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Acute Pancreatitis: What Happens During an Acute Pancreatitis Attack?

Acute Pancreatitis: What Happens During an Acute Pancreatitis Attack?

acute pancreatitis

Let’s get down to brass tacks and talk pancreas damage from acute pancreatitis.

In order to completely understand how serious any acute pancreatitis attack actually is one must understand what happens during an acute pancreatitis attack. Now …

I am not going to go all “medical” on you and get into all the boring details. You really only need to understand ONE thing about acute pancreatitis and that is this:

What Happens To Your Pancreas

What happens to your pancreas during an acute pancreatitis attack? What happens to your pancreas during an acute attack of pancreatitis is this:

  1. Your pancreas becomes inflamed due to alcohol consumption, gall stone obstruction, high blood fats, abdominal trauma or a myriad of other reasons.
  2. The inflammation activates your pancreatic enzymes. Pancreatic enzymes are only supposed to activate when they reach your small intestine but inflammation can and does trigger early activation while the enzymes are still inside your pancreas.
  3. The enzymes eat your pancreas. Early activation from inflammation turns your pancreatic enzymes into pancreas killers. Instead of being released and activating in the small intestine and breaking down your food they are activated while still inside your pancreas and finding no food to digest they begin eating your pancreas. This process is called  lysis (dissolving) of pancreatic cells.

Not a pretty picture.

Acute pancreatitis hurts like hell, makes you sicker than you’ve most likely ever been before and may cause you to believe you just might be on your way out. People do die from acute pancreatitis with complications with mortality rates as high as 30%.

Acute Pancreatitis Pain and Damage Are Caused By Your Digestive Enzymes


Enzymes are biological molecules that catalyze or increase the rates of chemical reactions and are necessary for almost all forms of life to exist, from bacteria to humans. There are many kinds of enzymes but we are talking human digestive enzymes and …

To extremely over simplify the molecular structure of pancreatic enzymes and how they work, picture them as an ACID. Pancreatic enzymes are NOT acid but it’s an analogy to help you get the picture. So …

If you were to spill sulfuric or hydrochloric acid on your hand how long would it take before you were aware of pain and visible damage?

Not long!

Maybe seconds!

So, how long do you think it takes for activated pancreatic enzymes to begin causing damage to your pancreas?

Again NOT LONG! Yet …

Doctors seem to just “diddybop” around like it’s no big deal and they have all the time in the world while your pancreas is being inhaled by voracious enzymes. Anyway …

So while you are waiting for Dr. Brain Fart, who normally can’t diagnose strep throat with any degree of certainty without doing a throat culture, to discover the problem you are having which turns out to be acute pancreatitis what do you think is happening to your pancreas?

Did you say: “Geewhiz dude it is being damaged?”

Correctomundo keemosabi!

Your pancreas is sustaining more damage every minute that Dr. Brain Fart searches for some off-the-wall, imbecile diagnosis when all symptoms point to acute pancreatitis. I mean if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck it just might be a duck but  hey …

Let’s Visit The ER and Fill Out Forms

filling out ER admission or info forms when sick with acute pancreatitisYour first time at the ER may look something like this:

You come in sicker than a dog and the brilliant reception desk person gives you a silly form to fill out, then you wait, in pain, maybe puking. Then …

You are shuffled into some rank n file nurse’s office who wants to play 20 questions while you are doubled over in pain and puking. Finally when he or she thinks you need to be admitted to the ER you get to wait in a room for Dr. BrainFart.

When Dr. BrainFart comes in smiling (he’s tickled cuz the cute nurse in room 112 just smiled at him and said he was “lookin’ fine today”) he introduces himself and instead of looking at your sheet (the one you filled out) he instead feels the  need to check out your life history by asking questions (the answers to which he doesn’t really hear cuz he’s still thinking about NurseHot4Action). Then …

Hey Doc I Just Puked On Your New Shiny Shoes!puking-on-doctor's-shoes - acute pancreatitis

He asks about symptoms (he can’t see you are leaning forward, sweating and panting like a dog because of extreme pain and the fact you just puked on his shoes doesn’t tell him you have nausea and vomiting). Then …

He wipes off his shoes and asks you to lie on the bed (you can’t even sit still cuz of pain but he wants you to lie down which normally makes the pain even worse) and begins to poke and prod asking the intelligent question “does this hurt?” 

When he’s done poking and prodding you immediately scoot back up onto the edge of the bed and lean forward to help ease the pain, which is a losing battle. Then …

More questions from Dr. Brain Fart (he doesn’t pick up on the clue – you aren’t able to keep lying down and instead lean forward to help ease the pain and he completely misses or dismisses the part about the pain stabbing into your back) and he maybe orders a blood draw for a CBC series. Then …

He leaves for a while to check out Nurse Hot4Action, maybe play a quick game of “slap and tickle” and wait for the blood draw results. The blood draw results come back fairly normal with slightly elevated white blood cells and liver enzymes but nothing else and …

Since he doesn’t have the faintest clue as to what’s wrong with you (he partied and slept through med school and paid his brainiac dorm roommate to do his work and take his exams) he never does check your amylase or lipase levels which would most likely indicate acute pancreatitis. But …


Dr. Brain Fart does experience an epiphany!

Ah ha! He gets it! You are a druggie in “withdrawals” looking for a fix!

For one short moment he was considering some pain and nausea medication to help relieve your discomfort (gross understatement) while he consulted with 10 of his colleagues (because he doesn’t have a clue what is wrong with you) but …


You said you weren’t an alcoholic so you must be a drug user! And …

Since it is almost time for him and NurseHot4Action to end their shift he does what?

The intelligent Dr. Brain Fart conjures up a cool story about “gastritis” and the possibility you ate something bad and the moron releases you with directions to come back if the situation doesn’t improve. Now …

What exactly is happening to your pancreas while this moron, Dr. BrainFart, diagnoses you incorrectly and fiddles around with NurseHot4Action?

It is being destroyed by its own pancreatic enzymes!

You go home, in agony, and wait for your pancreas to quit eating itself while Dr. Brain Fart gets laid! And …

Since you are sicker than a dog you instinctively don’t eat and you are extremely lucky and the acute pancreatitis finally resolves on its own but …

The DAMAGE is done!

diagnosing-acute pancreatitis

It may not be seen on a CT scan but any moron would know that a pancreas subjected to being eaten for HOURS by its own enzymes is damaged! And …

What exactly does this mean to you?

It COULD mean that within a short time you will most likely experience another acute pancreatitis attack, sustain more pancreas damage, that will most likely lead to chronic pancreatitis which will likely entail more acute pancreatitis attacks!

Hopefully the second time you experience an acute pancreatitis attack you’ll get someone other than Dr. Brain Fart, someone who didn’t sleep through medical school, for an attending ER physician, and he or she will diagnose you correctly.

I hope for your sake that you do not experience a severe form of acute pancreatitis the second time, that you do get diagnosed in time to hopefully prevent disabling surgeries and damage. Heck, I hope you were diagnosed correctly the first time and the acute pancreatitis was quickly resolved and you are pretty much ok but that isn’t likely the case if you are reading this now.

It took me seven (7) ER visits and 14 doctors to get a proper diagnosis of acute pancreatitis. I heard every “brain fart” diagnosis from gastritis, food poisoning, ulcer, spastic colon to flat-out hypochondria.

13 idiots and one very intelligent, good doctor.

I hope your experience is much better, heck, I hope you never experience pancreatitis EVER! But …

alien not acute pancreatitis
Alien not pancreatitis

Chances are if you are reading this post you have been inducted into the pancreatitis hall of pain and for that I am truly sorry and I sincerely hope you are able to achieve becoming pain-free so that you live a fairly normal life. But …

What I have tried to explain (maybe without success) is that the sooner you address the inflammation and STOP the acute pancreatitis attack, the less damage you will sustain. Unfortunately you will sustain damage no matter what happens. Any acute attack of pancreatitis is going to cause damaged tissue. Hopefully you will not be one of those who are really unlucky.

In summary: When you have an acute pancreatitis attack the most important strategy is to STOP the acute pancreatitis attack as quickly as possible by reducing or stopping the pancreas inflammation because …


acute pancreatitis-Pancreatitis-painAccording to the orthodox medical profession most people who have one mild attack that resolves quickly do not have recurrent attacks or complications. Yet they also mention that the discomfort can range from mild to severe.

I quote: “It may range from mild discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. Most people with acute pancreatitis recover completely after getting the right treatment.”[1]

I’ve personally never experienced “mild” discomfort with acute pancreatitis. The pain usually feel like an alien trying to eat through and breakout of your gut.

I would suggest if this is your first visit to my blog that you invest all the time you need to learn how to live with pancreatitis, more importantly, learn to beat pancreatitis and keep from incurring more pancreas damage.

I hope you have a pain-free day!



1 – What Is Pancreatitis (WebMD)


207 thoughts on “Acute Pancreatitis: What Happens During an Acute Pancreatitis Attack?

  1. I’m grateful for finding this site! I’ve been suffering for 6 years with severe pain and nausea. Doctors don’t seem to be able to diagnose. My story sounds so similar to yours it made me weep. The first time I had an acute attack I was so ill .. Back pain, nausea, chills, bounding heart rate and headache. I couldn’t eat a thing. I went to ER and they basically told me to wait for an ultrasound.. They looked at me as if I was there drug seeking ..I know because I’m a nurse! I know only too well, how health “professionals” judge. Enzymes were not checked. The only way to control it was not to eat or drink ..even water made the pain worse. Since then I have had only short periods of being pain free. Six years and mostly I’ve waited for tests that show nothing. Normal CT, normal MRCP. My GI specialist would suggest that it’s stress and that I am depressed! Damn rights I am ! So would anyone be if they had this type of pain daily. This is our Canadian health care .. Wait wait and wait. I asked for a second opinion ..he thinks it’s chronic pancreatitis.. I had an EUS which was inconclusive .. Now waiting for a repeat MRCP .. To rule out pancreatic divisum .. If this is inconclusive .. I don’t know what to do next. I will travel to the US..any suggestions? I will try your diet and supplements in the meantime.

    1. Hi Jean – It is nothing short of maddening when you are sick and the medical pros do nothing. I have seen this so many times it simply makes me wonder how anyone ever receives proper care. Since you are a nurse you’d think they would pay more attention but sadly it sounds like it wasn’t much help. I hope you persevere towards reaching a diagnosis because as you well know that isn’t just a small technicality. The ONLY suggestion I have is to speak with the doctor who thinks it may be chronic pancreatitis and have him agree to meet you in the ER during your next attack so he can guide the team and ensure the proper blood tests are done at the proper time. A brain that is able to use common sense along with elevated amylase and lipase levels are still the hallmark diagnosis tool of acute/chronic pancreatitis. Especially acute. CT is the gold standard for confirmation (damage, necrosis etc) yet isn’t 100%. Minimal change chronic pancreatitis is becoming more recognized. If you haven’t heard of it google it and ask your doc if he/she is familiar. Ask for his/her thoughts on scoring for minimal change CP to learn if they truly know what it is and how it is currently scored. Just suggestions, thoughts, you may have already thought of doing or have done. Hang in there, good luck 🙂

      1. For 27 months now I have been blaming the useless doctor who nearly cost me my life due to not recognizing all the signs described in your article here and telling me to come back tomorrow if it had not got better. I had never called her to the house before and could not get up from the floor, dripping with sweat curled over and having vomited with diarrhoea too, the pain was excruciating. My husband helped me up from the floor and as I tried to walk through to the other room, but legs began to give under me. She said “For God’s sake Sandra don’t go down again, we have only just got you up!” She decided against giving me morphine. I don’t know how I got through that day and the night, my husband drove me to the surgery the following day. She seemed to realise it was beyond her abilities finally contacted the ferry service to book my vehicle on, when she could have called for a helicopter. My poor husband had to cope with everything spending a night away from home with a dog and a sick wife meant. The surgeon at the hospital when I arrived there (the ferry journey takes an hour and a half), looked very serious and immediately diagnosed Severe Pancreatitis. Two days later I was flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, I was not expected to survive. I spent 148 days in ICU, had four drain sites in total plus one to drain from my lungs. Emergency wash outs and one time a procedure to try to discover where the internal bleeding was coming from and sort it.I was advised to say my goodbyes every time , even the nurse was crying. I spent 8 months in hospital, had to learn to walk again because all my muscle had gone. Trying to build muscle while enduring extreme pain , it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I have only 5% of my pancreas left. When I left hospital I was using a zimmer frame, all my hair fell out, the awful diarrhoea. I am unable to work, but have an assessment coming up from the government. I was advised by our Citizens advice to ask the doctor for a supporting letter detailing my current health conditions but he (different one this time) declined saying let’s see what they say at the assessment first. I am frightened and feel degraded, the assessors get rewarded for every person they get back into work. With the Post Traumatic Stress I feel, I know I have nothing left to defend myself. Thank you for this site and all your advice xx

        1. Hi Sandra – It sounds like you have been to hell and back. I’m guessing that you are still very unwell. I don’t know what to say except thank you for sharing your experience. I will pray for you. I wish I could do more.

        2. Wow just wow soo sooo scary!! poor thing. Hope your feeling somewhat ok. What causes all this?……why arn’t doctors onto it pronto??

  2. I don’t usually write feedback on sites. Thank you so much for describing my experience so accurately. I was lucky enough that on my first acute episode they actually did have ONE doctor who eventually did treat me for pancreatis. However, on my third hospital visit, despite all evidence to the contrary, I got the full treatment – starting with me being a druggo wanting a fix, to my entire life history suggesting I needed the psyche ward. I felt so angry, degraded and hopeless until I finally just left the hospital after being told to fill out the psyche sheet (they had decided it was all in my head). Your site gives me validation which others cannot understand unless they have been there. I so agree with your description of “doctors” and can only add my own further observations that these psychopaths are 95% ego and 5% asshole.

    1. Therese I am saddened that you had to find out the same thing I did. Most doctors suck at diagnosing, especially pancreatitis. They may be book smart or at least intelligent enough to get through pre-med and med school but when they hit the ER or set up their private “practice” they turn into “barber hair.” I hope you have better success in the future.

    2. My most recent adventure landed me in an ambulance, and then the hospital. The ambulance guys couldn’t do enough for me, very kind, put some Fentanyl in my IV. When they triaged me in the ER, they gave me something for pain (which they did not tell me what it was). When I asked Nurse “pissed off because she actually had to do something” when the med would kick in, she scowled at me and said it should have already. I told her that what she gave me didn’t even put a dent in the pain, she told me she had to ask the Dr. Drug seeking, really? Yes I paid for an ambulance ride and 14 days (half of them in a coma), just to get some drugs. Please. I wish there was a simulator for medical people so they could feel how bad it hurts.

      1. Geez Laurie that doesn’t sound fun at all. And I totally agree. Medical personell should have a “disease and condition simulator” and I’d like to be in charge. 🙂 Ok, I know it might be rude but I just have to ask because I am extremely curious … You were in a Coma? Please, what was that like? Do you remember anything while in a coma? Could you hear? Were you aware of anything happening around you? If you don’t answer I’ll understand. I am just really nosey. Hopefully this last adventure you mentioned wasn’t recently and you are feeling better.

      2. I just went thru the same I went by the ambulance for the first time usually I drive myself or have some one take me and yes the nurse at hospital gave me 1st of morphine it did
        Not touch the pain I told her the only thing that helps is dilatation wrong thing to say I guess cut it took them 3 hrs to finally give me 1 MG but that didn’t touch the pain finally called my doctor he said give her MG of dilatation every z hrs they did not like that this is my 8 th visit in the last year , why do they always think u are a alcoholic or a druggie ? I would rather be dead then go thru what I went thru last time April 5th thru the 13th I was there just had a endoscopy says I have damage to the head of my pancreas and damage to tail but that’s all he said oh yeah and quit smoking how the hell could I try doing that with this going on the only thing I have been eating is pudding and yogurt if I try anything else the stomach blows up and I look like I’m 9 months pregnant and the pain so I am afraid to ear I live in indiana going to try and go to a mayo clinic some where I have been dealing with this for 13 -yes I’m tired and scared and I need answers if you have any advice please

        1. I also live in Indiana. I’m in the Clark co. Part and the doctors are complete Assholes! Always thinking people are seeking drugs. When clearly I look as if I’m about to die or the exorcist!! They gave me Stadol.. Didn’t touch the pain then another worse of it and Nothing. Then gave me Morphine. Still nothing. Finally I had to tell them the only thing that helps is dilaudid. They even write that I specifically asked for this medication and I knew that it worked from the first time I was in the ER with the same exact thing.

    1. Ibuprofen. 800 mgs at once. You can buy Ibuprofen over the counter as Ibuprofen, Advil or Motrin. It usually comes in 200 mg tabs so that would be 4 tabs to make 800 mgs. Ibuprofen coupled with 200 – 400 mgs of grape seed, 500 mgs of curcumin and 1000 mgs of vit c is a killer cocktail and works a bit better than just the Ibuprofen BUT the Ibuprofen should nail it in most cases within 60 – 90 minutes. If nausea and vomiting are a problem 25 – 50 mgs of phenergan (promethazine) suppositories will usually stop the nausea and vomiting so that the Ibuprofen stays down. If you don’t have phenergan call your doc and get a script. Compazine (prochlorperazine) suppositories should work as well, maybe better. Once you have it under control – no food. Nothing by mouth but water and grape seed, curcumin and vitc c for 3 – 4 days or until symptoms completely resolve. Then vegetable juice. Preferably organic home made vegetable juice but if you do not have a juicer low sodium V8 works. If you have no symptoms after 2 – 3 days on juice you could try some steamed veggies and rice. NO FAT or OIL (butter, margarine etc). Use salt and pepper for flavor. Find my posts on diet and how to do a food diary. Keep taking the grape seed, curcumin and vit C. You’ll have to experiment with doses of grape seed, curcumin and C. Most people need a lot to get good results. Once healed up (can take 6 months to a year) you can taper off to smaller doses. Good luck.

      1. My wife has it Bad … They want to remove the tail part of her pancreas. Is that a good idea? What is life like after something like that?

        1. Hi Michael – I apologize I am just now getting back to you and I am sorry to hear your wife is having such a rough time. Michael I can’t answer your question intelligently. I haven’t had surgery and hope I never have to have it. There is a forum on this site (several different forums) and even though it is very new you might get an answer from someone who stalks my site. You might also check with others who are members of support groups. Facebook has several and there are others online. Just google pancreatitis + support group and see what pops up. From what I am reading (scholar type articles) they do not do as much surgery now as they used to so if they are suggesting surgery there must be a reason. Have a heart-to-heart with the surgeon and ask him/her all the questions you need to ask. The only suggestion I have is to ask why, what, when, etc and make sure they are skilled in regards to pancreas surgery.

