Pancreatitis Diet: What’s a Pancreatitis Diet?

By | May 9, 2013

pancreatitis-dietA pancreatitis diet needs to be as fat free as humanly possible which means a very, LOW fat diet. Unfortunately the body requires some fat content in our foods but you’ll need to learn which fats your damaged pancreas can tolerate and in what quantities. Your pancreatitis diet needs to be tailored to you just like a fine suit of clothes. And …

Many people who suffer from pancreatitis believe what their doctor tells them regarding what should be safe for their pancreatitis diet. They believe the nutritionist, the nurse, the sick people in their favorite support groups, the guy down the street that can’t even spell pancreatitis let alone give competent advice concerning a pancreatitis diet.

That is a HUGE mistake.

Pancreatitis is nothing to play around with or take lightly and neither is your pancreatitis diet.

If you have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and want to prevent recurrent attacks your pancreatitis diet – what you put in your mouth and swallow – is very important because …

Chronic pancreatitis can turn ugly at any time and result in acute pancreatitis. The death rate of acute pancreatitis reaches as high as 30% in severe cases complicated by infected necrosis.

“Mortality rates for hospitalized patients vary from 5% to 10% in most series. In patients with interstitial pancreatitis, mortality is close to zero. Mortality is substantially increased in necrotizing pancreatitis (less than 1% for interstitial pancreatitis, 10% for sterile necrosis, 30% for infected necrosis).” – Acute pancreatitis, Cleveland Clinic

Motality death rates and Radiology info

The above informational links should leave you with the knowledge that there is no doubt how serious your condition is or can become and that doing anything to promote recurrence or that may lead to a recurrent acute pancreatitis attack isn’t real wise. It simply isn’t smart to fool around with what I call acute pancreatitis triggers.

Pancreatitis Diet NO-NO’s

Pancreatitis-diet-NO-NOPancreatitis diet no-no’s or acute pancreatitis triggers are anything proven to lead to acute pancreatitis but in this post we are dealing with what goes into your mouth via your pancreatitis diet.

The acute pancreatitis triggers found in a poorly planned pancreatitis diet consist of two things:

  • Fat
  • Alcohol

Those two triggers are OUT when it comes to a pancreatitis diet.

We have already discussed alcohol and why you should never allow it in your mouth so I am not going to belabor the subject except to say it is never to be allowed in your pancreatitis diet. If you drink your risk of dying a hard, painful death is greatly enhanced.

I’ve found there is risk in eating. Food is NOT your friend when you have recurring acute and/or chronic pancreatitis so it is important to make sure you include in your pancreatitis diet only the foods that can be considered at least somewhat safe. The list is short. Now …

Right upfront I’m going to tell you that what you have read, heard or been told by just about anyone is probably wrong. This includes your doctor, dietician (I don’t care if he or she is a PhD), your mom, Mr.AnswerBag down the street, some YouTube video or the author of some book on how to survive pancreatitis. If the information is written or produced by:

  • A doctor
  • A dietitian
  • Someone who has never had pancreatitis
  • Someone who is now dead
  • The surviving spouse or relative of a dead pancreatitis victim
  • Anyone who has pancreatitis, is still sick and has NOT been pain-free for at least 5-10 years

The information, from any of the above sources, on a diet for acute or chronic pancreatitis and how to heal your pancreas is in all probability WRONG.

pancreatitis-diet-no-fatPancreatitis Diet Foods to Avoid

When choosing foods for your pancreatitis diet the following foods should be avoided like the plague. These foods are dangerous.

  • Red meat
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Duck
  • Cheese (all kinds)
  • Cooking oils (includes olive oil)
  • soy sauce (usually contains alcohol even if not listed on the label)
  • Margarine
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Regular milk
  • Egg yolk
  • Nuts (all kinds)
  • Peanut butter
  • Cool whip (any other fake crap made with oil)
  • Coconut
  • Mayo
  • Salad dressings
  • Ice cream
  • Potato chips (any kind of greasy chips)
  • Processed foods
  • Trans fats (palm oil, cottonseed oil, coconut oil, hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils)

pancreatitis-diet-no-no'sIf it is oily, greasy and/or full of fat it’s out.

Yep, that means pie crusts made with lard (pig fat) are out. Shrimp Scampi, lobster dripping in butter are out. The lobster and shrimp are fine it’s the butter, oil, and fat that needs to go.

Rich cream sauces, gravies and the skin of chicken and turkey are all out. Yep, that means no biscuits and gravy, no mashed potatoes and gravy, no hollandaise sauce, no pasta primavera or alfredo.

If it is rich, creamy and or tasty it is most likely off the list of safe pancreatitis diet foods.

Are you beginning to get the picture?

If you are a steak and bacon lover like I was adhering to a pancreatitis diet is not going to be an enjoyable experience for a while. But the good news is, after a while it gets easier. You will become used to going without certain foods and cooking in certain ways in return for feeling like a half-way well human being.

If you enjoy pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and possible pancreatic necrosis, cysts, hemorrhage and death by all means disregard anything I am telling you. Afterall, it is your life.

pancreatitis-dietWhat Are Safe Foods For A Pancreatitis Diet?

When you think about solid food for your pancreatitis diet when you are NOT yet healed, think VEGAN until you no longer have pain. In fact I suggest a modified VEGAN diet (no meat, no dairy, no oil or fat) for 6 months or until you are healed enough to where you have ZERO symptoms. Once you no longer have symptoms (pain, nausea) you can begin to add in safe protein sources such as poultry and white meat fish.

Safe foods for a pancreatitis diet are few but include the following:

  • Fish (white meat fish such as cod, halibut, bass, crappie, pollack, orange roughy, talapia, catfish)
  • Seafood (lobster, shrimp, crab, scallops, clams etc)
  • Poultry (skinless chicken, turkey, grouse, pheasant, quail)
  • Egg whites (packed with protein and vitamin B12 – ZERO fat)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, peas)
  • Vegetables (all kinds – leafy greens, tubers and cruciferous)
  • Fruits (all kinds EXCEPT avocado and coconut)
  • Whole grains (wheat, barley, oats, rice etc)
  • Spices (especially good are cayenne, garlic, turmeric, black pepper, ginger)

If you are in pain (you haven’t healed) the above meat protein sources may also contain too much fat so tread carefully. When choosing from the above safe foods for your pancreatitis diet try to go organic to avoid GMO’s, chemical pesticides and other unwanted additives. You can buy organically raised poultry and wild fish. Both are harder to find and more expensive but in my opinion worth it.

pancreatitis-diet-tipsMore Pancreatitis Diet Tips

As you can see the list of potentially safe foods for your pancreatitis diet is short. It took me quite sometime to figure it all out. It’s a complete diet change for most people and isn’t easy but if you want to heal and stay healed you’ll do what is necessary. Again …

Think MOSTLY vegan.

The body needs at least 40 grams of protein per day and when you are sick that is difficult. You are going to lose weight until you heal. You will also most likely lose some muscle. Hopefully once you have been on a well planned pancreatitis diet for a time, have healed and are able to eat 3 meals a day again without pain, nausea and vomiting you’ll regain your weight. Here are more pancreatitis diet tips:

1- READ LABELS. Watch out for things like turkey sausage (any kind) because they use pork intestines for casing. I made myself very ill for three weeks eating turkey sausage cuz I didn’t see the pork casings on the label.

2 – Don’t fall for 99% fat-free bacon and bean soup, ham with split pea, or anything else that contains beef, pork, lamb or duck in any way shape or form and that goes for lunch meat – anything! Read labels. If it contains forbidden meat pass it by.

3 – Don’t Whine! Instead be glad you are alive. I personally can no longer eat wheat, barley and rye products or any type of food that contains them due to Celiac Disease. So if you think your pancreatitis diet is going to be difficult – try mine. Due to my situation my pancreatitis diet list of safe foods is most likely at least 100% smaller than yours. At least you can have pasta and good wheat bread while I have to eat them only in my dreams.

4 – Be sure to cook everything WITHOUT using fats or oils.

5 – Here’s a tool I use online to determine what foods have the most nutrient density and how much fat. Use it. If you read about broccoli you will see it is an excellent choice for a pancreatitis diet. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, cancer fighting phytochemicals and has almost 7 grams of vegetable protein in a large stalk and only 1 gram of non-saturated fat.

kentucky-fried-chickenA Pancreatitis Diet Food Does NOT Include Fast Food

No you can’t eat Kentucky Fried Chicken, burgers at Carl Jr’s, french fries from McDonald’s, burritos or tacos, or oriental foods made with soy sauce (contains alcohol). If you eat red meat, pork, lamb, duck, potato chips, foods containing alcohol and other high fat foods I’ve told you are dangerous – you deserve to be sick. In fact …

Eating out is dangerous, even at 5 star restaurants because short order fry cooks and even top chefs are probably not concerned with how your food is prepared, except that it looks good and tastes good. For example …

You order poached eggs on toast, no butter, and hash browns cooked without oil. IF you forget to have your hash browns cooked in a clean pan, not on the grill, you may become ill because the hash browns were cooked on a grill that had residual bacon grease or beef fat from the breakfast done before yours. A few hours or a day later while you are puking in the toilet and suffering pain you may wonder why.

