, happy, blessed new year and thanks for your service πŸ™‚

      1. Hi

        I am a terrible alcoholic. I have been drinking alot lately.

        In 2012 i was hospitalezed a 5days with acute pancreatits i had some necrosis in the tail.

        I have drank alot of vodka since 2012. Alot. I have had a few mild cases that usualy clear up in 3-4 days. Once im cleared up food never irritaes it. Its always alcohol.

        I know i am ruining my health. I did not drink today i pushed things too far the past 10 days. My pancrease is starting to burn i fear a case coming on so i went to water only, bitamin b12, took 1000mg vit c, took 1000mg tumeric, and 800mg ibuprofen.

        That has settled things for now but i fear it will return when ibuprofen wears off. I also worry about the ibuprofen and my stomach cause the alcohol is hard on the stomach. I got some lanzsoprazole to combat stomach acid/ibuprofen damage. All my organs need a huge break and to detox.

        Just hope i can get by. I wish i wasnt born a alcoholic its the worst thing ever. I hate it and who i am when i drink. And the lies i live hiding it. I have been to treatment alot, aa. I need to get health insurance quickly and maybe try antabuse.

        Any suggetions for when the 800mg ibuprofen wears down

        1. Hi Matt – sorry to hear you have been unwell. Curcumin is a powerful pain reliever and inflammation fighter. You might want to try adding another dose of curcumin in substitution of the Ibuprofen. I’d also make a real effort to quit drinking. I know that isn’t an easy task but if you ask God to help He will. Turn your life over to Jesus and ask Him to break the chains of alcohol addiction and you will be amazed at what God can do.

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