      2. Please note that Ibuprofen taken as a regular ” pain reliever ” is very damaging to your stomach and in some instances can worsen the Pancreatic Attack. I’ve gone through this 10 years ago and it did take the “newbie” doc 18 hours to figure out the blood and bile spewing from my mouth was a Pancreatic Attack. Spent 7 days in ICU. Thier brilliant suggestion “quit the alcohol” Are you kidding me? Maybe the diagnosis of End Stage Liver Failure should have clued them in. Contracting Hep B and C from By-pass surgery in the early nineties sucks. Tonight I feel all the symptoms coming on. I googled and came across this site. Thought I would chime in a few pearls of wisdom before calling the Ambulance!

        1. Hi Colette – I have already told people what I do (800 – 1,000 mg in one dose only for acute pancreatitis) and that Ibuprofen is not safe for long-term use (heart attack, high blood pressure, bleeding risk) and should only be taken when absolutely needed to resolve initial inflammation. I can find no documented evidence of Ibuprofen making pancreatitis worse and only one case of acute pancreatitis probably caused by Ibuprofen and that was a result of intentional over dose, I quote: “He reported that five hours prior to the onset of symptoms, he had ingested seven tablets of ibuprofen 400 mg (equivalent to a 51.4 mg/kg bolus) in an attempt at deliberate self harm.” Read the whole story here. If one has end stage liver failure almost anything could be detrimental.

      3. Hi there, I. So glad I came a crossed your posts! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched for other people who have experienced the same thing as me. I am litterly scared to leave my house or be left alone feeling this may happen for the 3rd time. Idk what to do. The only thing they have said is a low fat diet. He feels my bulimia may be causing it, but I’ve had bulimia for 9 years and NEVER had this. And now in 3 months I’ve had 2 attacks.

        1. Jennifer I have never heard of bulimia causing acute pancreatitis so I did some preliminary investigation and found some interesting articles by scholars. Here is one such article that describes the problem as malnutrition in the case of a 26 year old female. It is NOT the only article so there is evidence that suggests bulimia, especially long-term bulimia causing starvation does indeed look like a possible cause. You may want to address that issue and begin eating more chow. Good quality low fat chow. Not junk food.

          Here is a short version of the original article published by the NIH.

          Here is another where a 19 year old female died due to acute pancreatitis caused by bulimia.

          Jennifer I am NOT trying to scare you but you may want to seriously consider changing your eating habits.

          1. Thanks? this really helps out a lot. I suspected that the bulimia was it culprit in this

  3. I found your site a couple of days ago. I feel like an idiot because when my acute pancreatitis attack started I kept telling myself that I had indigestion and that it would go away. Finally, I hate to admit the truth, I went to the ER after 30 hours. 30 hours of my pancreas being eaten by my own digestive enzymes! This was 6 weeks ago. Fortunately, I WAS diagnosed with acute pancreatitis that night. But the next day I was sent home with all of these prescriptions and told to eat only a fluid diet for several days and then continue with low fat. Here’s the kicker though. The doctors at the hospital deduced from my history that the acute inflammation was CAUSED by heavy ibuprofen use. My PCP disagreed, but didn’t really give me much to go on in terms of how to live my life post-pancreatitis attack. What really blew me away was how exhausted I was. Still, I can be doing fine for a few hours and then I feel like I am going to drop. I have to completely change my life and I really didn’t know where to begin. I do like to eat. Who doesn’t? I have been considering getting a juicer and starting with that. I wasn’t sure what vegetables would be the best to fight inflammation. Thank you for the information you have supplied. I am going to buy one this week.

    1. Hi Jody – sorry you aren’t well. Just for giggles and grins I went to and used the key words “ibuprofen causing pancreatitis” and got nothing. “ibuprofen caused pancreatitis” revealed one finding that did NOT mention Ibuprofen as a cause of pancreatitis. I believe, since the article abstract was actually about something totally different but happened to mention both acute pancreatitis and ibuprofen in a totally different context than that of causation of pancreatitis, the probability of Ibuprofen being the cause of your pancreatitis is somewhat low, even non-existent, BUT … it could have been Aliens? Just kidding 🙂 Then again you said you have a history of heavy ibuprofen use. What exactly is heavy? I mean 1500 – 3200 mgs per day is used by some people with arthritis – THAT kind of long-term daily usage of any powerful drug could harm organs. I suspect that even a daily consumption of 200 mgs 3 – 4 times per day, long-term would not be something i’d want to do. I’d be more worried about the increased risk of heart attack, kidney damage and liver damage with long-term, high dose usage. Anyway … 800 mgs of of ibuprofen knocked out MOST of my acute pancreatitis attacks in 60 – 90 minutes. A few tooks multiple doses to end the sieges. BUT I have never taken tons of ibuprofen long-term.

      Pancreatitis does create changes. Lifestyle changes (food, drink, activities, etc). You may be washed-out for a time. You may not have as much stamina. If everything goes well and you take care of yourself properly you should regain your old self but your diet may not be what you’d like. Good luck 🙂

      1. Thanks for researching the ibuprofen connection. I think it’s a reach. However, it would be nice to know what actually caused the attack. My ibuprofen usage varied over time from nothing for several days, to 800 mg/day, to an occasional period of 1600-2400 mg/day when I had a lot of pain. That was the highest amount I used and it didn’t last a long time.
        The good news is that I have been following your advice. I got the white unsweetend grapefruit juice, the curcumin and the grape seed extract. I have been juicing the recipe that you wrote about that is high in anti-inflammmatory ingredients. I am feeling better, but I certainly was not before I found your site. I am so thankful that you are doing this because the medical community has their head in the sand about this as far asI can tell.
        What continues to surprise me is when I get so exhausted so suddenly after exerting what I consider to be a norman amount of energy. Is all of that energy going to the healing process? Or, is it the illness process?

        1. Hey Jody! Great news! You are feeling better! I LIKE that kind of news. 🙂 Acute pancreatitis takes a lot out of a person, even a mild attack so it will be a while until you don’t have that exhausted feeling. Just keep doing what you are doing until you feel really hungry and well enough to eat some solid food. Then go slow with vegan foods that contain no fat. Egg whites (scrambled without oil or butter or margarine), beans and lentils will give you needed protein. You can also hard boil eggs and scoop out the yolk then just eat the whites. Veggies, rice, bulgar (wheat kernals) and oats. Another food that is full of protein and very low in fat is shrimp. One cup of canned shrimp provides 26 grams of protein with only about 2 grams of fat. I like to mix shrimp and egg whites (egg whites have zero fat and no cholesterol) for a power packed breakfast. You can scramble them together with some onion and have a nice low fat breakfast packed with protein, omega 3’s, some B12 and more. Or you can make an egg white and shrimp omlette. Watch the fat content. Each meal should have no more than 5 grams of fat content with a total fat intake of 25 grams or less per day including any snacks.

          1. Keep sending out the recipes! I am so grateful to have real guidance during this process of completely changing what I eat. After I started juicing and eating light salads I was feeling pretty good. The last couple of days were not so great and I am sure that I know why so no need to dwell. I have been wanting to ask you if you know how the unsweetend grapefruit juice works? It seems to work. Last night I went to bed not feeling well. I finally got up and drank about 3 oz. of juice and my gut stopped hurting. Why is that?
            I am so glad to know that shrimp is okay. I had been wondering about that lately. What do you think of almond milk? I looked at the nutrition info on the side of a container at the store. It is 2.5 g of fat/cup. Also, do you know anything about MCT oil? Supposedly, as a medium chain triglyceride, it bypasses the pancreas.

          2. Hi Jody – I am not able to explain why white unsweetened grapefruit juice works because I am really not sure. I think it’s the polyphenol that is specific to grapefruit called naringenin. All I know is that according to that research (the link I gave you) it protects the pancreas in rats and seems to do the same in humans.

            Almond milk may or may not work. I haven’t used it so I don’t know. How does it affect you? Have you tried it?

            I checked out MCT oil at one time because someone asked me about it and to be honest I can’t remember what I read lol. So no, I don’t know a dang thing about it. It didn’t stick in my brain.

  4. Hi, I’ve been searching for 7 years now! I had an episode back then, and always been with the pain on my side, sometimes stronger sometimes weaker. I know when you explain about doctors from A&E( they are the same in Spain, Barcelona) they didn’t find nothing, they thought I was a druggie..Now I’m in England, I have been having loads of problems in the past few months, getting worst every day, to the point that I think I’m celliac as well

    1. Hi Tereina 🙂 – 7 years is a long time to be sick without a diagnosis? However I know what that is like. Hopefully you have something that can be easily managed or cured instead of pancreatitis or celiac disease or both. I hope you find out what the problem is so it can be addressed. Good luck.

      1. Hi Health Guy, well I got some results back. They have found the walls of my stomack enlarged, a fatty liver(I don’t drink), High cholesterol and a kidney stone on left one. They keep not checking the pancreas! I have to say that my mum died of cirrhosis (not drinker)..what do you think?

        1. Hi Tereina – I don’t think. I try to avoid thinking cuz it is hard on my one active brain cell. 🙂 I take it they must have done a CT scan? They found some stuff didn’t they? Kidney stone, fatty liver and an enlarged stomach. I’d be concerned with the stomach and liver and be asking the doctor “what’s next?” and “Do you know why and or what is causing these two problems?” And “Are they related in some way?” And “Is either a precursor of some other condition that may be or become life threatening?” And “By the way what about the kidney stone?”

  5. I would like to know what tests shall I ask the doctor, you mentioned a special blood test? Vitamins? I’m desperate, I have a 3 year old, and I feel useless, I need to go to the point. Thanks

    1. If you are asking about blood work for celiac disease there are many screening blood tests for celiac disease but the most sensitive and commonly used, whether symptoms are present or not, is the tTG-IgA test. Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies (tTG-IgA) – The tTG-IgA test will be positive in about 98% of patients with celiac disease who are on a normal gluten-containing diet.

  6. Acute pancreatitis 10 yrs ago. Gallstones in common bile duct. It passed and six weeks later took gallbladder. Has been great 10 years but certain foods from time to time do quickly upset stomach. 4 months ago, began getting sick feeling weekly (memories similar to 10 years ago) finally hit ER and stayed 4 days. Lipase and other levels elevated but not high. CT scan shows blood clot in Portal Vein. Obviously, they can’t determine how long it’s been there. Treated me for Portal Vein Thrombosis- blood thinners for 90 days and low fat diet. New CT scan shows blood clot still in place but pancreas totally healed. Now feeling the nausea again when regular diet was introduced……Your Thoughts? (My Gastro did say about pancreatitis= once a member ALWAYS a member)

    1. Hi Marty – Wow I’ve never heard of a portal vein thrombosis before. Sounds interesting, not fun but very interesting. Your GI seems to know the truth (once = always) about most pancreatitis patients. I’d suggest two things. One, go back on the low fat diet and be very careful of what you eat. Two, ask your GI if there is any reason you shouldn’t take grape seed extract, curcumin and vit C (that cocktail in appropriate amounts works something close to a miracle) and follow what your doc says about treating that thrombosis. There must be some non surgical way to dissolve it in time. It can’t be doing any good for your pancreas. You may find this to be a good read. If it were me I’d be doing a bunch of research on how to dissolve that clot. Good luck to you. I hope you and your doc are able to resolve your blood clot issue.

  7. Hey there healh guy,god i thougth i was alone with that probem,the 9th novembre of this year i am celebrating my 25 year as a A-A member.The reason i qwitted drinking was i was having accute pancraitis pain that the booze did not pushed away anymore.But during my non drinking days i experience pain on occasion after 10 years of fat pork products,then after it calmed down .But on the 7th of septembre of this year i ate some cheap butchers choice ittalian saussage from maxi ,there where so fat ,even on low heat on the BBQ they whould flame like they were made of gassoline.I was in very bad pain ,when’t on internet and saw that ADVIL migth work and it did.Even the daugther in law witch had some morphine because of the same type of pain,she gave me some and it did not work.So i took one advil 3 hours later ,15 minutes laterI i was crying because the pain was gone.It’s guys like you that stops us from rotting the hospitals waiting .And in quebec you better bring a slepping bag to sleep on the floor because it’s so long before you get taken care of…Thanks allot YVES P.S excuse my english

    1. Hi YVES – Congrats on your success at kicking alcohol! Great job! I know that must be a challenge. Thanks for telling your story, your kind words and don’t worry about your English. I don’t speak it great my self and you are way ahead of me because I don’t speak another language like French as you do. So no worries!

  8. Hi Health Guy,

    I have been reading over your site in small increments for the past few months, and I feel compelled to share my story in the event it may help anyone, or I may be helped.
    21 years ago after having my first child, I was diagnosed with a mild form of congenital spherocytosis. (Confirmed by a blood test.) Sphereocytosis is a blood disease in which your red blood cells are sphere shaped rather than round. As a result, my platelets always ran under the minimum since the blood cells would get caught in my spleen and not make it out the other end as platelets due to their sphere shape. I also had an enlarged spleen about 3x the normal size. I was told if I made it to 40 without getting jaundice, I would likely never need my spleen removed. I was also told the blood disease makes me a sitting duck for gallbladder disease.

    In October of 2014 I went for a 45 minute walk and then went to work on the computer. (I had been walking 45 minutes at least 4 times a week for the past year.) While working from home on the computer, I felt hungry, so I decided to eat a greek yogurt and a banana for lunch while working. The yogurt went down fine, but then after eating the banana, I got a sudden sharp pain right in the solar plexus. It came on suddenly, and I wondered if I was having a heart attack. It was necessary for me to pick my son up from school, and as I was driving to get him, I started having severe pain in the middle of my back. When we got home I told my son I felt very sick and was going to try to lie down. The boring pain between my ribs and my back progressively worsened.

    When my husband came home, I told him what had occurred, and that I wasn’t feeling well. At that time, I started having abdominal pain in addition to the back and pain between the ribs. He said maybe it is the start of stomach flu because my stomach was making all kinds of loud noises to such a high degree that has never happened before. I wasn’t nauseous, or vomiting, nor did I have the diarrhea.

    The next morning when I woke up, my husband said I looked very sick, and he was extremely worried. He wanted to take me to the hospital, but I refused since we have terrible medical insurance, and I was worried about the cost. My husband refused to go to work because he was so worried and said he has never seen me like that before. I finally agreed to let him take me to urgent care. The nurse practitioner said I may have pancreatitis, and she took some blood and said she would call me in the morning with results. If my condition worsened, she instructed me to go immediately to the ER.

    The next morning when I got up, I was very, very, very sick. I called the urgent care, and they said my blood work showed very high lipase levels (1489) and that I needed to immediately go to the ER. I made my husband stop at the urgent care to get a copy of my lab slip (he got made because he wanted me to go directly to the hospital). When I got to the ER, they rushed me in a room and a doctor came in right away. They put me on IV pain meds, and sent me for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, he said he thought he saw a gallstone stuck in the common bile duct, and sent me for a ct scan to confirm. He said the ct scan showed a bulge in the common bile duct which most certainly means there is a stone lodged in the duct like he suspected, and said I was going to be admitted and have endoscopic surgery the next day to remove the stone.

    Later that evening, the GI doctor came in and said that he did not see a stone in the common bile duct, but based on my sphereocytosis, he was 99.9% sure that my gallbladder was full of stones and that the next day if my lipase was lower, I could be discharged, but would have to have a HIDA scan on my gallbladder the next week. (My dad had his gallbladder out at about my age, and the GI doc said there is often a family history link to gallbladder disease.)

    I went into the hospital on Saturday morning, was released Sunday afternoon, and had a HIDA scan on Tuesday. When I saw the GI doctor on Friday, he told me my ejection fraction rate was only 3%, which is the worst he has ever seen in his 26 years of practice. He said he didn’t know how I could even be walking around with a gallbladder that sick. I went and had a consult with the surgeon that day, and was scheduled for surgery the next Thursday.

    The surgery went smoothly, and I felt really good all things considered. Surgeon said that I had no dietary restrictions, and I could go back to eating anything I wanted. The pathology showed my gallbladder was chock full of stones. So many stones, that there was no room between them.

    Thinking everything was going to be hunky dory, I went back to eating thinking I would be fine. Nope. Wrong. Every time I ate, the pain in my back was like someone ran up and punched me as hard as they could in the middle of the back. It was so debilitating, and I felt so incredibly sick. I went back to the hospital because I felt just like I did upon having the initial attack. My lipase was still elevated, but hey said that was normal because it was only 4 days post surgery. The next day, I went back to see the surgeon, and told him I was having terrible abdominal pain and that horrible back pain just from drinking water.

    He sent me for a MRI. The MRI came back saying I had a “dilated pancreatic duct”, but other than that my pancreas was perfectly fine. No swelling, no cysts, no inflammation. Since I had pigmented stones (common for sphereocytosis patients) the surgeon said that sludge and small stones may have become washed into my pancreas when the stone was stuck in my common bile duct. He told me I needed a ERCP. The GI doc I saw in the hospital does not perform ERCP’s, so my primary care doctor gave me a referral to a different GI.

    When I went to see the GI, he said before doing a ERCP, he wanted to do an endoscopic ultrasound first since it is less invasive and does not carry the same risk of pancreatitis as the ERCP. So, I went under anesthesia, and when I woke up, my doctor told me that he is 99.9% sure that he saw a birth defect called pancreatic divisum. Because of the divisum, he did NOT perform the ERCP, and instead, referred me to a specialist at Stanford. (I live about 25 minutes from Stanford) . He felt that the specialist would recommend I have a sphincterotomy. He also said that the MRI should have shown my divisum, and said he was going to talk to the radiologist and ask him to reevaluate my MRI, since he felt the radiologist made a mistake. (That is what happened. The radiologist sent my surgeon an addendum stating that he reevaluated my MRI, and that I have divisum.)

    At this point, I had lost almost 30 pounds, had non stop boring pain in the middle of my back, and felt sick every time I ate anything. I was even having trouble sleeping on my left side because it hurt and felt uncomfortable under my left rib cage. So my new GI gave me a rx for creon, and told me to take 2 with every meal. My insurance doesn’t cover it, so I have to pay $220 every month out of pocket which is criminal, but that’s another story. This was all 4 days before Thanksgiving of 2014.. The enzymes really helped me so very much, and I was able to tolerate small portions of healthy food. I have been a vegetarian for 28 years now, so I think I eat fairly well.