Here’s a Fat Lesson

Keep in mind fat is NOT just fat when working out your pancreatitis diet. There are several different kinds of fat.

1- Saturated fat comes from meat sources (meat, broth, soup)  and dairy (milk, butter, eggs). It is totally different from fats found in vegetables and fruit. Meat and dairy fat, saturated fat, is the most detrimental to the pancreas when one has chronic pancreatitis and that is why they don’t work in a pancreatitis diet.

2 – Monounsaturated fat is found in olive oil, nuts and cooking oil. Yes nuts are extremely good for health but maybe not yours, especially in any amount over what could be considered extremely small. IF you are NOT healed avoid these fats.

3 – Polyunsaturated fat is plant-based fat. It seems to work fine as long as you are not in or just coming out of an acute attack. Nothing by mouth but water while in an acute pancreatitis attack and nothing for about 72 after it resolves. Then juice, only juice and water. Vegetable or fruit juice, until you feel like you are starving.

Post Acute Pancreatitis Diet

If you are just coming off an acute attack and you have had no pain or nausea for at least 72 hours and you are hungry try some organic vegetable juice. If you tolerate vegetable juice for 72 hours with NO symptoms then try veggies or some type of whole grain like brown rice or a combination of both in a small amount to see how it works out. This would NOT be the time to eat a triple-decker turkey sandwich!

How much daily fat should be in a pancreatitis diet?

Great question, glad I asked aren’t you? This is going to be a wishy-washy answer because you may be able to tolerate less than me or more than me depending on your amount of damage. After years on MY pancreatitis diet and the supplements I became able to eat almost constantly without any ill effects as long as I did not eat anything that was not on the list.

Heck, I felt grrrrreeeaat again! Then …

I screwed up.

I felt so good I said to myself: “Self, why are you still swallowing all these dang supplements? You are well, healed. Life is great!”

So I quit the supplements.

Bad choice.

Turky-Sausage-Potato-PeppersThe bad decision to stop taking my pancreatitis supplements took awhile to show up, about one maybe two years and one food choice screw up.

I think it was 2006 when I screwed up and ate smoked turkey sausage without reading the label. It is an experience I really don’t care to remember well enough to correctly date it. In fact …

I thought I might die.

It was one hell of an acute pancreatitis attack. It lasted for over 10 days. Recovery took another 2 – 3 weeks. The horrible pain would come on fast, I’d swallow 800 mgs of Ibuprofen and the pain would go. Next day, for no reason, it would be back with a vengence and …

I hadn’t eaten a thing.

Nothing by mouth but water.

I’d take my nausea meds and slam 8oo mgs of ibuprofen. The pain would recede in an hour and I’d just feel like I was gonna die but without the pain. I mean I felt rotten. Then it returned (11 episodes of acute pain all told) so I tried aspirin. That is when I found 1300 mgs of aspirin worked as well as 800 mgs of ibuprofen.

One time during the siege I had to take 2600 mgs of aspirin in one day (2 horrible episodes of acute pain that day). I would NOT suggest taking 2600mgs of aspirin in a day. It worked but I thought maybe I’d taken to much. All I could taste was aspirin, and I felt weird but that ended the acute pain attacks. However by this time, about 12 days into one of the worst times of my life …

I again had a lump in my gut that was very tender but after about 12 days of sometimes excruciating pain, I started to get better. Frankly I was close to giving in and going to the hospital so I am really glad that shit ceased. I still felt like death warmed over but I dragged my ass out of bed, got dressed and …

I went to the health store and bought more grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C. I’d have done that sooner but I was too sick to drive. Soon I was feeling much better but that last acute pancreatitis attack did more damage and now I can’t eat some things I could before the episode.

It’s been what probably 6 years since that acute pancreatitis attack and most times I feel pretty decent but it isn’t as good as it was before. I sure the hell wish I had kept taking my supplements and had read that label. But …

I also started drinking grapefruit juice again since I found (from researching) that it may have initially been what stopped my acute attacks in 1984 – 1985. The real healing didn’t begin until I started taking the supplements. That is when my abdomen healed the first time and the supplements have healed it again. Anyway …

I got off track, didn’t I?

How much fat daily in a pancreatitis diet was the question before I got off on a tangent.

15 grams of fat in 3 meals (5 per meal) is optimum with up to 25 grams total daily maximum. In other words you are going to set your daily fat consumption target below 1/2 the average American’s fat consumption in only one meal. In fact your target goal of 15 – 20 grams of fat per day, including snacks, will be less than 1/2 of the LOW end of fat gram consumption recommended by the Mayo Clinic for an average human which is 44 grams.

One stalk of broccoli and a skinless chicken breast (broiled) will provide tons of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, about 58 grams of protein and do it all with only 7 grams of fat. Eat the same meal with only 1/2 a chicken breast and you drop the fat count to 4 grams and still have a meal boasting 33 grams of protein. If you choose wisely you can eat nutrient dense, high protein, low-fat meals 3 times per day and stay around 15 – 20 grams of fat each day, including HEALTHY snacks and that IS what IS necessary. So …

Here’s the pancreatitis diet summary:

No bad, high fat content foods (red meat, pork, lamb, duck, mayo, butter, avocado, coconut, oils, etc). Keep fat content of each meal at 5 grams or less and have most of that fat come from plant-based foods. No alcohol.

Charlotte Gerson on Cancer and Disease

Eat right, be cancer free!

Each of us who have suffered long-term with pancreatitis are, unfortunately, more prone to cancer of the pancreas. Even though the above video is geared towards cancer 89-year-old Charlotte Gerson, Max Gerson’s (who founded the Gerson Institute in 1977) daughter, has a lot to say. All of it good and all of it can be applied to pancreatitis and a diet for pancreatitis.

This video contains a fascinating 48-minutes of great information and perspective from someone who has dedicated her life to helping others overcome serious illness. Gain valuable knowledge by watching this video. It is 48 minutes of some of the best information you will hear.

Now I have said this before but let me say it again. A modified, highly anti-inflammatory, vegan diet which means no oil used for anything, no oily or high fat content foods like nuts and avocado should help you receive measurable relief but as you can see it wasn’t just the diet that helped me it was also the pancreatitis supplements because it wasn’t long after stopping the supplements that I made ONE mistake and had one of the worst acute pancreatitis attacks I can remember. So for me it takes BOTH diet and supplements in order to avoid being very ill.

I wish you wellness!

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80 thoughts on “Pancreatitis Diet: What’s a Pancreatitis Diet?

  1. vanessa lammers

    Ibuprofen has not been kind to my sister and her daughter who both have pancrentitis, just a thought.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Vanessa – In what way has Ibuprofen been unkind? How do you know it’s the Ibuprofen?

      Reply
  2. Justin

    Hello,
    I was diagnosed with ap at the beginning of 2014. I have had 5 or 6 attacks since. I finally found your website, (thank God). Anyway, was wondering about consuming a few things after the fasting and v-8 days, which I completed. What’s your advice on skim milk? Soda pop? Candy with no fat or oils? I have been chewing gum the last couple of days, and read that it has 2 grams of sugar alcohol? Is this bad? What about other drinks, such as orange juice, and fruit juices?
    Thank you, any info will help.

    Justin

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Justin! Congrats on completing the fasting and V8 term. I am assuming this is the cleansing step before creating your food diary? Or just trying to resolve pain and nausea? Anyway …

      IF it were me I’d go even further and try “fat free” milk. They didn’t have that years ago when I was really sick so I don’t know how it will work for you. I drink it occasionally now and seem to be fine with it.

      I used to drink soda pop as well but not a lot. No ill effects.

      Candy with no fat or oils should work.

      The gum with “sugar alcohol” may not be a good idea. I’d steer clear of the sugar alcohol and read the labels on anything sweet, especially sugar free stuff (dried fruits, candy, gum, etc) to check for sugar alcohol. Manufacturers use it as a cheap sweetener like they use hfc (high fructose corn syrup). If you see a weird named ingredient that ends in “ol” like sorbitol that indicates alcohol. By the way 2 grams is about 1/2 teaspoon. So that means each stick of that gum has 1/2 teaspoon of sugar alcohol. Doesn’t sound like much but sometimes it doesn’t take much.

      Fruits should be fine. All except coconut and avocado (way to much fat content). I’ve been meaning to write a post about fruit and the possible reason some folks say they do not tolerate it. Of course many folks in the support groups I used to hang in, usually the ones who complained about fruit, were still wolfing down steak, bacon, fries, and pizza so how they could tell with any degree of certainty that the “grapes” were the bad guy I have no clue anyway, bear with me …

      To me a pancreas is a pancreas. They are usually the same shape, size, weight and reside in the same area of the body. The function is the same. The only difference between yours, mine and someone elses’ pancreas lies in genetics, rare defects such as pancreas divisum and damage. One person may have the gene variant that makes them at risk for alcoholic pancreatitis, another the variant that causes high blood fat levels and then it is the actual damage done from pancreatitis that determines food tolerances depending upon severity and location of the damage.