    The specialist at Stanford spent about 1.5 hours talking with me about my condition. He told me that he does not think I should have surgery because it ultimately has a very high fail rate. It may help for a few months, but then the majority of patients are right back where they started or worse within the first year. Long story short, he said if I was his sister, he would recommend I control my symptoms with a low fat diet. He said when I have an attack come on, I should immediately take 1 pain pill, then nothing by mouth for 12 hours. Then after 12 hours, to begin a liquid diet for 3 days, then slowly introduce healthy foods in small portions. He said he took an oath to do no harm, and that he feels having a spincterotomy could do more harm than good. He said he would probably never have prescribed the creon enzymes, but since they are working for me, I should keep taking them.

    All in all, since October 2014, I have lost 29 pounds. I am a 5’8” woman that weighed 187, now I weight 158. I went from the low obsese range, to the normal range in 4 weeks. Butter, margarine and olive oil totally set me off. I completely quit drinking alcohol since this all happened. It is such a bummer because I just love to cook and bake. I make homemade pasta, homemade bread, homemade pies, homemade pizza’s with homemade dough…the list goes on and on.

    Based on your experience, I started taking the Grape Seed ex by taking 1- 100 mg pill each day, then moved up to 2 pills; one in the am, one in the pm. I actually started feeling really good, then came the Christmas holidays. Although I have sworn off alcohol because it scares me too much, I made homemade pies, and sampled cheese and ate other things I shouldn’t. Regardless, I was feeling pretty good, so good, that I was forgetting to take my grape seed extract, and some meals I forgot to take my rx enzymes. Well, last night I used just a tablespoon of olive oil to sauté some veggies for a sauce, and I started having abdominal pain, and don’t feel so well today. Been having those twinges on my left side, and intermittent abdominal discomfort. (Realized I need to get back on the grape seed ex. & now know I can’t deviate from the routine even if I am feeling better.)
    Every day I feel like I have a question about my condition, but nowhere to turn, and nowhere to ask. So I am thankful to find this blog and website with folks that have different, but yet the same issues and concerns.

    Does anyone have an answer to why the pancreatic duct dilates? Also, should we be getting scans of our pancreas every so often to check our pancreas? If so, what is the best scan to get, and how often?

    I also have a question about the nausea. My doctors were always asking me if I had nausea, and they couldn’t believe that I didn’t. Even during the first attack I didn’t have any nausea or vomiting which they said was really odd given my high lipase numbers. My biggest complaint was the terrible, horrible back pain. After getting on the enzymes, by back pain started slowly resolving. Well, about the time my back pain started slowly resolving and I was having full days with no back pain, I developed the nausea. Ugh…it is terrible sometimes. I used to think, “if I could only get rid of this severe back pain, I can handle everything else”. But….I didn’t count on the nausea. Holy cow…even though I don’t vomit, it can be really miserable. What causes the nausea?

    1. Hi Deb 🙂 – Definitely sounds like you’ve had some bad times lately. The good news, as you have experienced, is that you can feel better. I also have to say that your doc who told you not to have the Sphincterotomy is a smart man who has obviously kept up on conditions and procedures. Keep him or her. Good doctors are really hard to find.

      You have also found out the hard way, like me, that adherence to the diet and supplement regimen is mandatory in order to stay well. Interestingly enough your doc also said he would not have prescribed creon and that may be because you may not need it. Your pancreas may not be damaged enough to warrant the necessity of using creon. Creon is powerful and offers unpleasant side effects if the doses are to large (more than necessary) or if the pancreas is still producing it’s own pancreatic enzymes in the needed amounts. Creon may not be necessary but talk to your doc (the cool guy who would have prescribed it) and find out his thoughts first before discontinuing. The creon could be the cause of your nausea. It could also be your condition, pancreas divisum, and to much fat in your diet. You should be adhering to the same diet I do. Mine isn’t vegetarian or vegan. For those who are sick and still healing it should be a “modified vegan diet.” That means vegan foods (plant sources) and no oil or fat of any kind. If you don’t have juicer get one. You’ll need it, especially with your condition, pancreas divisum – it isn’t gonna go away. Once you have the diet right (food diary would be beneficial) and the supplements right you should again feel better. Good luck to you Deb! 🙂

  9. Hi there! I’ve been reading your blog all day. I had my first attack this past sunday, then again monday….then again on Tuesday. I’m currently 38 weeks pregnant and thought I was in labor. When I finally figured out I wasn’t, I was told to go to the emergency room because it might be an intestinal blockage or gallstones. I’m more of a holistic person (hence why I didn’t go in right away)…and the only thing the doctor was concerned about was lecturing me on where I was planning on delivering. She kept trying to give me an anatomy lesson of a pregnant woman, insisting it was acid reflux. I was doubled over in pain…and the ultrasounds they were doing were excruciating. She ignored where I told her the pain was and said “pain can radiate from anywhere and there’s nothing on your left side to check.” What an idiot. I got sent home and told to drink maalox.

    I went home and decided to try to”fix” my own issues…thinking it was intestinal. I’ve had intestinal issues my entire life that was controlled by diet when I was in my 20’s. I took 1 drop of 2 essential oils(one was lemon) in a shot of water every hour starting at 5pm. By 12am I was feeling tons and tons better. The next day I stopped doing that and went back to my original, clean diet (let’s face it, I’m 38 weeks pregnant….I was eating all kinds of junk). I had grilled chicken breast with olive oil, olive oil and vinegar mixed greens salad with chopped strawberries, and sauteed asparagus with fresh garlic in olive oil. Within 30 minutes I had another attack. This was by far the worst one I’ve had. I thought I was dying (I know, dramatic) and was on the verge of passing out. A lightbulb went off that an old friend of mine is a doctor so I decided to call her. She diagonosed me over the phone and had me call the hospital for all the tests they pulled on me. I instantly realized lemon is for the pancreas and applied it to some pressure points. Let me tell you….after 4 hours of that agonizing pain…it felt like morphine in a matter of 10 minutes.

    Now I’m here reading your blog. I’ve been drinking marshmallow root and ginger to help internally. I did the liquid thing for the first day….then incorporated food back in the next….and I’m on my 3rd day. I went and bought fish…have been eating that with fresh greens, beans, and lemon. Cooking in water and lemon juice on the stove.

    Everything you’re saying makes so much sense. I’ve always had allergic reactions to coconuts,….ingested or topically. Same with avocado. Same with almonds and cashews. Red meat has always hurt whenever I eat it (since I was a kid). I’m basically dairy free…except for the occasional mozzarella or parmesean. Basically I’ve had a pretty good diet….just never broke it down more until now. You know…..”coconuts are fantastic for you….eat spoonfuls of the oil everyday.” Etc.

    Alright. So the point of all that nonsense is I’m kind of overhwhelmed to be honest. Everything I thought I knew was “healthy” isn’t for me. So I guess after that novel I wrote…..I’m curious….can you use ANY oils? Grapeseed oil, safflower oil…etc?? Or just no oils under any circumstance at all when cooking? I’m trying to figure out how to bake in the oven. How do you cook your egg whites? Also….are there any butter type alternatives you can recommend? Or is that just a dead end street? I’m also having issues letting go of peanut butter. Every nut and seed butter alternative I’ve been checking out seem too fatty. I know I should try things and do the elimination….but I’m terrified. I don’t ever want to experience that pain again!! I take it, I’m supposed to find a gastroenterologist? I can’t stand doctors and see the journey ahead as long and frustrating. Doctors just threw medicine at me growing up (which I’m sure did more damage) and my diet was never altered. I sought out a doctor about 8 years ago who ended up sending me to the mental health clinic…..and about 3 years ago I went to the ER for an inflammed liver. A few tests were done after and was told it was a fluke. Can you recommend any doctors or direct me to a list of doctors in certain regions??

    Thank you so much for your blog. I will continue to stalk it. This is all new and overwhelming and it’s nice to read everything that says “I’m not crazy.”

    Look forward to hearing from you!

    1. Nah Jennifer you’re not crazy. Most doctors are idiots. I have no clue how most I have met ever made it through pre med let alone medical school. The problem might be toxic overload, meaning they have to learn so much they forget that common sense, gut intuition and old fashioned diagnostics (if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck it is probably a duck). Now … I have a question for you. Did you ever get an actual firm diagnosis of pancreatitis by anyone via blood work (enzyme levels) and other tests (ultrasound, CT, endoscopic ultrasound, etc)? I ask for several reason the main one being that it is important to know for sure what exactly is wrong. A couple things almost mimic acute pancreatitis. SOD (sphincter of oddi dysfunction) for one is really close and the pain can me mild or debilitating and it also causes pancreatitis. The other is gallbladder disease, in some cases, can be acute. Acute inflammation of the gallbladder can even be life threatening. And here’s the thing all 3 SOD, GBD and Pancreatitis respond to fat negatively and they all also respond positively to a low fat diet. Anyway … knowing for sure what is wrong is good, guessing not so much. By the way …

      IF your friend doctor is good keep her! Good ones are hard to find.

      Now, on to some of the other questions you asked …

      Oils are bad. ALL oils are fat. High fat. Just look at what that healthy olive oil did to you.Now once you find out exactly what is wrong with you and if it does turn out to be pancreatitis, once you have healed you may tolerate some oil in SMALL amounts BUT what I call small amounts and what others call small amounts are two different things. A small amount to me is a tea spoon or less. Preferably that tea spoon in dumped in a pan and then wiped out with a paper towel so that just a residue is left to help with cooking but if you buy quality non-stick pots and pans you shouldn’t need oil to cook. It is BEST to simply AVOID oil in foods and cooking.

      There are no safe butter substitutes. It’s all fat. And I feel your pain when it comes to peanut butter. I love it but it doesn’t love me 🙁

      Sorry you are not feeling well. Hopefully you find out for sure what’s wrong (first step) and you get well. 🙂

  10. You’re a good guy for helping people but you need to understand not everyone’s case is like yours. 75%-80% of people never even have another attack. But you make it out like everyone with one attack needs to go casket shopping.

    1. Ahh gee Jim thanks for patting my back before stabbing me 😉 You’re right not everyone’s case is the same as mine. Some have more damage, some less and some even have an alien body! 75%-80% never have another attack. No kidding? Actually, according to estimated stats, because they actually don’t know, as many as 85%-90% never have a recurrance. “The incidence of recurrent acute pancreatitis is not well defined, but has been estimated to be up to 15% among patients who experienced a first acute pancreatitis attack. One study reported an incidence of recurrent acute pancreatitis of 10.9% in patients who experienced a first attack, with 6.4% going on to develop chronic pancreatitis” according to this one report. So MAYBE Jim, just MAYBE, IF the medical community’s ESTIMATIONS are correct, most people do only have one occurrance but what if they all treated their situation like they will never have another one and then because of piss poor, low-keyed, statistically ESTIMATED, politically correct advice that someone like you would give them, they have another, then another and still MORE other attacks like me? What then? It’s to late to say I’m sorry isn’t it? Especially if they end up being a part of the 10%, out of all cases, who DIE. I’ll opt to error on the side of sounding like we should all go casket shopping. Oh and …

      Here’s another ESTIMATED statistic from me. I saw 14 doctors and 1 Corpsman (at sick bay). The Corpsman recognized a potential problem and set me up to see a doctor at the Oakland Naval Hospital. The doctor in Oakland did blood work, a CBC and had me go through an upper GI. He never did another test. He like the other 12 who saw me in various surroundings (office, clinic, hospital ER) did NOT even recognize the possibilty of acute pancreatitis. So ONE (1) out of 14, (7%) had brains enough to do more than just draw blood once, do an upper and/or lower GI (had 3 or 4 uppers and one lower), listen to what I said in regards to symptoms etc and have the ability to recognize pancreatitis. So I estimate that 7% of doctors are able to diagnose correctly the first time. 7%. That leaves me with a very poor, ESTIMATED, factor of confidence in a group of people who call their business profession a “practice.” I won’t even bore you with all the other lousey doctors I’ve met over 60 years of life, their incompetence in regards to diagnosing and treating illnesses other than colds, flu and strep throat. But hey …

      Thanks for stopping by and shelling out your 2 cents 😉

      1. Thanks for the punch in the jaw, it feels good. If you don’t mind me asking what was the cause of your chronic pancreatitis? I don’t believe I’ve seen you mention it. Really not trying to be a dick here I’m just curious..

        1. Oh and here’s another example of how other people’s cases differ from yours. I saw, get ready, 1 doctor at a WALK IN clinic who got me diagnosed correctly and on the path to feeling better… Maybe I’m just lucky but while you bash doctors on every forum you’ve written here I thank them for their help. but maybe I’m just a lucky guy.

          1. I agree with you on doctors being bone heads when it comes to looking for pancreatitis symptoms. I have just finally been diagnosed with now cronic pancreatitis. After numerous trips to different ERs and hospitals in Mi and FL. And after 4yrs. Now that I know what I have I can look back over the years and know this has been happening for a very long time. The first pains were bad but didn’t last more than a few hours and I didn’t vomit or have diarrhea. And they were years apart.
            On my second trip to the ER in Toledo Ohio, about 4 years ago they found I had gallstones with ultrasound. But I had pain high in between my ribs. Its lasted for hours and finally subsided. I made an appointment with a surgeon and he removed my gallbladder laparoscopically. It was loaded with stones and had actually started decaying inside me. I thought that was the end of my problems but the following year I got my symptoms back along with 12hrs of vomiting and diarrhea to follow. I ask my family doctor, my endocrinologist, and my colorectal surgeon after he did my colonoscopy, what they thought was causing my inflammation in my colon and my vomiting and diarrhea. None of these doctors had a clue as to what might be my problem. Well I just got sick again last Dec 27th. I went through 2 days of vomiting and diarrhea and it stopped until I tried eating again. That made it start all over again. I had my wife take me to the ER here at Cape Canaveral hospital on new years eve. The kept me overnight and stabilized me with IV’s for dehydration. They did a cat scan that showed inflammation in my Colon again. Sent me home the following day. My wife and I decided to find a good gastroenterologist to see.
            So I did and he is a very good one. He listened to my story and right away he suggested that I may have cronic pancreatitis, He ordered me to get a endoscopy ultrasound and gastric emptying study done. I go back again tomorrow to listen to his prognosis. I’ve lost 34 lbs since Dec 27th. Because I had no medical guidance on how to deal with this terrible disease. I just today started reading your blog, You are doing a great service to everyone that finds your website. And I agree with your analogy of doctors seeming like bone he u.cads atleast when it comes to diagnosis of pancreatitis.
            Most of mine didnt have a clue… GO Figure that out !

          2. Hi Gary – I am sorry to hear you have been ill. Especially that you’ve suffered for so long without knowing why. Hopefully this GI will get you diagnosed and squared away so that you are not ill all the time. If I can help with questions just ask.

        2. No problem Jim! You’re welcome but I will apologize for being an over passionate asshole. I’ve just seen to many inept doctors, who made to many mistakes within my family. My father saw several doctors, complained of certain symptoms like his balls swelling up to the size of lemons and it wwasn’t until a large tumor popped out in his neck that a doctor was able to recognize a serious problem (lymphoma) and by then it was to late and he died after 8 years of agony. My mother suffered for years. Miscarriages, weird symptoms, then intractable diarrhea, with nausea and sometimes vomiting. NONE of her physcians recognized celiac disease. NOT ONE! And guess who else had been an undiagnosed celiac since childhood until 2009? Yep, me! But to answer your question … Dr. Langdon, the guy who finally diagnosed me, never said so I can only guess it may have to do with the number of recurrances. It could also be associated with celiac disease and could actually be autoimmune pancreatitis which usually present first as chronic and if untreated can of course escalate into acute. I and Dr. Langdon thought my problem possibly originated from a football injury but now, with the fact I lived for 55 years with undiagnosed celiac disease, which is known to not only destroy the small intestinal villi but also suspected to attack other organs who knows what really happened. It really doesn’t matter much at this point. So to be blunt about what actually caused my CP? I don’t know, the doc never said and at that time I was to stupid to ask.

          1. You know you and I could actually get along, like you I’m somewhat of a condescending asshole. It sucks you don’t have a exact cause of cp and I’m happy you have a routine that works. I, like you, take grapeseed extract daily not just for prevention of inflammation but I think antioxidants are the future of health. I wanted to ask you, can you have pain in your pancreas without having an attack? I’ve only had one attack 4 years ago and been symptom free since. But last week I was feeling weird spurts of pain in the region. So I had my amylase and lipase tested same day and both were normal. Didn’t have an attack but I’ve been walking on egg shells since. Idk maybe it’s mental but I’ve been moving with some caution since.

          2. Jim, of course we can get along. I’m all for that 🙂 Grape seed extract is awesome. Without it and adhereing to my diet I’d be sick. It is my supplement work horse. You’re right about supplements being the future of health. They aren’t just “expensive urine” as most docs will tell you. In 2009 an East Indian doctor did a study and found that antioxidants helped chronic pancreatitis pain management. He used a combination of antioxidants most of which can be toxic at high doses (go figure) whereas I found non-toxic antioxidants (grape seed, c, curcumin) that achieved remarkable success, 15 years earlier. Anyway, about your question …

            Yep, you can have pain in the pancreas without an acute attack. That is one of the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis. I’m not saying you have CP. I’m just saying yes, pancreas pain can be present without what would be diagnosed as an acute attack. For years after my AP attacks resolved with diet and what I now know to be the benefit of grapefruit juice (before grape seed, etc) my abdomen was very tender. It seemed a constant thing but probably wasn’t. In fact I only noticed it when something pressed against my abdomen (pancreas area). I do not recall having a lot of twinges or spurts of pain but it may have been the grapefruit juice intervening, preventing those but it seemed to always be tender. That disappeared with grape seed and an even stricter diet regimen. I have a suggestion and that is all it is, a suggestion. IF it were me and I continued to have those spurts of pain I’d also want to know whether or not the pain was pancreas related so I’d stop eating and fast for 3 days. Then I’d do a juice diet for 3 more days and see if the pains resolved. If they did. I’d be fairly confident it was pancreas related and adjust my diet accordingly. That is just what I’d do.