      It’s the damage that may determine fruit tolerance. For someone with severe damage they may not tolerate RIPE fruit. Now when I say RIPE fruit I am talking about the time when a peach is absolutely incredible and juicy, when a banana is absolutely perfect and sweet because that is when the sugar may be turning to alcohol. When bananas start to spot you can peel them and sniff the fruit and actually smell the alcohol. Peaches make peach wine and brandy and we can go on and on but the point is fruit sugars turn to alcohol once they become what may be termed “nice and ripe.” So …

      Those people who have had a tremendous amount of damage from necrosis and/or surgical procedures may find “nice and ripe” fruit to be a problem but that can’t be anywhere near proven while eating high fat content foods. What I am alluding to is this: IF someone were to do what could be termed as my “cleanse routine” that needs to be done before creating a food diary and then tested one food at a time and wrote down the results they experienced for an entire week after eating that food (nothing else new can be introduced) and then experienced discomfort from eating a nice juicy peach I’d have to begin to think it may be the peach was producing some sugar alcohol and the sugar alcohol was the cause, not just the peach but the VERY RIPE peach with ALCOHOL content.

      Hopefully that made sense. I can be really long winded at times.

      Reply
      1. Justin

        Thank you so much for responding so fast. I never thought about the fruit turning to alcohol. I’ll be sure to be careful with it. Yes everything did make sense. I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your expertise. It’s so sad that we have to be put through this with no help from these people they call doctors. When I was in the hospital in January, once 4 days went by they told me I could eat. Having no idea where I stood with this diagnosis, and starving to death, I ordered a hot roast beef sandwich, mash potatoes with gravy, (gravy on the sandwich too), and a chocolate milkshake to wash it down. (Same for dinner 4 hours later before the kitchen closed.) Needless to say by midnight I was going into another attack. I told the doctor the next day what had happened, and he said “I told you to eat soft foods, it has to heal.” The nurse told me “soft foods is anything on the menu.” 5 minutes later the dipshit says I can go home, and my discharge papers say, “regular diet.” Unbelievable! So, needless to say, I was petrified to eat when I got home. I was eating pretty “clean” when I started eating again, not one drop of alcohol, and exercising 10 times a week. I had pain everyday, thinking it was healing, but every time I would “cheat” with cookies on a Saturday, it was pain on Sunday and an attack would start on Monday. So I would go backwards every7-10 days. Anyways, I’m rambling on, but I am finally talking to someone who understands what’s going on and is not telling me that I need to go to a doctor. Ha! Thank you so much again, and I’ll talk to you soon.

        Justin

        Reply
        1. The Health Guy Post author

          Hi Justin – I have to say I have seen the medical community do and say some really STUPID things when it comes to preventing another acute attack of pancreatitis or even enabling healing to begin. I can’t believe these people go to school for years and don’t have enough common sense to figure out that allowing a patient, like you, who is just coming out of an acute pancreatitis attack and has been NPO (nothing by mouth) for several days eat a meal that is just asking for HUGE problems. Being told to eat “soft foods” is nothing less than dangerous because …

          FAT and alcohol are the major food triggers. Soups, broths, mayonnaise, butter, gravy, milk, soft boiled eggs, protein shakes, milk shakes, ice cream, yogurt, avocado and a myriad of others things one could eat, that could certainly be classified as “soft” foods, are or can be so high in fat content as to induce another acute pancreatitis attack, especially in those who are already inflamed.

          I’m not a doctor. I have said that many times however common sense should dictate to “educated professionals” that an acute pancreatitis patient coming off of NPO should never be allowed to eat fat filled foods anytime soon let alone as the first meal.

          You should have been tested with vegetable juice. EVERY hospital I have ever visited carries V8 juice. That should have been the first introduced food coming off of NPO. And you should have been told to stay away from fat and alcohol but your experience is repeated so often it is no wonder people have recurrent attacks until they are damaged enough to where they have chronic problems, I.E. chronic pancreatitis even if it is minimal change and doesn’t meet the “9 point criteria” for a classic chronic pancreatitis diagnosis. Some of the docs I have met in my life are so incompetent I swear they graduated from Cracker Jack University.

          Thanks for reading my blog and I wish you better times :-)

          Reply
  3. Christina

    I am sooo confused
    My doctor said no fruit, no dairy, no wheat diet. I am allowed veggies and all meats
    Than i was told if you only eat veggies but no carrots, peas, corn and all meats
    I’ve been using pure virgin organic coconut oil for years on my skin, teeth, cooking and now its not good for me…. this is hard

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Your doctor is an idiot when it comes to a diet for pancreatitis. The ONLY thing your doc got right was that dairy should be avoided and veggies are good. I’m right, your doc is wrong. Your doc probably never had pancreatitis, I have. Your doc is guessing, I’m not. So that’s about all I can say. It isn’t all that confusing. FAT and ALCOHOL are the two enemies. Wheat is only bad if you are a celiac. Here’s the real deal: Do what you want it’s your life, your pancreas. You need to make your own choices. If you do what your doc, your buddy down the street, that sick girl in your support group or your cousin Sally recommends I can tell you this: You’re gonna stay sick, maybe worse. Good luck Christina :-)

      Reply
  4. Heather Kruger

    Dear Health Guy, I have been keeping to your diet. Oats & yoghurt for breakfast, provitas with bovril and apple & banana for lunch and then fish or chicken and veggies all steamed for dinner. But for the last few days have started getting a terrible pain under my right rib just after eating. Have been abdominal pain free since 18th March now when last hospitalised. Was diagnosed with CP due to fatty layer across pancreas due to eating fast food, alcohol abuse over the years, stones and calcification early January 2014 and am on Creon and taking pain meds too as well as supplements, i.e. grape seed extract, anti-oxidants, vitamin c, etc. Please can you help me. Professor and dietician says I can eat beef and lean pork but have decided rather not!!! Please can you assist me as I am not sure if the doctors here in S.A. know what they what they are talking about?

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hey Heather – ok yogurt is not on my diet list. Nor are provitas (crackers) with bovril (beef extract spread). :-) Chicken must be skinless and cooked in a manner that it doesn’t sit in the chicken fat. Veggies only with salt, pepper or other spices (no butter, margarine or other mystery oily fat spread). Now pay attention if you want to have any chance of healing.

      1) Forget everything your doctor, nutritionist, preacher, rabbi, best friend, or the sick dude in your support group has told you it’s ok to eat.
      2) Forget what foods people think makes them sick. Most have no clue.
      3) Follow the yellow brick road one step at a time: Step 1 find the post that explains how to do your own pancreatitis food diary, do what it says. Step 2 re-read the above post about a proper pancreatitis diet. It’s simple, straight forward and there isn’t any maybes or what if’s. Step 3 get the correct supplements. Step 4 is actual application. You do it.

      The answers to all your questions and how to heal are on this blog but you have to read it, then do it. Just reading it doesn’t work. Just doing some of it doesn’t work. It’s an all or nothing kinda thing and that isn’t me dictating that it’s your damaged pancreas. So you only have one choice. Either do what works or look forward to being sick every month, every other month, whatever. It is all up to you. And remember …

      I’m not a doctor. I simply happen to know what works for me and seems to work for others who do exactly what I do. Not part of what I do, not half, not almost all, but everything, exactly like I have it lined out. if you can do that you have a chance of healing. If not well, good luck. And …

      Please refrain from doing two or three posts regarding the same info. I know you were diagnosed in January of this year with CP. I know what your doctor said you could eat. I know you are taking a combination supplement that has 360 mgs of grape seed extract. Now …

      Your grape seed extract should be ONLY grape seed or grape seed with vitamin C or grape seed with maritime pine back. NOTHING else should be with your grape seed extract. NOTHING no, b vitamins, no minerals, no other herbs. NOTHING but what I said. Once you have the proper grape seed formula you can increase your dosage without the worry of being poisoned with to much of something that is toxic.

      The next supplement is curcumin. The next is vitamin C. All of this info is on this blog already if you’d just look for it and read it.

      Reply
  5. talkinguniverse

    Hi Paul ,
    My mom was doing well when i started this treatment of grape seed , curcumin and vit c …. She still on it but from last 1 month the pain is not subsiding ..i have tried putting her on strict liquid diet , even nothing by mouth etc . Note: she is following strict vegan diet with no oil .
    Now , i am kinda stuck she is on 4 pain killers each day .
    But the strange thing is that , she is hungry with no nausea or other symptoms “only pain”
    and sometimes eating food also helps in reliving pain .
    What do you think i should try ?

    To tell you some thing about her :
    Diagnosed chronic pancreatitis about 6 months back , have high triglycerides level
    she uses insulin as she is diabetic and she takes enzymes and supplements
    Her chronic pancreatitis was confirmed from the reports which showed a little shrinkage in pancreas , hence there were no other symptoms like calcification , gall stones etc

    Thanks for helping us !! God bless.