          3. Thanks I’ll give it a shot. I’m not gonna lie I don’t think I can go 3 days without eating but what I will do is have some soup without any fat in it and see where that takes me. I only really notice it when I have mass quantities of fat in my diet. My doc thinks my gallbladder could be the culprit of the initial attack. I wouldn’t be surprised considering I have many relatives with a history of gallbladder issues. I feel as if I feel it more if my mind is fixated on it. If I go about my daily activities it seemingly disappears. But I will try that suggestion you gave me

          4. “I only really notice it when I have mass quantities of fat in my diet.” Hmmm your doc could be right about the GB, especially if the pain is upper right quadrant and your family history indicates the possibilty. If the pain is left side, towards the tail of the pancreas that would lead me to think more pancreas than GB. However if your scans (ultra sound, EUS, CT, MRI) showed damage at the head of the pancreas it still may be pancreas pain but you didn’t mention any tests your doc did to diagnose you. But if you notice the pain after eating high fat meals t is definitely a biliary tree problem somewhere. Good luck, stay well, have a nice weekend 🙂

          5. When I had gotten my first attack the pain was localized in my left quadrant. 2 weeks after the attack cleared up the doc gave me a mrcp which showed no bilary obstructions. Since then though I have had some bouts of right quadrant pain as well. after telling my doc about the right quadrant pain and the fat upsetting my symptoms he tells me he feels certain my gallbladder acts up and causes the whole machine to malfunction. Something tells me I’ll end up without a gallbladder sometime soon lol. But I don’t really care, if that’s the culprit I’ll most likely remove it myself haha. But thanks for the help. I’ll let you know if any breaking details emerge. I’m only 23 years old, sometimes I look at my buddies and see their limitless capabilities and wonder why I can’t be like them anymore. I dream of a day where I can live worry free without having to ever think about stupid pains. But I guess one day we’ll all have a day where we’ll be pain free. Our only objective is to have that day happen on our own terms I suppose.

          6. 23 huh? So you were only 19 when you had your attack? To young. Even 23 is young. I was young too. Last duty station in the Corps so I was 20 when I first started having pancreas pain. Then like you it disappeared until I was 24-25. Our time frames almost coincide from first event to more possible trouble, just about 36 years apart. That is kinda scary weird huh? lol Hopefully you will be fine. And if you end up without a GB so be it. Better that than CP. Hang in there. You may want to get an ultrasound of your GB now and then, looking for stones or sludge BEFORE you experience more pain because that pain could be your GB ejecting sludge or stones and when you had the mrcp it may have previously emptied. Just a thought 🙂

          7. Insane you say that! I don’t mean to keep you back and forth but I appreciate all the replys. But this may sound crazy… After my first attack had healed (sorry for being to descriptive) I thought I had excreted, through my bowel, what was a pigment gallstone. My parents were convinced it was just part of my poop lol but I had never seen anything like it before. It was too black and metallic, marble sized. I google images pigment stones and it literally looked exactly like one! Looking back now I wish I would’ve snagged it. But of course it was after the fact I had that poop when I got my mrcp I always felt like I got my mrcp when my gallbladder had straightened itself out. What’s weird is I have recurrent spurts of right side pain, even yesterday I had one on my right side that come on for about a min then passed. I truly feel as if it were sludge. But I was always convinced it was a pigment stone in my bowel that day, I mean everyone has seen some weird bowel movements but you always know what’s still normal. Metallic rock I saw was no ordinary poop!

          8. Jim – Marble sized rocks in poop would definitely be a clue. Unless you have been suffering from geophagy or pica (compulsion to eat dirt) I would take a wild guess and say you passed a fairly large gallBOULDER.

  11. Thank you for being blunt and to the point about incompetent doctors!! It’s a horrible experience to have suffered excruciating pain, followed by lingering pain and be told nothing is wrong. As a woman, I’ve lost count how many times depression was the “go to” diagnosis!
    My first bout of pancreatitis was due to a blocked bile duct. I had been to the doc several times feeling run down, nauseous, headache. I wasn’t over weight but I did work long hours. I also complained about severe constipation and was told it was likely my diet and to take OTC laxatives. The stock blood test repeatedly all came back normal.
    I ended up gradually feeling worse. For the first time ever, I asked my husband to come home from work and take me to the doc. I got the stock depression diagnosis and as he was writing up orders for blood work I told the doc I’d had blood work done 8 weeks prior at the ER after an allergic reaction to Cipro. I had listed him as my PCP doc, so he had access to my records and test results. He was skimming over my labs and stopped at the chest CT. It had picked up I had a blocked bile duct. Suddenly my depression was miraculously cured! (Insert sarcasm)
    Needless to say, I changed docs immediately. New PCP followed by the 2 weeks to get into a Gastro. Diagnosed with bleeding ulcers (non hp) blocked bile duct and a gallbladder full of stones. Just a reminder, standard blood tests showed NOTHING!
    Priority was given to the bleeding ulcers, despite my pleading, the GB surgery wasn’t scheduled for several more weeks. The day before my son graduated HS, my body had reached the point of no return. I was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, the blockage had finally caused pancreatitis resulting in severe dehydration.
    After waiting 18 years, I missed my sons big day because like you said, docs don’t listen!
    Fast forward 3 years, and what I thought was a few bouts of gastritis, I realize now it was another storm brewing. After being told nothing’s wrong for so long, you stay away from docs and rationalize away pain. I recently had a 2am episode of “religious pain” ( the kind that makes you double over and pray to God) and I told my doc all the signs point to the pancreas again. Level 10 mid upper ab pain, radiating to shoulder blade, tender upper ab, no appetite. He thinks ulcer, I disagree. Blood work should be back Monday but I’ve lost my faith in that method as predicting any digestive disorder.
    As a woman, God gave me curves. But nowhere on any of them is it labeled LEARNING CURVE! I am fed up with doctors!! Thank you for sharing your ups and downs. I’ve got hope and a new outlook for learning how to manage this misunderstood crazy body part!

    1. Hi Sue – I’m amazed at how stupid overly educated people can be but it’s true! Some of those people are so stupid they make barber hair look like a genius! Anyway you’re welcome to the info. I hope you are feeling better soon. Did you ever actually get diagnosed with pancreatitis? Did anyone find out what was actually wrong? I have a reason for asking. Ok wait, I just remembered something about gallstones. So they found gallstones, one causing a blockage. Did your blood work ever show spiked elevations in enzymes (amylase/lipase) or did anyone check?

  12. Thank you so much for this refreshing, honest article. My first attack started that way in ths hospital and they told my parents I was an alcoholic! I told them I wasnt, but they did not believe me, and the word got out fo my whole darn family. How embaressing! Til this day, they still dont believe me. I just had another attack and stayed home for 3 days, and sipped water to avoid dehydration…it was not bad enough for hospitalization. I have been fasting, and am on my third day and am pretty hungry. I can do veggie broth (vegetarian) but need something more substantial, can I eat some steamed kale? Thanks again.

  13. I had ask you whether or not I could have sugar in my acute pancreatitis diet. I do not eat refined sugar however i do love honey and eat some often is this OK?

  14. How is this diagnosed properly and diagnosed by tests that aren’t too involved and are fairly easy to have ordered by your doctor?. I have been going through this pain for too long now and have been telling them it has been my pancreas from the very beginning but no one listens. I have wasted away physically, emotionally and mentally, I have really had enough. What tests can I ask my doctor to test for?.

    1. Hey Big N – Sorry to hear you aren’t well. IF you are NOT feeling well, I mean horrible, so bad you KNOW there is something really wrong you should go to the ER. The best tests that are done when acute pancreatitis is suspected are blood tests CBC or Complete blood panel, Lipase (pancreatitc enzyme), P Amylase (another enzyme) and if you hospital has the tech another enzyme, Trypsin is the gold bomb but very few locations have the tech. Then there are radiological tests (US, CT, EUS, MRCP) which are used to verify or help diagnose. Then there are more tests (Apache and Ransom) which are done when SEVERE acute is suspected. However a simple blood test for lipase elevation should be be the first step. By the way it usually takes 4 – 5 hours INTO a true acute pancreatitis attack for ezymes to elevate. IF the test is done to soon it’s useless. Good luck – hope you don’t have it. 🙂

  15. Well Hello!
    How can I make this short and sweet?
    I am NOT a drinker, druggie, dont even smoke cigarettes or drink coffee/tea/soda YEP you heard me nothing…..
    I have been dealing with Pancreatitis attacks for over 35 years! Yep and maybe even longer….
    I was not diagnosed until 1991 with supposedly gastric problem then my gallbladder was removed 2003 (NO rocks doc just said it was a dead organ and didnt need it ?) two stens in my bile duct 2005 & 2007(which doctors say caused the Pancreatitis) then came the surgery Puestow Procedure 2012 which was suppose to be THE CURE!!! I am still having attacks the most recent was this past Saturday woke @ 1:30 am (stayed in bed the whole day and took Vicodin every 6hrs which I hate to even take Advil for headache and ate yougart) rested the rest of the week and today I had to come to work have NO more SICK/VACATION days left this year. I tell you sometimes I just wish that the pain would just take me and one day I know it will. I am soo weak right now and feel as if someone beat me up from the inside it is taking everything I have to write this and work today……I am soo close to paying off all my doctor and hospital bills (5 hospital stays 1-2 weeks just in 2010) not counting the surgeries, hospital, doctors, labs, x-rays, ultrasounds, and everything else……..Oh My GOD and here we go again (if the pain doesnt kill me the bills will) I will keep you ALL in PRAYER and hope that one day there will be a CURE!!! or at least find out what causes and/or a prevention…
    God Bless You All!

    1. Rita – I’m sorry you have had to go through hell on earth. Get yourself on the prayer list and invest time reading this blog. I am not gonna tell you there is any cure cuz to my knowledge there isn’t – and I try to keep up with that. I try not to give advice so I won’t except to say you should get on the prayer list and read this blog.

  16. I’m glad I found your site. I’m having an attach right now and was looking for a way to help stop it before leaving for the hospital. 45 minuets ago I took 400mg of Advil and 12.5 of Promethazine. It helped a lot. Thank you for that combo. 3 months ago I had my first attack and was hospitalized for 6 days. I have pancreatic damage and was told to get to the hospital if it ever starts to act up. I’m on my way out the door right now, I just wanted to say Thank you. I’m on 180mg of Morphine for pain, not just this but Fibromyalgia as well.

  17. Hello I have been doing my own research which I think some times can be very scary… about a year ago was at a baseball game everything was fine was enjoying watching my favorite personal team then all of a sudden my back started hurting I couldn’t sit any longer I had to stand and just rock on the way home so much worse stomach was hurting so bad ( like under the rib cage ) and going into my back it was the worse pain I’ve ever been through finally went to the er the next morning couldn’t take it no more ended up doing a ct scan showing a little inflammation gave meds on my way I go well a year later here we are again it started about 5 months ago dr thought I might have a blood clot , same pains as before , labored breathing ect… but the past few weeks I’ve gotten to were I can bear the pain it’s all day everyday it goes from just a nagging ach to full blown labor pains that’s the only way I can describe it I have no energy I’m totally exhausted I’m freezing at all times no matter what the temperature is let’s talk about eating or not it hurts like hell to eat im getting to where I don’t even try any more I’ve had a very hard time getting into the specialist I finally go monday… but I have read up on the signs of pancreatitis I have so many to where I have scared myself yellow eyes (whites) ichey feet and hands the bathroom issue idk do you think I’m scaring myself? All I know I’m so tired of feeling this way with no answer . My grandfather passed 20 something years ago with panoramic cancer looking forward to some advise

    1. Hi Dawn – I quote: “ct scan showing a little inflammation” I am guessing you are talking about your pancreas? You mentioned you have an appt Monday so I am guessing that was yesterday? What did you find out?

  18. Hi Paul, I love how you described what happens during an attack. My first attack was in 1994 (after gallbladder surgery) and many, many more until I found a Dr who could diagnose in 2005. By then it was chronic and too much damage. I lost my good Dr when I lost my good job and insurance due to CP. I have seen specialists who still can’t diagnose a cold. I drove 5 1/2 hours to the Hospital in Charleston, SC. (Twice) just to be told what I already know (that I have CP) and they can’t help me because I’m not a resident of that State. Now having to deal with “shit4brains” in the ER asking me when I had my last drink and accusations that I’m just there for the drugs. No duh… I’m in pain and feel like someone punched my stomach out my spine. Give me drugs! So much more I could tell you about my experience with CP, but I’m sure you have enough of your own. 😉 I’m going to continue reading your blog and hope it helps me and many others. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Renee Etheridge

  19. Hi there from New Zealand.
    I have had 3 attacks over 3 years, of AP, which ‘qualifies’ me for a diagnosis of RAP.
    I don’t smoke or drink, after the first attack I had a cholecystectomy, but gallbladder showed no abnormalities.
    I do have Pancreatic Divisum, however after an EUS it was noted that the minor papillary is normal, no signs of damage or Chronic Pancreatitis. Therefore, no stenting was advised.
    My friend’s dog gets AP so she gets Creon from the vet, she gave me some 10,000s to try which went some way to alleviate nausea, pain and bad digestion. Since then, i have been prescribed the 25.000s, seems to have helped although fecal tests did not indicate pancreatic insufficiency. Also, read your advise and am on a low fat diet.
    A couple of questions:
    Is there anything I can do to stop an impending attack – I can’t drink or take a pill if it’s upon me?
    Can you have pancreatic insufficiency but the tests prove negative?
    Is there any one thing that you would advise, above all, that can help?
    Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Susan – sorry to hear you aren’t well and have joined our club.

      Let me address your questions as best as I can:

      1) “Is there anything I can do to stop an impending attack – I can’t drink or take a pill if it’s upon me?”
      Once I found out about Ibuprofen I have always stopped attacks using 800 mgs. I was never lucky enough to get clues to an impending attack. It just happened, fast. IF there were clues I wasn’t smart enough to notice lol. I took anti nausea meds first, then the Ibuprofen. It takes approximately 18 minutes for phenergan suppositories to work and another 60 minutes for the Ibuprofen to work so within 90 minutes I usually had the symptoms of an acute attack under control. Luckily I haven’t had a problem for a while. I drank ONLY enough water to swallow the Ibuprofen.

      2) “Is there any one thing that you would advise, above all, that can help?”
      No, not just one thing. Several. No alcohol. Limit fat consumption to almost nothing until you are healed. Then continue with a goal of 25 mgs of fat daily as a total. Take grape seed extract and vit C in fairly large doses spread out over 3 to 4 doses per day. Use Ibuprofen in smaller doses (200 – 400 mgs) when necessary to help eliminate the inflammation after an AP attack.

      I’m not advising you to do what I do or suggesting any form of treatment. The pancreas divisum does, most probably, create a challenge. I hope you feel better soon. 🙂

      1. Thanks for your reply, I’m glad it has been a while since you’ve had an attack! I have visited your site many times and have found your advice really helpful. Plus, I like the ‘sick as a dog’ graphic – that is just how I feel with an attack – spot on (no pun intended *ha*).
        I don’t drink booze, didn’t before my attacks either. Have followed your low fat advice plus take the grape seed extract as you recommend. So fingers crossed.
        Funny how Creon seems to help me, but all the tests don’t indicate I have Pancreatic Insufficiency, would you know why?
        Wishing you well.

        1. Hi Susan – Pancreatic Insufficiency doesn’t always show up during fecal tests etc yet the pancreas is still damaged enough so that it doesn’t produce at previous levels. No test is 100% accurate. I’ve never had a test for PI yet if I don’t take enzymes I have problems (nausea, indigestion symptoms), especially if I happen to over do the fat and/or protein. The reason I know it is an enzyme problem is that I get symptoms within minutes of eating (10 – 30) and the symptoms go away with the enzymes. So I got smart and began taking them at pretty much every meal that contains fat or large portions of protein. As long as I do that I usually have smoothe sailing 🙂

          1. Dear Health Guy, thank you for clarifying this: it is difficult to be objective about one’s own health, and it appears, even more problematic to get an understanding from doctors/specialist. I really value your advice. I turn to you for your good judgement and responding to my questions in a way that respects my intelligence. I wish more people in the medical profession had your knack.
            I notice that the incidence of idiopathic pancreatitis is increasing, do you have a theory on this is?
            One more question: i do follow a low-fat diet, am taking the the anti-inflammatory supplements you recommend, however, I have found that I cannot have a meal that does not contain a certain proportion of carbs (rice or even wheat based) a i have no gallbladder my system becomes too overwhelmed with acid. Is there a way around this?
            Thanks heaps.

  20. The first time I went to the er in 2014 because of nausea and vomiting and abdominal pain, the doctor that seen me told me I had a stomach virus and sent me home with nausea medicine. The very next day, I went back with the same symptoms and what do you know, they tell me I have chronic pancreatitis. So I was transferred from the er, to another hospital where I spent 2 weeks hooked up to a crap ton of ivs, had a few drains, and a feeding tube, and lets not forget being so out of it I didn’t even know my own name. After those two weeks, I was transferred to another hospital where a doctor that deals specifically with the pancreas worked. I spent a total of 5 weeks in there. Going between the icu, the third floor (this floor was for patients on their way home) and the fifth floor. (this one was a step up from the icu). I had nurse tell me it was my fault I was as sick as I was. He had me up walking, no oxygen, no walker, and let me tell you, I was beyond weak after laying in that hospital bed so long. I had some unexpected internal bleeding which sent me back to the icu after they stopped it. Flash forward to me going home. 3 drains, a feeding tube and some pain and nausea medicine. My body was so stressed, that my hair started falling out, which prompted me to cut it all off and dye it purple lol. A few months later, got a couple of the drains removed, started getting better. A couple months after that the feeding tube came out and I was put on a clear liquid diet. After the last drain came out, didn’t have any problems for awhile. In August 2015, I was dehydrated and had been throwing up for almost 24 hours, so my doctor told my mom to bring me up to the hospital. Turns out I had some more internal bleeding, and the amount of blood that was behind my stomach was about the size of a softball. After a week in the hospital, I went home and didn’t have any problems for a couple of months. In January 2016, I had to spend a couple more days in the hospital. And on the 14 of March, I had an allergic reaction to the contrast dye used in my ct scan that was to see if the blood behind my stomach was gone. My doctor told me he doesn’t understand why I go a few months with no problems and then it all starts up again. He told me I’m rewriting the book and that I’m a special person not just to my family, but to everyone as well.

  21. Wow, this is a great resource for people who have stupid doctors, I have one too. Had pain on the right side of tummy, had ultrasound they said I had numerous stones, sent me to a surgeon. He wants to yank out my gall bladder and I said I would think about it, meaning no – I am not taking out an organ that someone put there for a reason.

    So, I’ve done the apple juice, apple cider vinegar in water, Devil’s Claw a herb that is supposed to reduce the stones. I am feeling much better, but am doing a flush in a day or too to get rid of the stones.