    Aakash ( India )

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Aakash you said she is taking enzymes. Is your mom on creon or another pancreatic enzyme med? The reason I ask is maybe they have her taking too much and that is causing the pain because eating sometimes relieves the pain, right? Just thinking outloud. Eating can also reduce pain in ulcer patients. Eating usually doesn’t reduce pain in pancreatitis patients, usually the exact opposite. If she is on a prescription enzyme med you may want to ask the doc if a lower dose may not be warranted. If it is OTC (over the counter) enzymes like I take maybe reducing the amount might work. Those pancreatic enzymes, especially prescription doses, are strong. Too much can be almost as bad, sometimes worse, than not enough. That is about all I can think of right at the moment Aakash. I hope your mom gets to feeling better. :-)

      Reply
  6. Usman Shafqat Chatha

    WOW its a lovely article…. i suffered acute pancreatitis just returned home after 10 days in hospital here in Pakistan now a days doctors have suggested me to take the diets u told …. i am still under way to be completely fine …. how many more days will it take me to be completely fit? i have 10 days of pain and treatment … in addition i have gall stones …. docs have said my gall bladder will surgically removed after i recover completely from acute pancreatitis …. ??

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Sorry to hear you are ill. Wouldn’t wish pancreatitis on anyone – it sucks. I can’t say how long it will take for you to heal. Everyone heals at a different pace and damage is never identical which means there is no way of knowing whether you will become completely well and fit. Sounds like you had gallstone pancreatitis? Hopefully your damage is not to bad and once the cause (gallstones) are removed you’ll heal up as good as new. You’ll know whether that is going to happen or not once the original cause is eliminated. Good luck to you! :-)

      Reply
      1. Usman Shafqat Chatha

        yeah … i have been effected due to the gall stones … docs says once i will be completely fine .. they will remove my gall bladder .. lets c tommorow i am going to have a checkup again with CBC glucose fasting FSH and PTH test results ….

        Reply
        1. The Health Guy Post author

          I hope it works out for you just as your doc says. Stay in touch.

          Reply
          1. Usman Shafqat Chatha

            just returned from doc … he checked my ultrasound ct scan etc reports … he says i am recovered … now i can go for surgery to remove gall bladder … today after few hours i have setup a meeting with the surgeon … lets c … keep praying

          2. The Health Guy Post author

            I hope for your continued recovery and success with the GB surgery. Good luck to you :-)

          3. Usman Shafqat Chatha

            Hellow … The Health Guy .. I have got surgery couple of days ago to remove my gall bladder through laproscopy … it was full ov stones, i hope the pancreatitis may never return now … after 8 days i will go to doc to remove the stiches … my GI specialist has suggested to keep taking enzymes suppliments and low almost 0 fat/oil diet for another week… then he will monitor and suggest more … i need your prayers … i do not want another episode of pancreatitis ever …. i have never taken alcohol … but i used to eat a lot of spicy, food and fast food …. do u think taking spicy and fast food and eating too much of that at one time … can trigger pancreatitis???

          4. The Health Guy Post author

            I hope you heal up completely from the surgery and never have another problem. In the event that isn’t the case …

            Spicy food? Depends on the food not the spice. Spices are usually good. It’s the food they are in that is most likely the problem. Fast food (junk fries, burgers, tacos, that sort of thing is asking for trouble IF you have continued problems with your pancreas. The main enemies are food and alcohol. Since you don’t drink all you have to do is watch the alcohol content that may hide in various foods (vanilla extract in baked goods, alcohol in cold and flu remedies) and fat content.

          5. Usman Shafqat Chatha

            i am also surprised to know only a very few males gets gall stones, and even fewer gets pancreatitis due to gall stones ….

          6. The Health Guy Post author

            Yep, for some reason males seem to get gallstones and gallstone pancreatitis a lot less than do females.

  7. Heather

    Hi Health Guy, hope you are keeping well. I have been keeping to your diet but am struggling to go to toilet as there is not enough fat in my diet and am also struggling to pick up weight. I did see a homeopath as you suggested regarding the calcification (chelation) and am on her meds. Any suggestions regarding the weight gain would be appreciated. Still get pain from time to time in my lower back and under the right rib but not as extreme as it used to be. Regards

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Heather – so you are seeing some improvement in the pain. That is good.

      Does your homeopath have you on edta chelation? IV or oral? If so, I am really curious to find out whether it helps you or not.

      Constipation can sometimes be an issue when the diet is extremely low in fat. Drink more water, eat more fiber. Legumes such as lentils, beans and peas are rich in fiber, protein and b vitamins. The fiber should help but – You may have to try a mild laxative but it is more important to heal that pancreas by avoiding fat than it is to be a regular, easy pooper :-) Good luck.

      Reply
  8. Tina desjardins

    Hi health guy,
    Thankyou for all the information. Here’s a question for you. I eat as you say fresh vegetables, fruits , lean chicken, white fish , beans etc., everything organic if possible. I understand that it’s very important to have fat for brain health though and that chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease greatly increases when the brain is deprived of healthy fat so I was wondering what you think about taking an omega 3 fish oil supplement. What are your thoughts on this matter?
    It would be an awful thing to have chronic pancreatitis and not be able to care properly for yourself and eat the diet you need.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Tina – Krill oil is better. Even better is to simply eat some fresh, wild Cod. Cod contains quality fish oil just not as much as oily cold water fish like salmon, trout, mackerel and sardines. I really wouldn’t worry about Alzheimer’s disease, especially if it doesn’t run in your family. If you are young, even early onset Alzheimer’s is years away whereas severe acute pancreatitis could be tomorrow with a 10% – 50% chance of death in hours or days due to infection and/or organ failure. I have a tendency to deal with the most deadly or potentially deadly threat at the time. I’ve been on the diet for what 32-33 years? I haven’t got Alzheimer’s yet but if I screw up I could have a severe acute pancreatitis attack tomorrow or the next day and be dead within a week or two or be so damaged I’d just as soon be dead. I personally worry more about pancreatic cancer than I do about Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Chronic pancreas inflammation increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. That is a death sentence marked in months but, I try not to worry about stuff that may never happen. :-)

      Reply
  9. Missy

    Now I’m confused. I read contradictory things about coconut oil. I read it a MC fat, and the pancreas is not needed to digest. Any ideas?

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Missy :-) – I know there is confusing, even dangerous info out there on the net. Everybody is an expert when it comes to pancreatitis, especially regarding diet and how to treat it successfully in a non-emergency scenario. Most haven’t had pancreatitis or they have it and are sick. Most doctors I have met don’t know it when they see it (can’t diagnose it) and even if they recognize it do not know how to stop it. Me I have it, I know how to stop it and I’m not sick. I seem to be pretty well healed up. Hopefully I won’t screw up and I’ll stay well. So …

      Here is what I think, actually know. Coconut is full of OIL. Oil is fat. Fat is bad. Fat is the enemy. ALL fat is bad, especially if your pancreas is still inflamed BUT damage also plays a factor. You may not have as much damage as me and may be able to tolerate more fat or you may have more damage and be able to tolerate less fat. Feel free to give it a go. Tell me how it works out for you. By the way I’m not trying to be rude or obnoxious. Everyone has to make their own choices. You can try it or not try it. I wouldn’t but that’s my choice. Good luck Missy, stay well. :-)

      Reply
      1. Missy

        Thank you for your comment. Apparently I got a virus a 6 years ago that caused my husbands appendix to go, and my pancreas to swell. *multiple misdiagnosis later* After an EUS, it turns out most would have healed fine. But, I have a curly duct. Now it has a stone “growing” in it. They can’t get it out with an ERCP (they tried), went to Mayo clinic. My “organic/natural” folks say that coconut oil and cinnamon can heal the pancreas. They said to use it in place of butter/oil as a better alternative. But, I got the jar it says 63%.fat!!! The EUS/ERCP says my pancreas doesn’t have much damage in terms of insulin areas. But, they did see evidence of moderate to severe attacks. It scares the heck out of me! The surgeon got all “happy” when he said yes you have a 7% greater chance of pancreatic cancer then non-chronic. :( He said chronic pancreatitis, they believe, is cancer in disguise. It doesn’t help my great grandmother died of pancreatic cancer. I see my 7 kids (11 and under and cry). Thank you for your website it gives me much encouragement. After my last attack and they kept trying to dope me up (I refused hospital treatment). I saw you said use Ibuprofen during the flair up. It worked SOOOOO much better then the Tramdol/Tylenol 3 stuff. They just made me sleepy didn’t take away that fullness feeling. THANK YOU!!!!

        Reply
        1. The Health Guy Post author

          Missy – don’t let surgeons scare you about pancreatic cancer. LONG-term inflammation found in chronic pancreatitis patients does increase the risk but it isn’t so much of an increase that you can figure you are going to get pancreatic cancer. Surgeons want to make money. They don’t make the big bucks unless they are carving on someone. Since long-term pancreas inflammation has been linked to an increased pancreatic cancer risk it only enforces the the common sense solution of eliminating the inflammation, as soon as possible and of course keeping it from coming back. That takes a proper pancreatitis diet (low in fat, mostly plant based), anti-inflammatory supplements (grape seed extract, curcumin, vitamin C) and Ibuprofen or aspirin when needed.