    I’ve been taking a tablespoon of Tumeric powder, in warm water, tastes awful but I don’t care, I want to go through life without pain. Also took 1 glass of epsom salts in 8 oz of water, it did the trick in 15 minutes -pain gone.

    I am wondering why my tummy starts growling every time I eat, I can eat light meals, but am now going vegan. The growling and sounds in my stomach are loud, and just after a meal. I also take pancreatic enzymes (health food store) and they seem to help my digestion.

    I also experienced some pain on the left side, so I will do the cocktail to reduce the risk of any problems with the pancreas, my mom died of pancreatic cancer at age 86. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Sara – glad to hear you are feeling better. You asked: “I am wondering why my tummy starts growling every time I eat” and I have to say that I have no certain answer. Sorry I am not more help. Thanks for commenting 🙂

      1. That’s okay, the growling has stopped also. Good news!! Thanks for your response and help. Hope it helps many people to question and find real help!

  22. Are the enzymes supposed to go back to normal range or do they sometimes remain high?
    Mine are still in the 600-700 range and the doctor says it is ok because only the lipase is high?
    I have not been able to drink enough liquid to remain hydrated since early April, and keep having to go back to the hospital. I don’t know where to start. It seems everything just irritates my digestive system!

      1. Everyone I have seen here is quite incompetent. They really don’t know what to do. This is the first time I have issues with my pancreas. Ultrasound and CT Scan apparently didn’t show anything abnormal. I had a gastroscopy that was ok as well.
        So I guess if my lipase is still high, would that explain why I am still unable to eat and still require medication for nausea?

        1. Hi Dominic – IF I remember correctly your lipase is like 700 still? Your doc thought that was ok? The normal lipase level is 12-70 U/L so you are definitely high, acute high. By that I mean probably still suffering acute pancreatitis since 5 – 10 times the upper limit of normal pretty much signifies acute pancreatitis. You ARE 10 times the upper limit IF my recollection of your lipase level from your comment a day or so ago is correct. You should probably be in the ER. Quit eating for a few days and get checked out. IF you are still sick when you read this get offline and go to the ER.

  23. I am a big fan of this blog. i got my Acute pancreatitis attack on 30th April 2014 (Almost 2 years ago). ending up about a month in hospital, removal of gall bladder, pleural infusion etc. doc said i may not survive this attack.
    I come across many questions that if a person gets a pancreatitis attack will he get another one, sooner or later? will it lead to chronic condition?
    Well from last 2 years since my first attack, i did not have any attack from that time. first i was very conscious about diet, i took only healthy diet for pancreas.
    but now from more than a year i am eating red meat (Goat), Cow meat (Beef), Oily foods, pizzas and other fast food etc … i never had any problem. living a life free of pain and problem. i have some digestive issues though some times but very rarely.
    But i have tested it for more than a year. i have tested my pancreas with all kind of rough fatty oily diet that can produce it again, it never did.
    but now i can not take any risk further. i am contented that it may not occur for me again. but i will not take any risk by continue loads of such food again. i have planned now to stick with healthy diet, if it may not cause pancreatitis again, it may cause other obesity related or cardiac diseases. but my case might be a hope for those acute pancreatitis patients, who wonder that will it come back to them or not? will they live a normal life or not. and i salute health guy for helping people like me …. love you.
    Usman Shafqat Chatha
    Lahore, Pakistan.

    1. Hi Usman – First I’d like to thank you for your kind words and I’m glad you like this blog. 🙂 I also want to thank you for sharing about your ordeal. In fact the timing is spot on because my mom, who also has celiac disease and I am almost positive had a bout of acute pancreatitis a few years ago has again developed back and adominal pain and pleural effusion. The NORMAL causes of pleural effusion (CHF, liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, pneumonia) do NOT seem to exist. Anyway she is having a CT on the 26th so hopefully we will have some answers.

      Usman I am pleased to hear that you are going to be more cautious in regards to diet. Even though you were doing really well eating a normal diet it may have become an issue and those digestive issues may be warning signs. I wish you wellness, and a long, happy pain free life! 🙂

  24. Loved your artical! Spot on! I don’t feel alone anymore! IAM a recovering alcoholic but not a drug user…. The pain is worse than childbirth! I also had 2 phseudo cysts on my pancreas but all good now….. FOR NOW!…. Thank u… U helped me heaps??!!!

    1. Hi Christina – I don’t know how I helped but you are most welcome 🙂 Thank you for the kind words, sharing and leaving a comment. Glad to hear you have healed up from your acute pancreatitis. Stay well 🙂

  25. Reading your blog describes the doctors I went to the E.R. and my family physician doctor. They never really told me if I had chronic or acute just told me I have inflamed pancreas and stay on a low fiber diet, prescribed pills that gave me ugly dangerous side effects and family physician to pick. I rarely drink alcohol and I don’t do drugs but I ate a lot of processed foods and alot of trans fats. Also, I didn’t really have nausea, vomiting nor diarhea on my first attack. Anyway, I followed the directions in my low fiber diet, went to a family physician doctor and I started to feel better. It was my last visit for my physician and he dismisses me saying I can eat what ever I want. I asked if I can eat a donut or pizza and he said yes. Ever since I ate those foods on April 28-March 1st of this year. My insides started to hurt again very slowly last week it started to hit hard thursday to saturday. The pain is weird it would just come and go. Saturday I decided to fasten and it helped it was just pure burping, spitting and feeling nauseous. Today is sunday I got hunger again and more of an energy to walk. Your diet really gives me a guide line to follow on foods not to eat. I don’t mind eating rice and broccoli for the rest of my life. Just a question to ask is sodium intake bad?

    1. Hi Lilly, I had similar advice from my doctor and specialist too: just eat what you like, nothing is off limit…. It wasn’t until my third attack that I made the connection, for me it is: fatty foods, processed foods, onions, garlic and all dairy. Although might sound limiting my diet is a lot more healthy and tasty now. A lot better following the ‘Health Guy’s’ advice plus I take replacement enzymes. My first hospital meal offered after the first attack was a great mound of mashed potato topped with a big greasy sausage, I could have spewed all over it! Ugh. Anyway, all the best to you.

  26. Wow..this confirms things for me.

    So in february of this year I landed in the hospital with severe dehydration and diabetic ketoacidosis (hmm, strange, didn’t know I was diabetic!!). I had a “stomach flu” for 2 days, vomiting and diarrhea non-stop with pain I can only describe as a knife being inserted into my upper abdomen and pulled across. I ended up in ICU for 3 days. I begged them to run my pancreas numbers (because my brother in law has the pseudo cysts and it took them years to figure it out but I watched him suffer for years and now he only has a nub left) byt they never did till my 6th day in the hospital. At that time (with no food and only water for days) my numbers were fine. From the start I was so low in Potassium and Magnesium they had to give me multiple bags of it over 7 days and oral supplements. So they said it was just the getting overly dehydrated and not knowing I had diabetes.

    So I go home and begin recovery. Can’t eat food, don’t want it, just chicken broth please, that’s all I wanted. But the “rib to hips” pain never left. I told everyone “I can feel all my organs and they hurt”. After a few months I felt like I was close to being back to normal. I began eating normal food and being active again. Getting use to my new Diabetic lifestyle and living with this mortification that I could be diabetic for so long and not know!!

    Then I started being nauseous most mornings. I would vomit every 5-15 days in the morning. So hard I would get petechial hemorrhaging on my neck and face from my capillaries bursting due to the force of it. But no food was in my stomach in the AM. It was only just clear liquid. Then as soon as I’d puke I’d feel better and was off. The nagging pain had decreased from full abdominal area to just the upper. I was starting to be worried about Gall Stones. Then, two weeks ago in the middle of my work day I was hit with a terrible wave of nausea, ran to the bathroom and was able to sit down and get a bucket in time. It was bad. All green bile as well as diarrhea. I immediately went home. After I felt better and got myself together I called my GP. She had me come in immediately the next day. Ran blood test, stool samples, urgent ultrasound 1 week after, CT scans 2 weeks after. She calls me,I have gall stones and my amylase and lipase number are elevated after the first week, She said “you have pancreatitis”. So I go to see the GI.

    Well, as far as he’s concerned it’s no big deal. Those elevated numbers are fine he said. Had my Gastro endoscopy on Wednesday and nothing was found. He said they can do a test to see if I have Gastroparesis. But I don’t vomit undigested food that’s sitting in my stomach. I puke clear liquid or bile.

    So now I’m off to see another doc. How do I get them to look at my story from a different angle than just lab results that are run too lake or a CT and Ultrasound that are taken AFTER the episode? I believe I’ve had chronic pancreatitis for about a year. When they talk about the bowel movements having that film or hard to flush? I had that for a year before I got sick. I was getting nauseas in the mornings as well before I got sick in February. I also had horrible leg cramps some nights. I think I’m diabetic because my pancreas destroyed the cells. Some friends have suggested it’s due to metformin ER side effects or, insultingly, psychosomatic. lol! I also read that poor absorption due to untreated chronic pancreatitis makes a person critically low in Magnesium and Potassium…(Oh, doc, you mean like those bags and bags and bags and bags of Potassium and Magnesium you gave me?? Hmmmmm, weird…so uncorrelated, right?)

    I feel like I need to just declare I have chronic pancreatitis with the next doctor and just go from there. haha! I’m gonna check out the diet link but I have to be careful because of the carbs now.

    Ugh. Anyway, this was great, thanks for the information!! I feel it’s certain I had an acute attack after a year of chronic and now my pancreas is FUBAR’d but the GI doc didn’t just not confirm, he was dismissive. I get I’m not his most serious case but come ON!

    1. hey Elizabeth – sorry to hear you have been ill. I hate nausea and vomiting. I’d rather have the pain than puke. Your GP sounds more on the ball. Maybe your GP will take you on as her panc patient, forget the GI doc and get you some good nausea meds. You’re welcome to the info I hope it helps in some way.

    2. The blog article,since drs don’t care,not ER(6 times) remove my gallbladder but guess what?Pain is far from gone I found out last Thursday 8 days ago.I had an endodcopy/Colonoscopy scheduled for the pain that’s been there (and bloating never went down.Look 7 months preggo upper abdo).
      I drink (try my best)4 glasses of water in 5 hours (too much for me) then pills noon,then 1 litres of this sweet/salty/gross but the 4 8 Oz glasses in a row was too much.Nausea,pressure started.Took gravol.Tried a cup of hot tea by 8pm,no poop…feel like a balloon but show must go on…drink 3 more glasses of liquid garbage.Day in a full I want to explode.And all on a fasting stomach (thank God !).11:15 pm after googling the record of how long does it take to poop on this,longest: 31/2 hrs…I’m so nauseous now and pain is prutal upper left and back (you all get it).I call telehealth speak to an RN. Since my appetite has been…going 2 days without food easy,I tell her in 4 mins everything.She says no I can’t get poisoned but with fast pulse and heart pounding,”Get someone to drive you,GO IN WITH YOU to ER wheelchair,or call 911 now.Say did you understand everything I said?I said can i take a cab it’s less than 5 mins away.She says by time you get off phonext and call then theyou get there 1/2 you’re not doing yourself a favor with pain,bloating,nausea,no poop and all that liquid sitting in your stomach so NO.Call 911 they’ll be there faster with proper equipment should something go wrong.
      I been there 5 times,and 2 other ER,I waited on a chair while “brain farts” they populate quickly…took his sweet time.Finally Comes,a short of pain killer,haven’t drank for over 10 yrs but…must be an addict no way I could be clean and sober.O MUST BE LYING.Sends me home.Nothing wrong.Drink prune juice… be-bye.2nd time,I’d had ano ultrasound that showed a common duct 3x it’s size.Waiting on my Dr to get her crap together.I’ll sent you to an ER.OK.Wait they’ll call.NO one does.I end up at ER 3rd time now.I GET A GOOD DOC!OMG.When I mentioned the duct he went out returned with a portable ultrasound and we’ll yes,I see that.Sending you again right now.I go,they see the duct alright but no stones…sending me for a contrast sort of special MRI Pronto for this.Gives me a shot of hydromorphone wish helped pain and a bag of strong iv nausea meds and another shot when discharging me with a painkiller prescription and please call GP asap.I get a call next day,set up MRI…5 days later.
      Then my GP (who’d said previously “my gid,there’s so many things wro g with you,sends me to a surgeon about my gallbladder.Good riddancr for her.Walk in,yes,gallbladder.I’m SO RELIEVE at that time! Wow everyone told me piece of cake you be good to go in a wk.Surgery,in a country hospital (shorter wait).I wake up in recovery.And less than r hrs after walking in,I’m walking out…RN doesn’t help me get down of course.By 9:30 pain and blood going through triple flooded multiple gauze call 911 can’t walk.They get here,put me on stretcher,comment slightly on my pain meds no clue that I have a double herniated cervical disk no Dr want to operate on YET until painkillers don’t they bring me straight to a room with oxygen,resident doc is nice went to school with my daughter.Takes history, set up IV line (himself I KNOW) and I wait for big CHEESE.He walks in.LOOKS AT MY MEDS FIRST says Jesus that’s a lot of meds eh!!! Looks at me despite bottles there and meds have been counted to eliminate abuse.Good with me.He examines me already made his own mind “ADDICT SHOPPING” pokes here and there im in agony bleeding abnormally but says we’ll give 1mg morphine…and go home.Wait it out go to your Dr. My GP next day prescribes appropriate pain control as one must walk at 52 not to stroke.A wk later see the surgeon,he’s all blinky (that nervous thing) says it all looks nice.Had so much scar tissue from yrs of attacks it took us a while to scrape to the gall bladder we couldn’t see.Might take a week Xtra. Gas will subside you’ll be good as new. Leave blinking office by cab.3 months later,again,pain,bloating never came done,puked everything till dry heaving. Get to ER hoping Dr.Smart will be there.HE IS!…but I got another doc,as good as me he says.OK. Doc Brain fart again, bag of anti nausea meds iv shot of Hydrocodone with “the face on” I’ve seen before”…beBye..Last Thursday,I went to ER,taken seriously by triage,takes blood pressure,a bit high,must be the pain,need xrays to rule out a blocked intestine,need iv fluids and pain meds,in a bed an Dr. I sat with nausea bag 2 1/2 hrs…in pain bent over,RN a wolf. Other RN nurse Ratchet.Fluids says I’m not your nurse.NO you can’t get ice chips for your sandpaper mouth and cracking lips from dehydration,you have a procedure at 10am.I still had quite hr left anyway.So I drag myself to water machine and buy a bottle.Fat chances when Colin hast responded yet that procedure could take place at 10am. I said I’m gonna have to miss procedure.She responds “oh “whoopsidoo”…I was so discouraged exhausted in brutal pain no fluids,ray,or pain meds though it’s on the chart till 4am after doc came in,nice doc,told him what had happened Sorry and “would you like a pillow” He gets one.Orders x-ray STAY then fluids,EKG,blood work,urine sample.I and pain meds.RN who reappeared says I was on break…OK. Of course within 1/2 on top of pain I’m running back and forth to bathroom,bag in hand she gave me no IV rack on wheels;just a ton of pieces of tape so stiff I was bruised for example days.Dr.returns before end ofor shift 3rd time,sees a liquid accumulation he not not like at all.Concerned about obstruction.CT scan scheduled for morning then internal medecine dept of H will come see me in afternoin and raised meds RN never gave me to 2mg hydromorphone.But it’s end of shift…I’m exhausted looking at new shift getting moving i wonder in fear wholl care for me.Already affraid of obstruction,slept 1/2 hour on my side exhausted, position knees against my chest. I kid around but it’s really not funny. I tell a nurse I’m going to bathroom with the runs holding my bag.She said omg wait I’ll get you a hang rack on wheels,sets me up,says I’m your nurse I’ll be right there in 3 minutes.When I returned,she’s waiting with a shot of pain killer and a bag of iv gravol since I had the other meds and 12 hrs must wait before the other bag.She looks at my IV line,says what’s all the tape…bad job they did,removed the stiff wad gently,I was crying to see someone kind as the doc.She then gives me a shot cause intramuscular works near instantly.She brings me 2 heated blankets and takes the other crummy 1 blanket,checks my pulse and blood pressure which is still high,due to pain from 9 pm till 7:45 am… and for the first time since I walked in i actually feel relief.The gravol is helping.She asks me if I’m ok to take my neck pain meds by mouth with a sip of water cause it’s so stiff I can’t move.I take the meds.And close my eyes and tears are falling of gratitude believing I will be OK now.They’ll figure out what is wrong surely. My daughter who I had told to go home and sleep once in wheelchair with heated blanket at midnight.I thought I’d be OK on iv fluids and all.NO point sitting there. ..again.I open my eyes at nine.She took the day off,called GE about being in ER after peglyte fiasco,grabs a coffee, and there she was on the chair by my bed holding my hand.My sweet daughter…whose too well aware of the bullshit I been through for years,not going to ER,suffering the 3-4 days of hell I assumed my gallbladder for as far as I can remember since age 14.
      RN is the sweetest nurse,”A good nurse” comes in to introduce herself to K. Saying were now taking care of your mom explains what is planned.At ten I’m wheeled up to CT and told I must drink 2 glasses of water with something in it to help with contrast CT.It tastes like water.I only have to sip half a glass every half hour.I put my big gurl panties and do it,K supporting me.Noon wheeled to CT.Nice tech.We do the test.And she wheels me down herself,3 humans in ER so far in a short time overwhelms me…I’m given more pain meds,and hooks up the strong nausea bag to iv. Then a resident walked in.dear God,it’s the 4th time telling what’s happened answering my family history and my own.She’s nice though.Does an exam trying to not induce great pain. I’ll be back after I speak with the team.Half hr later,in Wales the big cheese….and we’re back to square one with sphinters (not mine) But his mouth.He’s got the loverboy (in hid little world) haircuts that falls on his forehead so that he must push it away like a peacock non stop.He leans against the wall,puts his hands up and says WELL,you’ve been here “quite a lot” with your “bellyaches uh”.I’m stunned so is my daughter and RN walks out embarrassed…
      See,we found nothing wrong with you:not blood,urine or scan”.I know it’s bullshit Dr showed me the x-ray and very clear 8 hrs before. “You see he says,you were so CONVINCING as to get the night Dr to worry about your visit and treating you,with IV fluids,meds,for nausea and you got quite a bit of attention sinice 12 am”. Starts with the Hypocondriac shit and mental illness sometimes sending ppl to ER rather than just going to your GP.I say at 11 my GPS office is closed.So sorry about that (with a little sarcasm he’s an asshole.NO wonder he chose that field.It was natural for him).He keeps on with psycho-symptoms in my head in other humiliating worse and body language.Oh yes,and I best call the GI asap since I wasted her time not showing up.Some people don’t do the prepain he says than come here so they have an excuse. That she won’t see me again he’s sure,but once I pay the “no show fee” she’ll send me elsewhere since I missed he procedure. Since there’s nothing,NOTHING WRONG (nothing ever wrong so far (hmm look at your notes from a year ago I say!!! I was diagnosed with a messed up gallbladder here by a professional and respectful Dr. Had a surgery and every single visit was valid. He says “ok then. .”.WELL,leaning on Wall smirking” he says nothing wrong with you.I’m discharging you right away.Next time,go see your GP now.NO point coming back here.
      I’m ashamed to say I was actually in tears feeling so humiliated,dismissed,told not to return with my belly issues. TAKE CARE now.And he’s off. My nurse came is saying hi honey,squeezes my arm gently,I could see he disappointment having heard,along with everyone behind the curtain in a loud voice…what had happened. She said wait luv,let me finish with your nausea treatment then the iv fluids bag.Her kindness busted my heart. But damage was done…again,harmed with a CT this time like a big flag…
      Not at all wanting to admit the possibilities that the duct was not visible,that 30% probably higher of people having gallbladder removed laparatically end up with pain,often caused during the surgery to organs…That pancreatis couldn’t be the cause.He was the big cheese,he loved it,and sent me scooting home.
      My daughter was so angry and wants me to report him,the RN was not in the room since he waved her out (of course no witnesses) and I know the politics of drs stick up protecting their own…even the assholes in the name ofor an institution.And why would I want to put this nurses a kind nurse and woman,on the chopping block? She did her job with empathy wanting to do what she does,relieve my pain and nausea and keep me so comfortable.But I couldn’t look at her as she finished the IV bags,I couldn’t meet her kind empathetic eyes.I would have lost my shit.and I feared I couldn’t stop crying.And I just wanted to walk out.
      I sat in my apt since Friday afternoon.I ate a little portion when the nausea stuff was still working.I knew I’d pay for it.But I just prayed it would not.Then gravol suppositories,Gas-X (semiticone) my pain meds,and digestive aids my pancreas obviously could not deliver,so I’d not vomit it…and was able to.Then took my heat bag again,laid on my right side slightly forward with it above stomach and the swelling on left side.Day after I couldn’t eat,nausea and brutal headache,I was miserable,my poor daughter…and grandaughter hadMD plans I again had to break a promise. That night was pure hell.My heart was pounding and pulse at 128 in resting position.And wired all week not eating drinking herbal Tea the hot liquid gave a little relief efforts could hold it down at least.Didn’t eat from Sat till Friday 3 pm my GP appointment.I’m trying to stay hydrated.I could not have basically all wk,and like now pulse racing,heart pounding,the Dr replacing mine says CT was really good (smiling kindly as if!) And nothing was found.Takes my blood pressure I kid you not FIVE TIME you know the cuff that inflates itself super tight.Wx then walks out during 3rd saying it happens often when Dr is in the rm and patients are nervous.Well before then,my BP held steady.My joke to rNs was “120/80?” They’d smile and say yep you have good veins and a good heart…now just one more time,then a 5th time to hopefully be able to say you’re pressure ain’t bad…was not the case.She says must be due to pain.NO DUH.And that a person could actually go 30-40 days without food with that oh so stupid intern smile. I said well,I’m not Jesus or Gandhi and they were not in pain.they chose to fast.I do not.And I doubt a heart would be in great shape with no pottassium a month nor sodium,and heart already in bad shape after a week dizzy I could not drive my car there and went for accupuncture before app (it was set already and hoping some of the pain would ease) that in a state of as much relaxation eyes closed as i could that it would have brought my BP and pull that high.She sais well,it would be important to focus on “constipation,get things moving in thr” Jesus christ. And says come back tomorrow well take your blood pressure and come here instead of ER we can help you.I said you do IV fluids here?Have beds,and proper medication handing? Do ECGS?
      Oh not ewuipped we dont do that she said…and being closed all weekend that’s quite practical eh…
      This morning it was not pain that woke me but my pounding heart and breathlessness.I took my pulse 29 brats in 15 secs. ..a little poor going by chats. I did not drive my daughter to airport feared fainting.she’ls on way to the Dominicans and I don’t want her worrying but driving like this is reckless. I said I was a wee tired but would pay both of their cabs there.
      If money could only buy me a proper diagnosis…
      I took her little dog outside.My head was ringing loud by time I put coat on and made it to elevator. I took a very very short walk close to my bldg in case. I was not well when I got back.My heart is worrying me a lot.Going to ER is a last resource.I ate 1 scrambled egg at 2.chewed so SLOOOOWLY.I managed to keep it down pain is gone today…but my heart scares the shit out of me.I won’t live 3 days without proper iv fluids.And my heart properly medicated until I can eat at least a few small meals a day and multivitamins and all.
      I’m scared of heart damage on top of my pancreas having being eating itself God how long while no Dr ever brought it up…thanks to Google with my symptoms,pancreatis was number one…especially after abdominal surgery.I was never told of these possible risks.I would have insisted on open surgery where it’s so much safer that risk of slight skin infection did not bother me.But it’s cheaper laparatically. hospitalization
      Saving on cash.
      I pray right now I don’t have to call 911 tonight.If pain gets worst in my chest I will.It’s not a choice.I’ll be told OMG WHY DID YOU NOT COME BEFORE…of course right.