          I am glad Ibuprofen worked for you. You’re welcome. :-) Ibuprofen isn’t safe. It can cause high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and bleeding (ALL RARE), so use it as sparingly as possible. In my opinion, anything with Tylenol (Acetaminophen) should be avoided. Acetaminophen causes liver failure in even smaller doses and it is in so much stuff that it is easy to take to much and totally ruin the liver. It is a real toxic substance endorsed by doctors, nurses etc BUT … the truth is finally coming out. IT IS DANGEROUS and destroys livers. The problem is that Acetaminophen is a very weak pain killer for anything more than a moderate headache. It may work to reduce fever and help a little headache but it’s not a powerful anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen. The medical community thinks it is better than sliced bread but they don’t have to suffer the pain of pancreatitis and liver damage gives them another source of revenue. Yep I said that. I really do think that the whole mission of mainstream medicine is to make money – no matter what the cost. They don’t cure anything anymore – they “manage” disease and conditions. If they cure something, revenue stops. If they “manage” disease and conditions revenue flows. I personally don’t think that the medical community cares about quality of life, whether we live well or not. They don’t want us dead because revenue stops but they don’t want us well either because revenue stops. I could go on and on but I don’t want to bore you.

          Coconut, coconut oil and coconut milk all contain too much fat. As far as I know there isn’t a real good substitute for butter or cooking oil. You just need to learn to cook and live without butter and oil. Pam cooking spray, the original, claims to have ZERO fat. You could always try it and see how it goes. Stay well!

          Reply
  10. Sonda

    Wow … This info is positive and scary at the same time. My new Dr says that food doesn’t cause Pancreatitis! How are we supposed to trust these people that we give our money to? My 3rd bout of Pancreatitis this year landed me in ICU for 2 weeks. I am still trying to recover and it is very hard to trust anyone.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Sonda – Your doctor is right in one instance and wrong in another. Food doesn’t CAUSE pancreatitis originally BUT high fat content food will cause repeat attacks once damage has occurred. ONCE your pancreas has been damaged many foods with fat content become the enemy. Alcohol (can cause original pancreatitis and repeat attacks) and fat are the enemies when one has been diagnosed with pancreatitis.

      Reply
    2. Usman Shafqat Chatha

      as u know from my earlier posts i had a severe pancreatritis attack 3 months ago … been hospitalized for about a month and removed my gall bladder which was full of stones … etc .. but now my doc is bringing me back to normal diet …. i am very confused he says fatty food in less quantity will cause no problems … he also asked me i do not need to be over concerned about food … he asked me not to use grapefruit … while i have read on net every where theat grapefruit is best …. how cant i trust him? when he brought me to life when i was almost died???? by grace of GOD … i am taking some oily food in small quantity … so far no problems … got my Amylase levels checked couple of times … they are normal …. i am very confused ….

      Reply
      1. The Health Guy Post author

        I understand your confusion. I can’t help you make a decision. You have to do that. If you can tolerate some fat, great. Whatever you do I wish you good luck and better health. :-)

        Reply
  11. Jhalak Dutta

    Your website is very much help full.. i had acute pancreatitis….

    sir can i drink green tea.? it has caffeine..is it bad for me ?
    secondly can i take fruit juices ? which are found in the shops branded as “Tropikana” or “Real” etc etc….these packed fruit juices are good or bad ?

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Green tea is good stuff. It is full of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Caffeine doesn’t bother me but if you can locate decaffeinated green tea (we have it here in the states) you could use that instead if the caffeine worries you. Fruit juices should be ok. :-)

      Reply
      1. Kim

        Wow! finally someone with sense. After bouts of illness all of my life, gallbladder removal,etc. They discovered I have pancreatic divism. 4% of people with this have trouble…lucky me! This year I have been in the hospital 5 times..the last my lipase was 15,000. I have an appt. with the Cleveland clinic next month.i hope and pray they have ‘the fix’ ! Thank you for understanding what it’s like and voicing the severely of this issue. Wish me luck!

        Reply
        1. The Health Guy Post author

          Hi Kim, thanks for visiting. I wish I could tell you there’s a “fix” for pancreas divism but to my knowledge (which is limited) I don’t recall ever reading about a complete fix. BUT I do wish you luck and who knows maybe they have figured out how to rectify pancreas divism and it simply has not been published in an online format accessible to me. This site was last edited in 2012. As of that time there weren’t any quality strategies for fixing pancreas divism so think carefully before allowing a surgeon to start cutting. You could end up worse off than you are now.

          I would imagine you have done some research on your condition and know the basics or a lot more but here is on of my favorite “go to” sites for medical stuff cuz they are affiliated with med schools and the the info is used in training prospective med students. Unfortunately, after doing another search for “new” treatment regarding pancreas divism I found nothing new.

          Reply
  12. joe mtz

    I got diagnosed with acute pancreatitus in june 2014. Prior to this I had been to the ER, in April, July and december of 2013. Every time I went they made me feel like I was after pain pills which I never took before ,because I am so against pain pills. Or I was until they relieved this pain.

    during the visits to the ER All they did was take an xray and say they could’nt find anything. On one visit teh Dr said it was constipation. Then I heard him say the same thing to the patients in the two beds beside me . You know the pain I was in. I was throwing up for days . The throwing up caused my pain to go away, All I got was that its constipation. I realized that every time I went to ER they followed a protocol, doing the same thing and finishing with just a pain pill RX.

    So I went to a different ER in a major hospital and I was really happy to finally have a diagnoses. Up until then I had never heard of pancreatitis but soon read as much as I could about it.. it wasnt a diagnosisto be happy about. But at least it identified the cause of my pain and gave me a chance to manage my pain. They still dont know the root cause.

    I have stuck to your diet but i am Diabetic so on top of watching the fat I also have to watch the sugar. Its very dificult finding things I can eat. I had been managing my pancreatic pain pretty good.
    But when I went in to the ER the last time when they finally diagnosed me, I was having this great pain in my right leg . they ignored the leg and took care of the pancreatitis.So right now I have great leg pain . My pancreatic pain is down to a 2 on a scale of 1 through 10.

    I want to thank you for this post cause it gives me guidance . I Know the diet you posted has helped me manage my pain.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Joe – You’re welcome to the info. I hope you continue to improve. You may wat to get the 3 supplements as well. those coupled with diet should result in vast improvement. PLUS since you are diabetic the grape seed will help protect your eyes and posiibly other organs from the effects of diabetes. It reduces cardiovascular risk associated with diabetes. Then there’s the problem of diabetes affecting the kidneys and eyes. Grape seed seems to help with both in some studies using rats as a model.

      Reply
      1. Joe Martinez

        Thanks again .i will get the supplements
        I am using a grape seed cooking oil , it’ says no fat

        Reply
        1. The Health Guy Post author

          Hey Joe you are welcome. About that grape seed oil. No fat is interesting because it is oil and all oil contains fat. If you go to this page and look at the info on the right you’ll note that grape seed oil contains some saturated fat and a fair amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. In fact it is 97% fat. I’m not sure how one could have an oil that doesn’t contain fat. The interesting thing to note is that grape seed oil does NOT contain the beneficial flavonoids that grape seed extract contains because of the oil content (the polyphenol flavonoids are not fat soluble) and cold processing. You may want to use caution.

          Reply
          1. The Health Guy Post author

            If it is working for you Joe then that’s a good thing.

          2. Justin

            Hey guys, I bought grapeseed oil because it does say 0 fat on the bottle. I read the whole bottle at home, and there’s a chart on it that says “spray time” 1/4 second 0g fat 0 calories. 1 second spray, 1.5g fat, 15 calories, 2 second spray 3g fat, 25 calories, Crazy, isn’t it?

          3. The Health Guy Post author

            Interesting and ya crazy. Thanks for the info Justin

  13. Max

    Hi, Health Guy, thanks for the info in the article, it’s really helpful and timely for a person who was diagnosed with a chronic pancreatitis a day ago.

    I have got 3 questions:

    1) I am lifting weights in a gym, been lifting for 1.5 years now – but i had panc. attacks long before this so i don’t think it’s connected. I am using creatine as a supplementation – 5g a day – if you heard anything about it’s negative effects on your pancreas, please let me know.

    2) Also, since i am trying to make all kinds of gains, i am really interested whether i can eat the food from your list BUT high amounts of those foods – 3.5 kcalories a day for example – 300-400g of white chicken meat, and tonns of complex carbohydrates to get those 3.5 kcal – since i cant eat lots of fats. For example, my daily diet would be 400 g of wheat, barley, oats, rice, 400 g of white chicken meat and ofc some fruits/vegetables.

    3) You didn’t mention buckwheat in your list but i guess it’s also applicable

    Thanks for sharing your experience thus helping lots of people – i hope i gonna get rid of this disease and will be eligible to teach other people how to deal with it, using your and mine experince

    Cheers!
    Max

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Max – sorry to hear you have CP.

      1) Creatine supplementation alters insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis in vivo, at least it did in rats lol. Whether the same happens in humans or not has yet to be determined. I have read where there is some concern that creatine supplementation may cause kidney, liver and heart damage in high doses but that has not been proven. Other than “possibilities” with no proof it seems that prudent usage is safe. However, keep in mind there is always a possibility that it isn’t so just keep track of what happens in your particular situation.

      2) In regards to your question about amounts of safe foods. Fat and alcohol are the nemies. An unhealthy pancreas (inflamed) may not tolerate large amounts of food at one time. You’ll have to “experiment” if body building is really important to you and any experimentation could have unwated consequences. I am NOT trying to scare you, just being realistic.