      Hope I make it. I see my GP on the 6th…it’s a while to go…and she doesn’t fix damaged hearts…
      Sorry,long but true story.
      If I get back on here,I picked a different hospital and called 911 finally.Not waited till Tuesday app to check my blood pressure…30-40 days without food.I need a new GP as much as its so hard to find one right now,it’s what I need do.I don’t like change been with her 16 years…but it’s time.

      Thank you.Hope you all have a good night and weekend pain free.
      Talk to you soon
      G ?

      1. Hi HG – it certainly sounds like you have had some awful experiences with doctors. I can empathize! Hopefully you have more than one ER where you live. I’d suggest going to a different one. Especially if it is a heart issue.

  27. Dear Paul, the last few days I have been having a burning sensation in my left rib cage. I would rate it about a scale of four on a pain scale of 1 to 10. It is persistent and nagging. I am wondering if this is the beginning of an AP attack and do I need to do a fast in order for this to be resolved? I have been eating very low fat and vegan since August. So I have no idea what brought this on. As you may know I had the Whipple in February to remove cysts and I am very careful about my diet. However, lately I have started taking less of the supplements you recommended. I take the enzyme you recommend with every meal, but I’ve only been taking vitamin C, curcumin, and grapeseed extract once a day and I am wondering if perhaps this is part of my problem. Thank you again for all you do.

    1. Hi Jayne – sorry to hear you are still not well.

      Question: “I am wondering if this is the beginning of an AP attack and do I need to do a fast in order for this to be resolved?”
      Answer: It is always good to be cautious and heed signals. It may be prudent to fast and increase the supplements (vit c, grape seed and curcumin).

      Hopefully that resolves the issue. IF the issue does not resolve within a few days of fasting and increased supplements or if it does resolve with the continuation of increased supplements and then returns you may want to notify your doc.

  28. Hello! I’m trying to get over an attack now. Your info has helped a great deal. I’ve been to the hospital twice in the past year, so I decided I can starve myself in the comfort of my own home for free. I took the ibuprofen 800, and it did help! Now I have that gas feeling that won’t come out. Like I just need to take a 5 min fart, but can’t. What can I take for this? In the hospital, I was so drugged up on morphine that I didn’t feel it much until it wore off. Then I just asked for more pain meds. I remember leaving the hospital both times letting it all loose (those 5 min farts), but how, or when can I de-gas at home? I’m scared to take gas meds because I don’t want to start throwing up again. Any suggestions please?

    1. Hi Della – sorry to hear you have been ill. I have no good answer in regards to a gas problem other than gas x, beano, or am antacid with simethicone. IF you should begin to feel ill again you should go to the ER because it is difficult, almost impossible at first, to tell (at home) whether you have mild or severe acute. Remember pancreatitis can be lethal.

  29. I had acute pancreatitis in 2011. It was the most horrible experience I have ever had. I was in the hospital for 23 days, four of which were spent in ICU. I ended up with a pseudocyst that had to be removed some months later. The attack happened without warning and I was so miserable that I was rolling on the floor at work, in my classroom. I was picked up by ambulance and brought to the hospital. There are no words to describe the pain and suffering associated with this illness. I’m just thankful it is over. This was a good article, thanks. Renee from Springfield MA.

  30. Thank you for that beginning part on seeing doctors in the ER! Been there with the VA and many ER Visits. After 5 years it has been proven I have Chronic Pancreatitis. They took a look saw the scaring but could not tell me what caused it? I was not a drinker and they also did a Autoimmune Test which was negative. Put me on Creon and forever pain pills to take. Been rough learning what to and not to eat and now on the lowest non fat diet my wife could come up with. Been hospitalized several times just laid there on IVs and Pain Meds injected every 2 hours for 3 days then I felt better got up and said I want to go home. Last ER Visit made me very angry cause I felt like they were thinking I was looking for pain meds even though the VA was real good at giving them to me? Time before they would not inject me and give me IVs so I got pissed and just left and got better at home. This last time got me so mad that nothing could stop the pain I tried something and with drawled off my 7.5 hydrocodone’s 3-4 time a day to see if it could make my abdomen feel better being so bloated all the time. What a 48 hours of horrible stuff I went thru stopping them!! Guess what I feel less pain now abdomen is not all bloated and spent many times on the toilet empting it out till the pain stopped. Ate some toast for my first meal took my Creon and bloated up again? Next meal decided not to take Creon and did not bloat so I did it again and same thing no bloat! This was done because I was in so much pain and did not get any good info out of the doctors. I might have solved a few problems. The pain meds slowed down my system taking them every day. I was on a fat free diet for years now and still took Creon and it must have upset me?? My amylase and lipase levels are OK except when I was very sick. Guess I don’t need them all the time. I just did this and while with drawing I was reading your blog and every thing I could find on the subject. Soon I will know if it works nothing the doctors did solved the pain all the time. It worked in the beginning but as the years went by it got worse. I was ready to just give up when I was so made that they always thought I wanted pain meds I just stopped taking them. It was hard at first but did it cold turkey and I am over the hard part now and won’t use them anymore unless I am headed to the hospital in pain. Thanks for the great information and I will keep reading and update the site after a while if it works out for me.

    1. So far the test is working great I feel better now after stopping the pain meds then I have in years! Even my meals are way better not taking the Creon before them. No bloating after eating and no pain either. Bowel movements are normal and color is right. No excess gas so I will stay doing it till something changes and again tell it all to the doctor in a few weeks. First night I have slept good in a long time also so the withdraw stuff is over stopping the Hydrocodone’s.

        1. I am using digestives now before meals, (says so on the bottle) and have had no gall bladder pain since. Sorry to hear this guy went thru hell with medications that just hide the symptoms of a fixable problem.

    2. Hi Mark – Sorry to hear you have CP. You must have went through hell quitting narcotic meds cold turkey. Creon can cause some unwanted side effects, especially if the dose is to high. Anyway, you seem to have learned that you do better without the drugs. That is a nice deal. Glad you are finding relief. The right diet and supplements should help you even more. In my case narcotics (demerol) didn’t help. Ibuprofen (800-1000 mgs) did what narcotics did not. It resolved the inflammation and once the inflammation went down so did the pain and symptoms. I wish you better health. Keep in touch.

      1. It was real hard to do getting off them! Still working on what I can and can’t eat but today we picked up the Grape Seed and other herbs and will start off with them at the dose on the bottle an work my way up till there working. Working on the problem with my back and neck that caused the use of narcotics for the pain in the first place. Still have those problems and sleeping is hard at times. Just don’t want to burn out on over the counter pain pills either so I will talk to my new doctor about this problem. Trazadone will let me sleep thru the night but don’t want to use them all the time. They were prescribed for PTSD problems sleeping but I was only taking them on bad nights. This is a real battle for me to get it right since stopping the pain meds other things are starting to pop back up not taking them. Hope the Grape Seed will do some good I will give it a shot for a while to give it time. I know nothing works over night since it took years to get this way. Thanks Again. Mark

        1. hey Mark – I know it was hard getting off the narcotics. That isn’t an easy fun deal, at all. I respect your fortitude! I hope you see results with the supplements. Diet is important too. If you have any questions just ask. By the way thank you for your service and Good luck 🙂

          1. Well it has been over a month since I quit the pain meds and Creon. In fact the only pill I do take now is Nortriptiline and that is for night time sleep(down from 13 pills a day!). I take the Grape seed and a few more vitamins plus extra calcium for my back and neck. At this point it has been working great pain levels down to a 1-2 from a 5-6 all the time. Food is not such a problem and I can eat more stuff with out problems. I even took up climbing a 1 1/2″ dia rope for exercise and can climb it to the top at 65 years of age. I like the new me after getting off all the drugs I was on for 5 years! Things are looking up for me now!

          2. Hi Paul! Do you think it is safe to eat deli sliced turkey breast after they have used the slicer for roast beef, ham or even salami?

          3. Hi Jayne – that is a GREAT question! What you just described in your question the fact that a deli slices ALL kinds of meats, red meats, pork, salami etc and then slices your deli turkey or chicken without cleaning the apparatus (carving knife) is a very good example of how to turn a probably safe sandwich into a potential nightmare. I know it sounds picky and may not be a problem for many but I’d hate to see someone get sick and have no idea where the problem may have come from. Eating out, foods prepared by others, is a challenge to say the least. Great question Jayne! How are you feeling?

          4. I have been feeling really good for a few months now! I’ve even been able to add a few more foods with a bit more fat than usual. Like corn chips if I only eat one serving is OK. But I am being super careful about everything that I eat. The only restaurants I have eaten out at are Subway for their turkey sub and I can eat a California roll at a sushi bar. I forgo the soy sauce! Other than that I am fearful of what is in the food. I know I could eat a baked potato, steamed broccoli, and a plain salad, and a slice of bread at a restaurant. But I have not ventured out to do that lately. Thank you again for all of your advice! How are you feeling? When was your last attack? God bless you.

          5. Jayne that is awesome to hear. I am really glad you are doing better 🙂 I’m fine. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve had an acute attack. As long as I stick to my diet and take my supplements I am fine. Thanks for asking. And God bless you back! 🙂

          6. OK one more question. And I’m with you, I err on the side of caution! Enough attacks will do that to you… When I order my turkey sub at subway, should I ask them to change their gloves before handling my sub? Wouldn’t the trace amounts of fat on their gloves be negligible? Also now I’m wondering where they get their meats and if they slice them on location with other meats?

          7. No on the cleaning part for Deli Meats. Deli meats are classified as ready-to-eat. In a general sense, ready-to-eat deli meats regardless of what type of meat that is used to make them are are equally hazardous. Heat processing kills all the naturally present pathogens which makes them ready-to-eat. Therefore, one does not need to clean and sanitize a slicer in between slicing different types of deli meats. Cheese is also ready-to-eat and so the slicer does not need to be cleaned after slicing it as well. One would need to clean and sanitize the slicer if raw or partially cooked meats were sliced. Remember though that slicers must be cleaned and sanitized every four hours.

          8. Mark I agree deli meats are hazardous. What makes it even more hazardous is the fact that you don’t know when you ask for some lean chicken breast slices whether or not the guy or gal before you asked for pork or beef and that same slicer is used to cut your chicken breast leaving beef and or pork residue on your chicken. Granted small amounts probably but for some it wouldn’t take much to cause a problem. I am known to error on the side of caution lol

  31. I’m still laughing, you are a riot! I’m trying to dodge the hospital! I am a Paramedic of 27 years, now retired. I hear everything you are saying. What can I do to prevent another attack? I’m on oxycodone and Fentanyl patches for bone diseases but I swear vomiting will take me out! I had my gallbladder removed after the attack had me curled into a ball praying to pass out with trash can at my head. I now have multi stab wounds from that and small hernia above my navel.
    I have a pet family that depend on me and I don’t want to get trapped in a hospital. I guess I did self diagnosis on having no gallbladder and it is a week later and my upper left quadrant below upper ribs is swollen and tender. Any advise would be appreciated. Theresa

    1. Hi Theresa – I’m happy to hear I brought some laughter into your life. I enjoy making people laugh. It’s good medicine 🙂 I also get the vomiting thing. I’d rather have pain than nausea and vomiting. Nausea turns me into a worthless pile of jello lol. It takes quite sometime to heal after acute pancreatitis, especially if there was a sizable amount of damage. A swollen, tender left quadrant is an indication that inflammation is still present. You are on some extremely powerful narcotics and I am not familiar with what one can take or can’t take with those drugs but Ibuprofen (IF you can take it with the drugs) will help relieve the inflammation. Grape seed extract and vitamin C will help tremendously. Start with low doses and work up until you achieve desired results. Diet is extremely important. Diet and supplements. I hope you begin feeling better real soon 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for your time and input. I still laugh about the response because the background scenario is so true! I am unable to take ibuprofen first it tears me up and now allergic. Even MS tears me up! Baby aspirin eats me alive! I try to avoid any anti-inflamatories because of side effects, especially affecting liver. It took years of pain Rx. to get to this level of present meds. I became opioid tolerant, and had multiple surgeries and arthritis, AS, severe spinal stenosis, OA,scoliosis, you get the pic. I did not go to pain centers, I can read and boost my own spirit and motivation. I am thrilled when I don’t have to walk to “that” cabinet and take anything. The patch worked by giving me an energy streak every other week or so. Actually it came from my first thoughts upon awakening I noticed I thought about home upkeep projects/ maintanance came to mind and not, ” Oh God, another day in hell ! 🙁 ” Days where I cut my front and back yards, cut the neighbor’s front lawn and sometimes multiple front lawns because my I wasn’t thinking of spirit crushing pain. I worked until I hit the wall ! Always in overdrive normally but chronic mod/severe pain started altering my spirit and personality. Those times I was sore as heck the next day but … it was a good pain knowing I could ” bulk-up ” in a week! Never took any pain rx. for that good pain. Oh it feels so good! Those times got further apart. I was put on the patch because MS made me so nauseated and reduced me to jello! I was starving hungry but stomach ached so badly I couldn’t eat. A pharmacist I had known for several years recognize I could not tolerate morphine. I got so weak that I slept through a dose by several hours and when I woke up my stomach ache was noticeably easing. Went on to levels of patch and felt so much better from the energy increase.
        The day of my pancreatic-type attack was preceded by energy and stressed dropped hughly, until the projectile, green emesis started and wouldn’t stop! I kept a plastic grocery bag as I kept waiting for the nightmare to pass. I threw up for 15 hours and felt horrible. I eventually was able to drink an electrolyght water after 20+ hours, in small amounts. A week of pure exhaustion followed. I forgot to mention my gallbladder was removed over 10 years ago after similar attack but the pain was right upper quadrant. I was so proud to still be working on the ambulance when I turned 50 (12-19) , 12 days later I was terminated for taking too long at the scene. The steps were covered with ice and the man on stretcher was so dangerous. Fired for disability and only on hydrocodone at that time. Took osteobyflex before I’d take hydrocodone. Had to quit Osteobiflex as it was affect my bleeding too much from small lacs, etc. I have been going downhill from so many health issues. I still dodge hospitals because I have senior pets and Im needed here.
        Pain management with biofeedback and all of the other hocus pocus will never happen. When any doc in hospital or any medical professional mentioned it, my response was “OK, I’ll do that as soon as you agree to let me grab your scrotum and pull it up over your lower lip while you just focus on the pretty picture hanging on the wall !! ”
        Yackety yack and sorry for the lengthy letter but you know how life can go from sugar to shit in a minute! ;))
        Thanks again. You are an awesome spirit lifter and a comedic writer! Laughter does help. Bless you for being such a good guy! Theresa?