      3) Buckwheat should be perfectly fine. Any grain, vegetable, legume should be fine.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  14. danny

    HI Health Guy:
    Is Fat free yogurt ok for pancreatic diet ? Can yogurt contain alcohol ?

    Thanks
    danny

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Danny – you can always give it (fat free yogurt) a shot and see how it works for you. I’m not sure if yogurt contains alcohol. Some manufacturers may use sugar alcohol as a “sweetener” but you’d have to read the label and look. Sorbitol is a common sugar alcohol.

      Reply
  15. Janine

    I can’t believe I’ve found this website! I had pancreatic attacks and CIC since 1997. Finally after being “streeted” by the local ER many many times they diagnosed me with chronic pancreatitis in 2012. Calcifications to the head of the pancreas – unknown cause. I have a huge intolerance to fats and desperately need advice on how I can take a gel capsule of vitamin d or even grape seed oil without having a pancreatic attack!

    I seem to be able to add a small amount of oil to a large amount of a tomato based veggie dish, as long as it’s mixed well into the dish. But… these fat supplements seem to cause huge pains and I don’t know what to do. My vitamin D level has dropped to a critical 8 (30-100 is best). I began taking one 1,000 IU supplement 5 times a day, per doctor, and got very sick with abdominal pains and what felt like sludge in my colon that didn’t pass for endless days.

    Oh previously mention was made to the “spray” type fats. The reason they say 0 fat per spray is simply the FDA guidelines don’t count fat under a certain amount and they assume you will only use 1 or 2 sprays. A friend of mine buys 20 bottles a week and pours it on his food, believing it’s fat free:) Not. Just gov’t rules.

    Is the food supplement “Boost” safe? I’m at the point I need to replace fat soluable nutrients. It hasn’t caused me a pancreatitis attack but I never feel well anyway lately. I’m afraid I began to try different foods about a year ago. In 2012 I ate fruits and then made a dish with Hunts diced tomatoes, zucchini, kale, 5 black olives broken up in it and finally diced pre-baked white chicken breast. That was all I ate and it seemed okay. Then again my doctor had me on Tramadol and also valium to counteract the hyperactivity the tramadol caused. Now I’m on no medication, have moved to a place where there isn’t much of a kitchen and the appliances don’t work well (I’m broke!) so I’ve been eating bread with lettuce, tomatoes and turkey breast, ham (no additives in them), a hard boiled egg since they have health benefits (especially the yolk) and Bush’s vegan beans (probably too many additives). I feel like hell now and don’t know if it’s the change in diet. I still eat fruit and broccoli and brussel sprouts, other veggies.
    Is that an unsafe diet in your experience?

    Again, how can we take a capsule of fat? Isn’t fat safer for us if it’s spread throughout a large amount of food? In other words, when a “glob” of fat leaves the stomach doesn’t the pancreas sense it and send out too much Amylase and/or Lipase? Whereas 1 gram of fat in a piece of bread isn’t going to set off the pancreas. (i do feel bread isn’t helping me feel better but I was worried about lack of the B vitamins.)

    One last note. Above, someone mentioned that his or her Amylase levels were normal. It’s my understanding that the Only Time the Lipase and Amylase levels rise is during an Acute Attack and they can and will drop to normal within 3 to 5 hours of the attack. That’s why it took so long for me to be diagnosed! By the time the ER doc saw me and blood was drawn the labs had normalized.

    Love your advice. Help please.
    Janine

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Janine – sounds like you aren’t very well. Every now and then I take a vitamin D3 suplement (1,000 IU). It is called Natures Blend and is gluten free. It’s a tablet not a gel cap. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, like A, K and E and so it does need to be taken with a meal that has at least a little fat in order for the body to absorb it. So I take it when I have some chicken or fish. I do NOT add oil to anything when I cook and I don’t use any kind of oil for “greasing” the pan or pot or to enhance flavors. OIL is always fat. Fat and alcohol are the enemies. All meals and or snacks should contain no more than 5 grams of fat, preferably polyunsaturated fat (plant fat). Adding oil to your food is not a good idea and it doesn’t take much oil to make 5 grams of fat (1 tsp or less). Obviously you need to get your vitamin D levels up. 5,000 IU is a healthy dose. Is your supplement gluten free? It is necessary to check because it doesn’t take much gluten to cause a problem. Many prescription and OTC products are NOT gluten free. Here’s a resource I use to check. Be advised not all supplements, OTC drugs and prescription drugs are listed. Sometimes I have to google the product and manufacturer to find out what is used as “binders” and “fillers.”

      I checked out Boost. The original chocolate has 4 grams of fat and should be ok for one snack or one meal. The high protein version has 6 grams of fat which is pushing the envelope. Boost Plus has 14 grams of fat in that dinky 8 oz bottle. Boost Calorie Smart has 7 grams of fat and so does Boost Glucose Control. Boost Nutrition Bars have 7 grams of fat per bar and are NOT gluten free. By the way all of the other versions have “gluten free” indications, however, all but the original version have to much fat.

      To answer your question:”I’ve been eating bread with lettuce, tomatoes and turkey breast, ham (no additives in them), a hard boiled egg since they have health benefits (especially the yolk) and Bush’s vegan beans (probably too many additives). I feel like hell now and don’t know if it’s the change in diet. I still eat fruit and broccoli and brussel sprouts, other veggies. Is that an unsafe diet in your experience?”

      Ok ready? Here we go …

      The ham has to go. Pork is one of the worst meats you can eat with pancreatitis. If the package said 150% fat free I’d never eat it. Pork, beef, lamb, duck all have way to much fat but red meat and pork just don’t work at all. Turkey breast without skin should be ok unless you bought a “basted turkey.” Those puppies are not gluten free. IF you see anything with “hydrolyzed vegetable protein” (“The manufacturing process for HVP varies depending on the desired organoleptic properties of the end product. In general common vegetable raw materials used in the production of HVP include defatted oil seeds (soy, rapeseed), and protein mainly from maize, wheat, pea and rice.”) OR you are buying it as lunch meat or from the deli. That stuff is usually “pressed” meat which is turkey all beat apart and glued back together. The glue most always contains wheat which is gonna cause you, as a celiac, problems. Sashimi (fake crab) is the same. It is full of glue made with wheat. I learned all this crap the hard way (making myself sick) and researching for hours to find out why I was sick lol. The egg yolk may be a problem too. One yolk contains 5 grams of fat. One egg equals one whole meal. Bush beans, I love’em can’t eat’em cuz they are NOT gluten free (unless they have changed) and didn’t say “gluten free” on the label. IF the label does NOT say “gluten free” it may not be no matter what someone says. I liked bush beans so much I called the company to find out. Supposedly they were going to change some things so their beans were “gluten free” BUT I have never seen “gluten free” on a Bush label.

      The fresh lettuce, tomato broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts and other veggies should e perfectly fine. Anything canned, processed, pre-cooked, deli food are always suspect for gluten (unless noted as “gluten free” on the label).

      If I missed a question yell.

      Oh heck! Disregard the stuff about celiac disease and gluten. I mistakenly thought you were another lady who has pancreatic calfication and celiac disease. The rest about fat is highly applicable. By the way I also just noticed you said you were using grape seed oil. Again grape seed oil is oil and has 5 grams of fat per tsp. It also has very little nutrient value and is not the same as grape seed extract.

      Amylase and Lipase usually take 4 – 6 hours into an attack to rise. They often stay elevated for up to 7 days. Those with chronic pancreatitis can have slightly elevated enzyme levels without an acute attack. Once the pancreas has been destroyed enough, either by acute attacks or chronic inflammation, the enzyme levels may not rise at all due to the fact the pancreas is no longer able to produce them. This is called pancreatic insufficiency. When PI occurs most patients need high doses of creon at each meal.

      Again disregard the celiac info. The fat info is mixed in with it and I don’t want to rewrite this comment so I apologize you received more info than you asked for and doesn’t even pertain to you. The good news is that the Bush Vegatarian Beans should be just fine for you! Egg yolks, ham, oil not so much lol

      Reply
  16. Wendy-Lee

    I had an attack a couple of weeks ago, and have been sticking to a liquidy sort of diet: pureed fruit (mostly pears seem to be ok) in juice, sometimes with “Boost” (is this a “no-no”?), and homemade broth with some pureed carrots and sweet potatoes. I also tried adding egg white to the broth after about 10 days, and that seems to sit well, too. I’m afraid to try anything else, and have lost 30 lbs! I had terrible pain the first few days, but now it’s just unrelenting acid that comes up my throat and nose. I’m taking metoclopramide, which is controlling the acid, but it’s a scary, scary medication that can only be taken for 12 weeks maximum; I’d love to get off of it as soon as possible. My big question is: the pancreatitis seems to be the result of some pain medications that I was taking for a kidney stone and subsequent surgery (I don’t drink alcohol, and had my gallbladder out 10 years ago) – am I going to have trouble with this the rest of my life?! Am I going to have to watch my diet this closely, or am I going to be able to go back to eating “normally” once I’m healed?? I’ve never eaten what I’d consider a high fat diet, but it was definitely higher in fat than the meal options listed here! Advice and info, please! Thanks,

    Wendy-Lee

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Wendy-Lee :-) hopefully you are feeling better by now. Original Boost is ok it has 4 grams of fat per serving but you are reaching the 5 grams fat limit per meal. The other Boost products have to much fat content coming in at 7 – 14 grams depending upon product. The home-made broth, pure vegetable is fine. If you make your broth with any kind of meat it may have to much fat. If it is beef or pork broth that is not a good thing. Chicken broth may even have to much fat.

      I don’t know if you’ll have to eat a restricted LOW fat diet forever. I don’t know your situation but if your CT scans, EUS etc showed pancreas damage you may have a whole new eating style to look forward towards. IF you have had more than one acute attack or if that attack was severe acute which usually always causes some real damage that sure isn’t a plus. I tried eating normally for awhile after I was all healed up – didn’t work out well. That probably wasn’t what you wanted to hear. You can always role the dice and test your luck. Like I said, a lot depends on how much damage you have sustained. I’m just guessing from what little you’ve said that you should get used to eating differently. It isn’t that bad. I don’t miss steak or roast or prime rib or bacon or a myriad of other things that don’t work. After a few years your desire for those foods will pass. Ok, maybe not lol

      Reply
      1. Wendy-Lee

        Hi! Thanks for your reply. I am feeling much better but am still on a liquid diet in week 3 now because my pancreatic enzymes weren’t quite back to the normal range yet. I’ve only been dealing with a GP to this point (have an appointment with a GI specialist – the only one in our small town – in 2 months!); he said that the enzyme level was supposed to be around 50 (I’m not even sure which enzyme) and mine was over 80, classifying me as a very mild pancreatic attack. At the last blood test, the level had come down to 61. I took Flagyl a couple of weeks ago, for a suspected Giardia infection, and I’ve since read that this medication can also set off pancreatitis. I tried to eat some pureed yam with broth yesterday (Dr. said to start introducing pureed foods), and although it didn’t cause any pain or discomfort, there was a bit of bloating, and I could only eat about 1/4 cup and felt very full. I’m worried that my stomach doesn’t seem to be emptying properly (which I’ve read can also be a result of a pancreatic attack??) and bowels don’t work right either, leaning toward very sluggish almost constipated bm’s. I had a CT scan done several weeks ago, when they were checking for my kidney stone, but no one mentioned any problem with my pancreas; I was also told at this point that all my “enzyme levels” were fine, so who knows what that means? Perhaps the ER doctor didn’t think that “80” was high enough to class it as pancreatitis? I really only had bad pain for about 2 days. In the meantime, I’m feeling sorry for myself because I can’t eat anything, and fretting that it might be something more serious. Not much to do, I guess, until November when I see the GI specialist. I’m already on a restricted diet because I have interstitial cystitis, so am not relishing the possibility of adding super low fat to the mix. I appreciate your comments and advice!

        Reply
        1. The Health Guy Post author

          When multiple conditions come into play it certainly does make life more challenging.

          Reply
  17. Wendy-Lee

    Oh dear …. just read all the info on this site (all of it, this time ;) ) I’m surprised at the use of onions and garlic in the veggie broth … don’t know why I thought this would be a bad idea. I will add some to my own broth, thank you very much! I’m feeling a bit down about the juicing and supplements because of the diet I must follow for my interstitial cystitis, which includes no citric acid – vitamin C supplements and grapefruit juice are a big “NO!” or cause a lot of pain and spasms. The rest, I think I could do. I still have teenagers at home, and love to cook, so this will be an interesting transition. Are spices/seasonings off limits? I’ve read that “spicy” foods are not good … what kinds of spices are ok, and which are not? What about chicken or fish “crispy style” by coating in egg white, bread or cornflakes crumbs and baking?? I’m wondering about asking to speak to a dietician, but you don’t seem to have much faith in them … what should I look for/avoid in a diet made up “for me”? I also have recurrent oxalate based kidney stones which means no spinach, beets, blueberries, and a myriad of other “good” things …. this is going to be an interesting journey for this Canadian-German, loves to cook and eat, Mama! Thanks so much for all the info here …. invaluable. Blessings.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      I’ve personally never found any spice to be a problem. In fact many are down right helpful. Ginger, curcumin, cayenne (chili powder etc), paprika, rosemary are all anti-inflammatory, black pepper (helps curcumin absorption), the rest all seem to work with no problem. There isn’t a spice that I know of that contains fat. Garlic and onion are also anti-inflammatory. Garlic in pure raw form offers antimicrobial properties as well. Raw, fresh garlic on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea cuz it can cause nausea and vomiting.

      The “coating” of chicken and fish in egg white and cornflakes may or may not be ok. I’ve never done it. I envision the chciken fat being absorbed by the coating mixture which may cause problems. You can always try it and see how it works for you.

      The only things I suggest you be wary of are fat and alcohol. Meals should contain no more than 5 grams of fat with total daily fat intake at 25 grams. A dietician will have you eating more fat in one meal than you should consume all day. Other than that I think they are great. :-)

      Reply
  18. Doreen

    I had my gallbladder out last November. In March i was hospitalized for 7 days with pancreatitis. NPO and pain meds were my only relief. I cut out alot of fat and have never drank alcohol. But apparently, i didn’t follow no fat eating wee, and this month,, i had another attack. Looking back, i believe i have had other pancreatitis attacks going back 4 years. Your blog has been helpful learning what to avoid and i am working on it. One of my great loves was peanut butter. Do you have a healthy pancreas substitute? Someone suggested almond butter. Also, i have quite a bit of a sweet tooth. What do you suggest in the way of desserts? Any suggestions are appreciated.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Doreen, sorry to hear you aren’t well. You and I have something in common. I LOVE peanut butter but it doesn’t love me lol. It has a lot of fat. Almonds have a lot of fat as well so I wouldn’t think almond butter would be much better, maybe worse. The only thing that I can say may be a safe possibility for your sweet tooth is hard rock candy if you can find it. Most deserts are full of fat (pie, cake, cookies, pudding etc). Jello should be ok. Mix in some fruit and try that. I’m not a fan of jello so I always forget to mention it. Applesauce is good. I make a killer applesauce that almost tastes like apple pie filling and has zero fat. 8 granny smith apples, peeled and cored, cut into cubes and cooked in 1/2 cup of water, with 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar, some cinnamon, a tiny dash of salt, and a dash of molasses. You can increase or decrease the water, sugar, cinnamon and molasses to taste. I let it cook for about 20 – 30 minutes until the apples are nice and tender and the sauce is thick. I leave them in chunks some folks like them smashed up so you can do whatever you like. But I warn you I can hardly keep from eating the whole batch at once lol.

      Make yourself a pumkin pie without the crust. Pumpkin pie custard. Buy some Libby’s Pumkin Pie filling. There is almost zero fat in the mix but it calls for 2 eggs and condensed milk. I substitute non fat milk for the condensed milk and 2 egg whites for the whole eggs. Bake it in a pan until done and you have a “custard” that is pretty dang good with zero fat.

      Reply
  19. Nikolai

    Hi Healthy Guy

    Thanks for sharing all the precious info on beating pancreatitis.

    It’s really confusing that the diets I’ve read on the internet say many wrong things like for example beans should be out and beef is OK.

    I want to ask two questions:

    1) If the problem with pancreatic diet is getting enough proteins, then is it safe to take protein supplements like this one (just a random pick of mine) http://www.nowfoods.com/Premium-Whey-Protein-Vanilla-1-2lb.htm ?

    2) Are hard-boiled eggs whites OK since the Internet says “No”? From your posts I get it that omelette cooked without is OK so hard-boiled should be the same

    3) Do all people with chronic pancreatitis tolerate hot spices like black pepper and chilli?

    4) Is food like canned beans, tinned white-meat fish OK for chronic pancreatitis, etc. (all tinned foods that are otherwise pancreas-friendly)? The Internet again says “NO”.

    5) Is soda or other fizzy drinks OK?

    6) Is it true that with pancreatitis you have to avoid foods with Es inside (artificial antioxidants, preservatives, emulgators, etc.)

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      You’re welcome Nikolai. Yep I understand your confusion. Most info out there, whether online or offline, is wrong. There are only two enemies, alcohol and fat. Anything that smells like alcohol probably is alcohol (alcohol hides in foods and medications) and if it tastes wonderful it is probably full of fat.

      1) Protein powder/formulas should be used with caution. Many contain oil and/or fat. Whey can be a problem for some. Make sure you check the fat content and read the label to determine where the fat comes from. Oil is not good.

      2) Hard boiled egg whites are fine. The yolks are a different story. One egg yolk has 5 grams of fat. Egg white have ZERO fat.

      3) I can’t say that ALL people with chronic pancreatitis tolerate spices like black pepper and chili powder. The minute I do someone will die from black pepper. It will actually be the steak they ate but they’ll blame the black pepper and try to sue me. Read the post on doing a proper food diary. Then after you have prepped properly start your diary and try black pepper on a batch of egg whites. See if it works for you then do the same with some other spice but … follow the directions for doing a proper food diary. That is the only way you’ll know what is safe for you and what isn’t. Spices contain ZERO fat and ZERO alcohol. They should be safe for you just like they are safe for me but who knows for sure? The food diary will take out the guess work.

      4) Depends on the canned beans. Pork and bean, NO. Vegetarian beens should be fine. Read the labels. Check the fat content. Same with the fish. Do a food diary.