        1. Hi Theresa – If you suffer with pancreatitis and don’t give yourself some laughs (or get them from somewhere) one could go nuts. Since you don’t tolerate Ibuprofen well you might want to consider grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C in combination (awesome cocktail). All 3 are highly anti-inflammatory. In fact, curcumin in appropriate doses relieves pain as well as NSAIDS yet doesn’t cause the side effects (bleeding, heart attack, high blood pressure, kidney or liver damage). However, large doses of curcumin will cause nausea and vomiting so increase doses slowly and see how well you tolerate it.

      2. Thank you for your time and dark humor. Seriously, I picture you reading that aloud to a room full of medics and the roaring laughter! The best continuing education class of all time. A legend in your own time.
        I’m allergic to ibuprofen and a mess of other things by now as well adhesive and I’m on the patch!:o I would love to try grape seed extract and vitamin C. I hear you about the nausea and vomiting. It reduces me to tears. I will eventually pass out from pain but n/v turn me to jello. Trash can parked at head of bed for turn and puke ease because you know you are going near hell! I knew it was noticeable when my senior pets gathered around and watched me nearly die!
        I thought no one would believe I am filling the corners of a plastic bag with green watery emesis, repeatedly!!
        I am looking forward to getting my supplements and healing.

      3. Hi again! I did want to mention that when my rebounding abilities were sharply decreasing I asked my doc for palliative care , unless my spinal growths start causing me the inability to ambulateon my own. No more invasive anything! Keep me comfortable until Im gone. I can alter a diet or meds but not paralysis and now the pancreatic attacks. The nincompoop that did my gallbladder removal by laproscopic surgery left me with a small hernia at my navel and stab wounds not visible from the outside but internally . I regularly comfort myself by holding internal stab wounds from the outside and praying the pain stops.
        Your humor and being a medical professional and an ER Tech, I can recite the prerequisite “ugly dark humor” of the “pros”. I don’t bs around any longer. I start speaking their ” language ” they will know they cannot talk over my head. It is usually a quick stop effect to being jerked around. We, and other medical people in the family get someone’s attention and it becomes a professional speaking with another. I can wake from a surgery and tell them what size endotracheal tube they used! True story, another time. Thanks for trying to help us all! One other trick they try is the old “She/he may need a psychiatric evaluation.” We see so much behind the scenes that we can almost tell the story before it happens. I’m grateful I was exposed to emergency medicine and later ER medicine, then extended care/emergency eventually. Saw people declared crazy so they could unburden the family plus suck up state checks and once it hits their “limit” they suddenly die! The ugly side of some “pros” is sickening.
        If you ever write a book, put my name down for a copy. Thank God for good roller like you.

        1. Theresa – I find it interesting that you remarked: “Saw people declared crazy so they could unburden the family plus suck up state checks and once it hits their “limit” they suddenly die!” I had an aunt who lived quite far from me. She ended up in a nursing home with a court appointed guardian. They drained her resources (home, cars, cash etc) and when her money ran out at the end of one month she suddenly died the first of the next! I KNOW there was something “fishy” there.

          1. Hi Health Guy, thank you for letting me know you know nothing about the collagen for my spine conditions. I am on vitamin C & just started grape seed extract last night. Starting low dose & will increase over time. I will watch for more advice and utilize it if I am able to. The tenderness & swelling this time confirmed what I feared. Nope, don’t drink or eat greasy foods or obviously fatty foods. I sincerely feel stress set mine off. Milk is the only thing I cannot live without. Even better with Nestles Quick chocolate powder occasionally! No joke. Just when I hit a really depleted level of electrolytes. I’m sure the sugar & sodium help. I am usually hyponatremic but not hyperkalemic! Makes no sense but that’s lucky I think. I’ll watch for your updates. Thank you, Theresa?

  32. I can’t put into words how very happy I am that I came across your site!!!! Happy really is an understatement! Not only have I learned alot, but you made me laugh along the way! I now feel more prepared on what to ask/ tell my doc and what I need to be doing in the meantime to help my pancreas.
    On Feb 3 I became violently ill and just figured it was a virus,which it may have been. A week later I was still very weak,nauseas and still having stomach pain so I called my GI doc. The office instructed me to go to the ER to get fluids and bloodwork. Luckily God blessed me with a doc who decided to check my lipase. It came back in the thousands and she admitted me telling me I had pancreatitis. The care I received once admitted, I know realize, was piss poor thanks to a brain fart doc! When I was discharged my lipase was still on the rise, 1867 to be exact, but I was told it should plateau soon and go back to normal. A week later it was down to 752 and i was soon to find out my amylase had gone up to 354. The fill in doc for my GI doc said ” Don’t worry about the Lipase. You just need to give yourself time to recover. Give yourself some tlc.” I had done some research on pancreatitis being I never had it before, that I know of. I asked this “doctor” if there wasnt a special test ro be done to check my pancreas. I didn’t beleive a follow up CT would show enough detail. She looked at me all confused and said NO. BecauseI was still in pain and not trusting this doc, I made an appt with my fam doc. He ordered follow up bloodwork and an MRCP, and he wanted to know why the GI doc hadn’t done this! So as i wait for the bloodwork results and my appt for the MRCP, i continue to try to educate myself. This is how i came across your site, and I thank God I did!! I’ll be altering my diet a bit and praying my pancreas isn’t too damaged. If you have any other advice I’m all ears! Thank you for posting all your experiences!
    Amy and her pancreas

    1. Hi Amy – You are most welcome to the info. I’m sorry you have joined the pancreatitis hall of pain. Let’s both of us pray your pancreas isn’t damaged enough to cause long-term problems. Does anyone know WHY you had pancreatitis? Are you still ill or have the symptoms resolved? You can find everything I personally do on this site. Just browse the appropriate categories on the right of this page. If you have specific questions feel free to ask. 🙂

      1. Hi ya Health Guy!
        First I have to say again, THANK YOU for putting all this important info out there!! I feel like I’ve been floundering since this all started and the idiot docs I’ve had to deal with haven’t helped. Unfortunately I’ve been in and out of hospitals since I was 14, I’m 43 now…long story. Any way one good thing to come out of all those years of dealing with the health industry is learning how to spot a crap doc, and how to fire them! I also learned that you have to be your own advocate,which is why I’ve been doing all this research.

        To answer your questions, yes I am still ill and so far docs are only guessing pancreatitis was from a virus. I was discharged on the 10th and told to work up to my normal diet as soon as I felt able. Luckily the research I did told me otherwise, and I’ve been keeping my diet very bland, low fat and liquidy. Lol. I’ve been eating alot of soups, applesauce, oatmeal and drinking lots of water and cran apple or grape juice very watered down. I tried to eat fish with rice the other night and had more pain and nausea than normal. I have a high threshold for pain, but the constant nausea, burning in my stomach and being constantly weak and tired are really wearing me down.
        I will be going through every catagory on this site later today, and will prob have some questions. Right now I’m gonna try to rest. I upped my ibupro dosage to 800mg hoping for some relief, I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you again for everything!
        God Bless,

          1. Thank you again Health Guy! Dude I just can’t thank you enough. I’ve been checking labels and eating as healthy as possible for a long time now. Between fighting Hepatitis C and beating it and now fighting chronic lyme disease I’ve always been conscious of what i put in my body…although since the pancreatitis I’ve been a bit more paranoid. I was telling a woman who replied to my post that the irony of me getting pancreatitis is hilarious. Out of many alcoholics on both sides of my family I’m one of the few who doesn’t drink! Plus I had my gallbladder removed when I was 17, but the pancreatitis got me anyway. I have to laugh, its either that or cry. I’ve taken all your advice to heart and I am determined to get my pancreas back in shape..damit! ?
            God Bless

          2. Hi Amy – Hep C can trigger acute pancreatitis (see WJG article). I’m not saying that’s what happened I’m just passing on a possible cause. I’m not a doctor but if doctors would make the time to keep up on developments (especially within their field I.E. Gastroenterology) people might know the actual reason or potential reason for their acute pancreatitis. It isn’t always gallstones or alcohol. There is a cure for Hep C now (Harvoni).

          3. Hi Health Guy.
            Thank you for the information on Hep C, that’s one cause I didn’t read about. I will bring it up to my GI doc, however I am happy to say I’ve been in remission, or cured as some docs say, for 14 years. Got the disease from a dentist when I was between 8 or 9 years old. Had the MRCP yesterday so we’ll see what that shows. I had a terrible day today. Woke up shivering and in alot of pain! Been sticking to mostly liquids today ,but still in alot of pain. Gonna have to call the doc in the morning if its still this bad. This just sucks!
            Thanks again,

    2. Hi Amy, I’m glad you got a doc that scheduled the correct tests. My attack was about 5 weeks ago and left me weak, more frail and a very tender and swollen upper abdomen. I threw up for 14 hours and too sick to drive. I also did not want to leave my senior pets. I got blessed and am still here. I don’t drink or eat fatty foods or meat. Not a vegetarian just buy very lean cuts from meat market if I do eat it. I do drink milk and won’t give it up! It’s the only thing that makes my stomach ease up and feel better. Love my milk;) Good luck in the future. I don’t know what they can do for our damged pancreas. Probably nothing.

      1. Hi Theresa.
        So very nice not to feel alone in this sucky situation! Not that I would wish this on anyone, but it’s nice to talk to people who are/have been through this. Found out today that my enzymes are almost to normal! Now if the pain would leave and I could get some energy back, I’d be a happy camper. The irony that I’m the one in my family that got pancreatitis is pretty hilarious! You see alcoholism runs on both sides of my family, and I’m one of the few in my family that doesn’t drink! I eat right and take care of myself, especially since I’m fighting chronic lyme disease, but it got me anyway! On top of that I don’t have a gallbladder. I had that taken out when I was 17! I just have to laugh at this situation cause the only alternative is to cry. I finally was able to see my GI doc today and not some fill in. He’s always been very caring and thorough and that put my mind at ease alittle. Now I’m just praying that the MRCP looks normal and I dont have any long term damage. Then I have to do whatever it takes to not get this again! I don’t think my animal children can take the stress. Sending you lots of healing thoughts. Feel free to compare notes! God Bless

  33. Hey Health Guy! First, thanks for finding the time and fortitude to run this site. Your plain language and blunt assessments are a breath of fresh air. I’m a 55 yr old guy who has been dealing with acute pancreatitis since around 2008. I just got my most recent set of discharge papers this past Friday after having, what I term (in comparison to some other attacks I’ve had) “mild.” I am a career veteran and live very close to a military hospital at an overseas location. I’ve gone to this same hospital for every attack I’ve had. It’s at the point now (as I am diagnosed as idiopathic AP) where, when I walk in and the military corpsman asks what’s wrong, I say “you’re dealing with a case of acute pancreatitis, call up my records and tell the doc.” By the time I’m ushered to an open spot in the ER (usually about a 10-minute wait), they’re already rigging my dancing partner and someone is asking where my preferred uplink spot is (Left arm, just below the crook – I’m right-handed). People chide military medicine (and, many times, for good reason) but you can’t believe how fortunate it is (relative) for me to be able to walk in, say what I’m dealing with, have them call it up and go “Yep, he’s been seen here several times; start the IV and get a room ready.”

    Unfortunately, with my particular brand of pancreatitis, my doctor and I can’t seem to isolate the cause. The downside of this arrangement is there are no GI’s in-house and going local is very cost-prohibitive (the type of health insurance where you pay everything up-front, in cash, and then get back a reimbursement after you file a claim. Usually a year or so after). I don’t drink and haven’t for more than 14 years. I don’t eat red meat (haven’t for at least 4 years now) and occasionally chewed on a good stogie (but that is off the table as of Friday). My diet has not been anywhere near what you are recommending and I’m carrying the weight to show it and that’s what led me here. I’m not gross, but I’m about +60lb over what would be ideal and I’m ready to commit to doing what is needed for me to heal, as the last set of images showed a pair of cysts. My overriding concern right now is the weight, so my lone question (as I seem to find answers to all my others) concerns those dietary supplements. What should I be on the look-out for with these things? I already know to keep an eye on the caffeine but I’m looking at protein and carbs. I’m not looking to shed everything quickly (only to gain it back), just enough to restrict my intake by curbing appetite (Will Power and me aren’t on speaking terms) and get me to were I don’t feel like I’m carrying a refrigerator on my back when I’m getting exercise.

    If you don’t know, I know you’ll tell me. It never hurts to ask.

    1. Hi Steve – thank you for your service! Adhering to my diet is going to be difficult while in the service at least it was (or would have been) when I was in the Corps. But if you can even come close you should see a major change in weight. The average diet is so full of fat and sugar that cutting those two items to the bone will cause weight loss along with being much better for your pancreas. Most so called appetite suppressants (weight loss pills) don’t work and those that do (ephedra) are not safe. Just cut the fat and empty sugar calories and you’ll see the weight drop off.

  34. How do you live with these attacks, there’s NO way they can be taken care of or managed at home! The first one I had, I thought I was dying..then 2 nonths later here’s cones the 2nd!! Both diognosed acute pancreatitis. . But then sent home 5 days after.

    1. Hi Jennifer – I use Ibuprofen (800 – 1200 mg dose) to knock out AP. BUT I would suggest going to the ER. It really isn’t a good idea to self treat AP because even doctors have difficulty distinguishing between mild and severe acute and severe acute can kill a person. Sorry to hear you have joined the club. It isn’t a fun club.

  35. Hi health guy,
    my age is 22 at the age 14 i got 1st accute i turned in to chronic.i am getting attacks when ever i eat chicken(99.99%) but i cant leaving eat. I am getting attacks once in 8 months averagely.i have vitamin deficiancy(b12) and pancreas tail has damaged.the main problem is i cant control food still daily eating chicken and eggs with yolk.but nothing happenig when i eat that also max times thtats why i am eating. I have few questions please answer me
    is it compulsory to have daily one selvit cp tablet.will it improve anything?.
    only can i have to concrentrate on my diets?.
    how danger am i?
    life expectancy of me?
    will TP/AIT surgery is only solution to it?
    every chronic pancraetities patient must definetly under go TP/AIT surgery at one stage?

    1. Hi Chandra – You said: “i am getting attacks when ever i eat chicken(99.99%) but i cant leaving eat. I am getting attacks once in 8 months averagely.” Ok, you are having an attack every time you eat chicken yet you average an attack every 8 months? So you eat chicken only once every 8 months? I must be missing something? Skinless chicken breast should work as long as it is not cooked like normal people would cook it. No breading, no oil in cooking and no gravy or high fat sauces. Just roast or bake or boil a skinless chicken breast and eat it with some safe veggies (broccoli, spinach, carrots etc) that are steamed or cooked without oil etc and let me know how it works out. Egg yolks do NOT work. Each yolk contains 5 grams of fat. Each meal should have no more than 5 grams of fat.

      Question #1: “is it compulsory to have daily one selvit cp tablet.will it improve anything?.”
      What is a “selvit cp tablet?” It looks to be a vitamin formula? If that is what it is it should help with nutrition but won’t help with healing or symptom issues resulting from pancreas inflammation.

      Question #2: “only can i have to concrentrate on my diets?”
      Yes, it is very important to concentrate on diet.

      Question #3: “how danger am i?”
      I’m not a doctor. I do not know how much danger you are in currently.

      Question #4: “life expectancy of me?”
      I don’t know that either. I don’t know how much damage you have or how willing you are to adhere to a proper pancreatitis diet, etc.

      Question #5 & 6: “will TP/AIT surgery is only solution to it? every chronic pancraetities patient must definetly under go TP/AIT surgery at one stage?”
      TP/AIT is not the only solution. I would list it as a final option when all else fails.

  36. My mum (71yrs) has pancreatitus. Why is it that the same foods can sometimes be tolerated and other times not?

      1. Hi. Thank you for replying. In this instance it was a tiny amount of ricotta cheese in a tomato based pasta sauce. Absolutely no more than 4grams of fat in the serving size. No other oils/fats. I cook 95% of mums meals and adhere to the no fats diet. . She has oats every day with soy milk which obviously has some fat content and which doesn’t affect her. I wonder is it because it was dairy or the fact that she had another portion the next day as the first portion didn’t affect her at all. A build up?? She doesn’t have any dairy as a rule. Her diet is predominantly vegan. Small amounts of white fish, crab,prawns and egg whites. An occasional whole egg mixed with the whites in an omelette which again doesn’t seem to affect her adversely. Many thanks for any input you may have. We (brother, mother and I) love your site and the experiences and knowledge you share. We are all quite anti the medical profession and prefer to do our own research! Not to say they don’t have their place or that we aren’t grateful for certain expertise!

        1. Hi Nichole – Sometimes food that should probably not be eaten passes muster once or twice even but the third time (especially in a short period) it slaps back! That example could be once passes ok but then the second time is too much. So your “build up” thought is correct. The first time may have seemed to pass fine but in reality caused a bit of irritation and/or inflammation and the second time caused more. I hope I explained that ok.