      5) Soda pop should be ok. (food diary)

      6) I doubt it but the less chemicals and artifical crap you eat the better.

      Reply
          1. Nikolai

            Hi Healthy Guy

            Sorry for bothering you again.

            After some research I bought this protein supplement: http://www.nowfoods.com/EggWhite-Protein-1-2-LBS.htm
            It has close to zero fat in contrast to supplements extracted from whey or soya so it should be OK.

            I would like to ask you a couple of things though:

            1) Does protein taken in this form puts less strain on the pancreas that protein taken in the form of boiled egg whites?

            2) Given that I take Creon enzymes for malabsorption of food, should I also take Creon when drinking this protein supplement?

            3) Should the pancreatic enzymes be taken before meal, during meal or after meal?

            4) What exactly causes the loss in weight in people with chronic pancreatitis: the lack of fats in the food, the lack of sufficient proteins in the food or the lack of sufficient calories in the food?

            Thanks in advance for answering.

            Best regards

          2. The Health Guy Post author

            No bother Nikolai. Hopefully the egg white protein powder will be fine. Egg whites are fine, no fat.

            1) I doubt there is much difference except that boiled egg whites have no fat at all
            2) Follow your doctors direction
            3) Pancreatic enzymes should be taken with meals but Creon is a powerful prescription form of pancreatic enzymes so if your are asking about taking additional over-the-counter enzymes you should be asking your doctor. Creon should be all you need.
            4) All of those you mentioned plus loss of appetite, malabsorption and any vomiting and/or diarrhea that might be a problem.

  20. Nikolai

    Hi Healthy Guy

    Thanks for sharing all the precious info on beating pancreatitis.

    I would like to ask if red grapefruit is just as good as white grapefruit in terms of benefits for the pancreas?

    Best regards

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      I don’t know. Red grapefruit juice may work as well. I haven’t drank much of it. I drink the white unsweetened.

      Reply
  21. miroslav

    HI-I want to ask you if is it safe to eat salads with wine vinegar or apple vinegar?Is it safe to eat bread?

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Wine vinegar such as rice wine vinegar should be ok. I have never heard of a vinegar containing alcohol. Read the labels to be sure. Rice wine is another story. Apple cider vinegar is or should be fine. So salads with rice wine vinegar should work fine and be tasty cuz it’s kinda sweet.

      Reply
  22. davidbuntix

    Hi ,
    My dad had acute on chronic pancreatitis in Jan 2014 . He is chronic alcoholic . He was given treat ment . he is diabetic since 13 years .now he is on insulin .he still takes alcohol . unable to stop him ,did every thing . last few weeks , heis getting fever ,most of times constipation problem , some times naussea , some times loose stools like diarrhoea. alomost stopped taking any solid food .
    taking sweet lime juice and some times bread .

    what shoud I do now please give me suggestions .

    praveen s
    India

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Sorry to hear about your dad. If he won’t quit drinking there isn’t much that can be done except to enjoy the time you have with him.

      Reply
  23. Chloe

    Hi Healthy Guy

    Thank you for creating and maintaining this wonderful website.

    I have CP with calcifications.

    Since I found your website three weeks ago, I’ve been following the diet you recommend. No alcohol, no meat, no fat of any kind. I’m on juices, rusks, peas, beans, lentils, broccoli, chickpeas, spaghetti, egg whites, honey and coffee. I carefully read the labels on all products just mentioned. I’m really strict with my diet, you can believe me.

    I also take the supplements: grape seed 3x180mg, curcumin 3x667mg, vitamin C 3x1000mg.

    Still, to avoid losing weight I try to eat 5 times a day: 3 meals and 2 snacks in between. However, I try to make sure the meals/snacks are not huge. I take Kreon – 50 000 per meal, and 25 000 per snack. I have appetite but often I get some pain in the right and/or the left abdomen, sometimes in the right of the back too, ESPECIALLY in the evening. I would rate it mild to moderate, and sometimes I take Aspirin or Ibuprofen to stop that pain.

    Why the pain, given the really strict diet, the supplements, the Kreon?

    It looks like the pancreas gets upset every time I eat. Could it be that my pancreas cannot handle 3 meals and 2 snacks per day?

    I thought Kreon enzymes take some of the workload off the pancreas? Should I reduce the quantity of food taken per day?

    Please tell me what you think.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Chloe – Your curcumin and vitamin C intake should be sufficient however if it were me I’d increase the grape seed extract to 800 – 1000mgs per day and see how that does to help the pain you still experience. I am guessing the calcification may be creating the pain but it’s only a guess. It could also be that 3 meals per day and 2 snacks are simply to many meals at this time in your healing process. It could also be a combination of the two. So again if it were me I’d increase my intake of grape seed extract and cut a meal and snack to see how that worked. You may have to increase the grape seed extract even more. It’s all trial and error to see what combination of diet (meals and quantities of food) and supplement amounts it takes to realize desired results. The more damage and/or complications the more difficult it is going to be to begin healing. Now …

      About the calcification. I’ve mentioned an off-the-wall idea before in other comments to other people who also have calcification. I do NOT know if my idea will work. But there have been some rogue doctors who think outside the box using EDTA to reduce the calcification found in those who have clogged arteries. It seems to work. I’ve actually talked with paitents who have heart disease and they said it worked for them. My thought is IF it dissolves or pulls calcium out of arteries why wouldn’t it do the same thing with the calcium found in the pancreas? I have no personal experience using this idea of mine simply because I don’t have an calcification as far as I know. It’s food for thought and something you may want to check into and learn more about. I don’t know where you live but if it were me I’d try to locate an M.D. or D.O. that does chelation and talk with them about it to see what they think. I would start by contacting someone at ACAM, they train doctors to do proper chelation protocol, and ask them if there is a doctor in your area you could contact. It may be a wild goose chase but it may also turn out to be the way to resolve the pancreas calcification.

      Good luck :-)

      Reply
  24. Dan

    What thoughts do you have on the food diary and timing, when it comes to watching for trigger foods? I’ve gone low fat vegan, but still have pain spikes. If a food doesn’t agree with any of us dealing with this, would it trigger inflammation right away, or could it be delayed for hours or even days?

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Dan – foods can trigger immediate problems (within a couple hours) or take longer (24 – 48 hours) or take multiple consumptions (you may get by with one consumption but two or three make you sick). That is why the food diary (with proper prep) is so important. You can track a new food and eat it multiple times over a week period and then see what happens within that week and the next. I have found the only foods or ingredients that cause me problems personally are fat and alcohol. So to answer your question some foods may trigger immediate unwanted response but I have found those foods to be very few. Most of my acute attacks can be traced to MULTIPLE ingestions. The last attack I had (about 8/9 years ago) actually took 3 ingestions of one bad food within a week’s period. Now most folks would have blamed the beans and rice I ate the night the attack began but I in fact knew better. Neither beans or rice contain a lot of fat (a cup of beans and a cup of rice will have about 3 grams of total plant fat). The beans and rice didn’t contain alcohol. I eat beans very often because they are a great source of low fat protein. I know they are safe. Rice is also safe. So I looked for the culprit and found the turkey sausage was packed in pork casings. I should have read the label better. PORK is a very pancreas inflaming food and this taught me the hard way that even pork intestines (used for casings) are not safe.

      Reply
  25. Dan

    Thanks! Very helpful insights. That food diary, with every detail is going to be key.

    Reply
  26. Cindey

    I was recently diagnosed with AP. I’ve had two bouts so far that put me in the hospital. MRI and latest blood work don’t show any sign of AP or even healing from AP. My GI doc has sent blood work off to test for the genetic mutation that causes hereditary pancreatitis and he’s looking for a hospital that can do an EUS. EUS is going to be hard on me because of my gastric bypass 8 years ago. I’m getting ready to start the fast/cleanse/food diary you recommend doing. Now, yes, I’m looking to the future but I have a question about red meat. Is the fat content in most red meat the reason it’s not tolerated or is there something else to it? Technically venison is red meat but it is WAY leaner than beef, about 1 g of fat per oz. compared to 5 g per oz of beef. I’ve always got packs of deer in the freezer and my dad just sent me 9 pints and 2 quarts that he canned. I realize, when I get to the point of added foods, I could just try it and see but I was wanting your opinion.
    Thank you so much for your website. I’ve gotten more info from here than from any of the docs I’ve seen.

    Reply
    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Cindey, you’re welcome but you aren’t gonna like what I say which is I can’t tell you how much I miss venison and sourdough pancakes for breakfast! My grandpa used to cook me that for breakfast a lot when I was a kid and I continued eating it until I got sick. FAT content is a big thing with red meat. Venison, elk and moose have way less fat than beef or buffalo but like pork and lamb they just don’t work well for me. Now, I have to admit I have NOT tried vension, elk or moose since I dropped all red meat so I honestly don’t know if it may work for you AFTER you have totally healed up. I can tell you for a fact beef and pork did NOT work for me even after I healed. And to be honest, I’m a coward and do not have the courage to try vension, especially after my last acute attack 8 years ago that lasted 12 days and took over a month to feel half way decent again just because I missed “pork casings” on some turkey sausage.

      Reply

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