  37. I have read this blog with great interest. I was admitted to hospital with severe pain in my abdomen. Like I read here, I too had to sit leaned forward, pressing a cushion against my tummy. I had such pains that I thought I was going to die. I vaguely recall being taken into the ER, and then I blacked out. I woke up two months later. I had been laid in a medical coma, and had suffered multi organ failure. I had been operated on. My pancreas was almost totally destroyed because it had been eaten up by the enzyme fluid that had been blocked by a gall stone that had fastened right in front of the opening of the pancreas. My gall bladder was removed. My colon was removed because it too was totally infected. What was left of the pancreas was removed. I suffered what is called acute necrotizing pancreatitis. While I was in a coma I developed a condition called Critical Illness Polyneuropathy, that is a damage to the peripheral nervesystem (arms, hands, legs, feet). When I woke up from coma I could not move. My hands were contracted so I was not able to hold a fork, a cup or a phone. My legs were dead, and I could not move them. My lungs had to be drained for fluid several times, I suffered a brain infarct, I was tracheostomied – an opning in my throat because of the ventilator- and since my colon had been removed, I had an ileostomy, with a plastic bag on my tummy. I was hospitalized for 13 months in a stretch. I had to have psychological support when it was time to be released from hospital and move back into my home. I had to start from scratch, learn to sit, stand, walk. For two years I was not able to walk without a roller, and my left hand is useless, and my right one I can use, but very limited. I had gotten Diabetes 1 because of the removal of the pancreas. I am now on insuline shots, and have to be careful with my diet. After I was released from the hospital I lost my job. I was working as a personell manager in a company with 350 employees. I was lucky and had a really good health insurance that covered both the hospital, the rehab program and the compensation for losing my job. Today I am alive. I enjoy every day of my life. I try to be a part of the lives of everyone I love. My understanding of what really matters in life has deepened. I have changed fundamentally as a person. I was lucky to survive, even though I have damages that will never go away.
    Why am I writing this? There were warning signals. I had abdominal pain that came and went for a couple of months before I collapsed. I did not go to the doctor. I treated myself with painkillers and forgot it when the pain went away. If I had gone to the doctor, I would most certainly have been checked for gall stones and they would have been removed and nothing of this would have happened to me. So please, go to the doctor in time!!!!
    Bless you all.

    1. B. R. Moe – thank you for reading this site. Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for reminding people to seek help sooner than later. I am so sorry you have suffered a horrible journey and sincerely hope you are doing much better than I envision you may be doing. God Bless you and heal you. 🙂

  38. Hello Health Guy, I just wanted to ask you if you would kindly change my name that I used yesterday when I shared my story on your blog. I used my full real name. The reason I ask is that I wiuld rather not appear on google searches. Maybe you could change it to B.R. Moe? Thank you in advance. ?

  39. I am in love with you!!! You have said every single word I have thought in my head while going through my agony at the doctors and ER…thank you for putting a smile on my face while I’m in crappy pain…

    1. Hi Colleen 🙂 Now that you made me blush I’m sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well. The good news is that you can beat it. Keep reading. If you have questions ask BUT also if you feel really crappy you should go to the ER again. It’s only prudent. 🙂

  40. Thanks fiir that help…it seens like you were right there in the emergency room with me….when i got crap spreaded all over me …after the 6 hour wait in the lobby…and sent home with no prescription….no nothing..with my severe pain in my pancrease…..the doctor was just here take this 1 Tylenol 325mg…and a scratch and sniff..and a high bill…will be in your mailbox soon…for you to take a good wiff of ..and we appreciate your patience…now go take a hike…hope its not to painful. Thank god for this site.

  41. Thank you so much for this explanation. I’ve been suffering with it badly for 10 years, and this is the first time anyone explain this to me! I kept trying to research what I had by looking up, “fat intolerance,” and not finding much.
    I am looking forward to learning more on your blog & fb. May God bless you.

  42. Hi I have hyperlipidemia, hypertriglyceridemia and CP. I am currently on fenofibrate and Lovaza (fish oil pills). I have been hospitalized 3 times for pancreatic attacks with the last one my kidneys were trying to fail. I was diagnosed when I was 26 years old, but never educated. I am now 46 and have been winging it. But i have been having pain for 2 weeks now. I did the fasting and clear liquids becuz the hospital bills are just too much. Tomorrow I will go have my blood work and pray for the best. I have been taking 800 mg of ibuprofen but the pain is a constant. I am still going about my day as I have to work and I have a family but am keeping it all to myself. I have also started to have hot flashes. Not sure if this is age or part of my pancreas pissy mood. I am also going to pick up some grape seed extract and curcumin and try your cocktail.
    I do have a question. How can you tell if you have damaged your pancreas? Will I have to have a CT scan or MRI to know?
    Thank you for all your information.

    1. Hi Stacey – sorry to hear you are ill with this stuff (pancreatitis). IF Ibuprofen isn’t helping to reduce the inflammation and symptoms you should seriously consider the ER. Fish oil is oil. Oil is pure fat. A damaged pancreas usually doesn’t tolerate a lot of oil. I know that the Lovaza is to help control your lipid levels but it may be harming your pancreas as well. I’m not a doctor but I know too much fish (oily fish like salmon, sardines) does NOT work for me. That is why I try to eat white meat fish like cod, pollock, bass etc. And I would not take fish oil but that’s me. Oh and yes, to tell about damage you’d need the right scans (CT, MRCP, EUS etc)

      1. Hi Nora – I do not (to my current knowledge) have ipmn but I was intrigued because if memory serves me correctly there was someone else who was or still is a reader that I believe mentioned having been diagnosed with small cysts which were causing problems e.g. acute pancreatitis so I did some checking and according to what I have found so far AP does occur in those people diagnosed with ipmn. Here is one article published via NIH in 2015 which states (under DIAGNOSIS AND MANAGEMENT): “To further complicate the diagnostic workup, pancreatic cystic neoplasms, particularly IPMNs can result in acute pancreatitis.” If you’d like me to post more articles so you can read them just ask or you can google key word phrase ipmn diagnosis and pancreatitis or ipmn diagnosis three months ago and now pancreatitis

  43. 10 Years ago I had my gallbladder removed. In March I had a leftover stone pass through a narrowing in my bile duct. It caused inflammation and pancreatitis. 3 weeks ago I had an ERCP where they put a stent in my pancreatic duct and cut the muscle on the bile duct. It sent me into severe pancreatitis where I was hospitalized for 5 days and NPO with heavy IV fluids. I am still hurting. All food hurts whether liquid or solid and movement hurts. I am exhausted easily. Is it normal to still be hurting this bad 3 weeks out?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Jules – I’m sorry to hear you have had a rough time lately. I know it sucks. Yes, sometimes it takes MONTHS even years to recover and heal completely. Some people never recover or heal totally. It depends on how much damage was done. It also depends upon how you eat and what you do to help heal your pancreas. Inflammation is controlled and or resolved by use of anti-inflammatory meds (e.g. ibuprofen), foods (low fat plant based diet) and supplements. Avoid fat and alcohol. Everything I did to heal and still do to stay well can be found on this site.

  44. HI, since the issue is the pancreas digesting itself, how do you stop this process asap, I am avoiding the hospital because I don’t have insurance

    1. Hi Kim – great question. NOBODY actually knows for certain but I am almost positive that since pancreatitis is INFLAMMATION of the pancreas that when that inflammation resolves so does the damage by the enzymes. I found that 800 – 1000 mgs of ibuprofen (one single dose) usually resolved the inflammation in as little as 60-90 minutes which also resolved the symptoms (for the most part). That doesn’t mean you are gonna be well and or feel good – THAT – could take awhile because damage is done and that needs to heal. So in MY “opinion” the first step is to quit eating (NO FOOD), take Ibuprofen, keep hydrated (water only) and have someone get you grape seed extract, curcumin and vit C (all highly anti inflammatory) and take them. You may also want to keep taking a LOWER dose of ibuprofen (200 – 400 mgs per day) to help resolve any residual inflammation. HOWEVER … IF the 800 – 1000 mg single dose of Ibuprofen does NOT work for some reason it would be wise to head for the nearest ER. The ER is the prudent route to go.

  45. Should I be drinking lots of water during this attack? Also can it be treated at home? Going to the Doc tomorrow but the cost of all the tests is getting up there. Thats why I’m curious if it can be healed at home or am I playing a dangerous game by not going? Thanks for the info

    1. RJ – IF you suspect acute pancreatitis I would suggest the ER because even doctors have difficulty distinguishing between mild and severe acute. I don’t want to scare you, that is not my intention, but people die from severe acute pancreatitis so it is always prudent to seek medical advice.

      1. I had gone before and they did all the tests , ct scan, blood work. IV etc and then discharged me. After a second visit to ofice they reviewed it and said it looked mild and if it came back to fast at the 1st sign of pain and take an over the counter pain med. so when it started back mildly I started to fast ,took pain meds and oddly enough after grapeseed ,grapefruit extract and curcuium the pain stopped. I kept fasting for 4 days then a mild broth now I’m up to small meals on the herbs suggested. I did’t know if I should drink more than usual water or any at all during the fast. if the pain is gone w/ no pain meds could it still be getting worse? I feel ok , a little light headed but that could be from blood pressure they gave me, it was high but it has always been.

        1. Hi RJ – yep drink water you have to stay hydrated. Glad to hear that the supplements helped a lot. They do wonders. Ibuprofen may be useful in times of worse pain. I think the secret to healing (not getting worse) is to stop the inflammation and keep it resolved via diet and supplements.

          1. Health Guy thanks for your blog. It’s hard to find solid info. on this subject. I’ve read a lot concerning inflammation in general being the cause of many health issues and keeping an alkaline rich diet as opposed to an acid based one was the key to good health! Heard a great interview with Dr. Mark Gordon MD who went in depth on the subject. Keep it up people need to know and no DR will tell you that , just hand you more pills.

  46. In May 2018 I had sudden onset pancreatitis which brought me to my knees. I went to the hospital and was admitted to the ER immediately. Within an hour I had a diagnosis of pancreatitis probably as a result of a gallstones. I had my gallbladder removed and hundreds of gallstones removed as my gallbladder leaked them. It turns out I was suffering from gallbladder disease for weeks but ignored the symptoms as GIRD. Anyhow I spent 2 weeks in the hospital for pancreatitis and infection from my leaking gallbladder. They want me to come back in August for an MRI of my pancreas to ensure there are no long term issues. The Doctors were great in my case, but it was very painful and it took me 9 weeks after I was released to get back to feeling close to 100% again.

    1. Hi PM sorry to hear you were ill. Glad to hear you had good doctors! That definitely helps. Let’s hope that you heal up completely and have no recurrent issues. It would be great to hear an update regarding your MRI results.

  47. Glad to see that you are still blogging. I discovered your site 10 years ago when I was first diagnosed with an inflamed pancreas. The doctors were of no help. Even the specialists were clueless. But I followed your advice and managed not to die! However I developed gastroparesis ( which wasn’t diagnosed for another 7 years and by a physician’s assistant no less) I was almost a skeleton by then and extremely constipated. My entire digestive system was quitting on me. But I followed the low fiber diet and eventually regained some health. This past summer was the healthiest i have been in a long time and I thought I had it licked. But low and behold i are a high protein vegan burger which resulted in a visit of that old familiar excruciating pancreatic pain. So here I go again. I’ll fast for a few days and hopefully heal faster than in the past. My main reason in writing in addition to telling you how you helped me is to let others know that often pancreatitis and gastroparesis go together and dieting for both of these conditions is a monumental fete. Good luck to all who suffer from these two conditions. Everyone has to find what works for them and it isn’t easy!

    1. Hi Lore – Yep I am still here however I have had some family health issues to deal with and haven’t been quick responding. I apologize. I am glad my info was helpful however I am sad to hear you are suffering. It is difficult to keep two or more conditions under control, especially in regards to diet. Pancreatitis and gastroparesis can be a challenge as you are all to well aware. I hope you are better soon.

  48. Wow! I think I just got luck twice in one week… First I went to my doctors office, in agony. I had been on Chantix for 27 days, 20 days smoke free, and it’s a Chantix fluke side effect – but that ‘s how I got pancreatitis. Everything I have read so far, my symptoms are classic. My Dr. straight up told me no fat, lots of water – for two weeks and then we will talk. By then she’ll have the results of all the ultrasounds from today. Then I found this site. I have come to realize this is a for life changing event. I suffered for two weeks – thinking it was GERD, so I bloated pretty badly and I will gladly give up whatever food to never have that again. So I’ll be checking in here often. Glad to find this site and glad to have had a Dr. that just knew off the bat what was wrong. (just became her patient a month ago after a transfer from out of state) – I can see how many people haven’t had a Dr. Listen, and the information here on diet is amazing. Thank you!

    1. Latricia – AWESOME! I didn’t mean that for you being sick I was just really surprised that your doc knew right off what the deal was and that she knew to tell you no fat! AMAZING! Keep her! THAT is really good for you because if you watch your p’s & q’s and there wasn’t much damage you could heal up fine and never have another problem since she also knew about the Chantix deal. With the cause gone and good treatment you should be able to lead a normal life in several months. I’d go at least 6 months with the no fat diet and 800 -1000 mgs Ibuprofen (one dose – then cut in half to 400 mg a couple times a day – ask your doc) resolves the inflammation. Get well and stay well 🙂

  49. This just brighten up my day! It’s so true. My pain feels like there is glass in my stomach and the throbbing wow the throbbing! Hope everyone reading this is not going thru the same pain. Take care everyone????

  50. Hi HealthGuy!
    Thanks so much for putting all this info on the web. In early January, after consuming lots of very fatty holiday foods with relatives, I began yet another bout of what I thought was gastritis. Went on a fairly bland diet which seemed to have worked in the past, but by the end of the month, no joy. Went to see my GI doc and she immediately set up an EGD and conoloscopy. The EGD showed lots of irritation and erosions in the stomach and the colonoscopy, which was done in early February, was nominal. The doctor decided that I had gastritis, brought about by excess stomach acid, so she prescribed Nexium. I stayed on a gastritis diet and took the Nexium for eight weeks, but again no joy. Finally went back to see the GI doc mid April and she then decided, based on my symptoms that I had acid reflux without the reflux (aka excess stomach acid) . I was told to get back on the Nexium and I asked to be scheduled for an EUS just to make sure my pancreas was OK. Two days later, I finally discovered that my gastritis was mild and that I had chronic pancreatitis. The nurse that gave us the results seemed to think that wasn’t too bad a diagnosis because I didn’t have cancer.

    After doing lots of research on the web and finally finding this site, I then realized what a serious condition this is. If there’s any good news in this, it’s that my symptoms are so comparatively mild that, for a time, they seemed to be masked by my painful stomach. However, as the stomach healed, the long pole has become an annoying burning, gnawing pain (2 or 3 on the 1-10 scale). It nearly goes away if I don’t eat, but comes right back an hour or so after I eat anything. Praise God that I don’t get the horrific pain and sickness that you describe during an acute attack. However, I have also come to realize that I’ve probably had these low grade symptoms coming on for many years now and have managed it as gastritis. Not sure what made it go away in the past, but now it doesn’t. Probably went from acute to chronic.

    After reading most of what is on your blog site, I’ve acquired the supplements you recommend and have gone to the post accute phase diet (pure vegan). My tendency to develop gastritis prevents me from fasting for more an 12 hours at a time and I have to be very careful how I consume NSAIDs. I am also taking a stomach friendly non-acidic vitamin C. Have started with one a day of the C, GSE, and Circumun. The gastritis continues to remain at bay, but the CP is a dragon that’s always there waiting for me to eat something. The more I eat, no matter what it is, the worse I feel. Am praying that the vegan diet and supplements begin to get this thing out of the active phase so real healing can begin. I realize that any time there’s pain, the pancreas is damaging itself. Again, brother, thank you so much and God bless you for sharing your experiences.

    1. Hi Chuck does anyone know why you have gastritis (sounds chronic) and chronic pancreatitis? Has anyone checked for H. pylori which can cause ulcers, chronic gastris and is also linked to pancreatitis? Has anyone checked your genetic markers? The reason I ask these questions is that CP (chronic pancreatitis) usually doesn’t appear for no reason. The pancreas doesn’t wake up one morning and say “I feel like doing something fun like making my host human sick so I’m gonna make myself inflamed.” There is ALWAYS a reason. Once one can find the reason that can be addressed and hopefully keep the CP from progressing. Diet and supplements are extremely important but so is discovering WHY you have CP or why the doctors think you do – they must see enough damage to actually diagnose CP so how did the damage occur? IF I were you that is what I’d want to know.

      1. Thanks for the response. For nearly 40 years I was a moderate to heavy drinker until about 5 years ago. During the last 5 or so years of drinking, I had several acute attacks of abdominal pain which were always diagnosed as gastritis with no testing of the pancreas. A bland low fat diet for a few weeks always worked to end the acute symptoms. About four years ago, I retired, moved to the Midwest, and began eating a lot more meats and fat than I had during my working life. I had quit drinking, but this latest acute episode seems to have been brought on by my last fat fest during the 2018 holiday season. I suspect this is how my pancreas was damaged over time. I believe I have had mild persistent symptoms before, but basically ignored them. Now they’re harder to ignore. Thanks for your recommendations. I’ll discuss this with my GI doc at my next appointment.

  51. Had a rough month finally finding out I was having acute pancreatitis attacks with no luck from the ER doctors. I spent two weeks in the hospital when they decided to insert a stent into the pancreas. The Doctor came out and said that did not work because the middle of the pancreas had become mushy and it would not hold so he said he did something better he cleaned out the inflamed part of the pancreas. The Doctor now says that three fourths of the pancreas was not functioning and I would have to be on a very strict diet for the rest of my life. Now I get a phone call from the Doctor’s office with an appointment at the cancer center. Can you tell me if I only have pancreatitis why am I going to a cancer center. I am very sick , very weak and mostly in the bed? Can anyone tell me what is next with only one forth of a pancreas left

    1. Hi Billie Jo Massie – I am sorry to hear you are so ill. I think your question would be more suited towards your doctor. You should call him/her and ask or if you have an online access email him/her and ask. Please let us know what he/she says.

  52. Hi Health Guy,
    I have it all pseudocyst & pancreas divisum. I have had 2 years of acute attacks that hurt like hell. My question is …are the fluids the spread throughout my body causing the 1 week of after pain? Why so many fluids? Where does it come from? After some attacks, I have had so much fluid in my chest that my right lung can not fill with air. Recently it was severe arm pain… why?

    1. Hi Supermansbigsister! I am sorry to hear you have been very ill. Often severe acute pancreatitis will have complications such as pseudocysts, ascities, pleural effusion, and much more especially if there was infected necrotic tissues that are draining fluids such as pus etc. Be strong. I will pray you heal soon.

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