Would you like to know how to handle anxiety and chronic pancreatitis stress? Having lived with pancreatitis now for over 35 years I know what you are going through. You may be wondering:
- How long am I going to live?
- How is this going to affect my family?
- Will the next meal be the one that ends my life?
- Why do most doctors think I’m an alcoholic or drug addict?
- Will I ever be able to eat my favorite foods again without getting sick as a dog?
And the list goes on.
Dealing with the uncertainty, the pain, the nausea, the vomiting, the lack of energy, and a myriad of other symptoms and issues that come with the chronic illness of the pancreas called pancreatitis can be a real pain the ass.
It can wear you down.
You can become depressed or suffer from anxiety. You could even find yourself having a panic attack or simply that passing fear that engulfs you because of that realization, the knowing your life could end with your next meal.
Dealing with either acute or chronic pancreatitis can be quite stressful on top of the other issues. Anxiety can move in and cause problems as well even to the point of panic attacks.
So how do you cope?
How to Handle Anxiety and Stress? Turn To God
Often when times are tough we need comfort and peace. The comfort and peace that can only come from God. Some of you reading this will shy away and say: “ah hell not another online preacher!”
Well, I’m not a preacher.
Just a guy that knows he wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the power of God Almighty.
The God who sent His Son to die for my sins “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” – John 3:16.
The God who sent His angels to protect me during my worst moments on earth “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways” – Psalm 91:11.
The God who says to “give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” – 1Peter 5:7.
The God who says: “Be still, and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10.
When you ask the Lord Jesus to forgive your sins, come into your life, take control and guide you, you then, in an instant, become a child of Almighty God.
Matthew 4:23 says, in no uncertain terms, that Jesus can and does heal the sick. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
Does that mean He will heal you?
I don’t know but Jesus does promise: “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John 14:13 and …
In the Book of Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
“Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.” – Isaiah 41:10
As a child of the Almighty God you have the above comforting passages that tell you everything is under control, everything. Knowing God IS in control, that I am protected and loved by Him, Jesus, The holy Spirit and His angels eases my mind and may do the same for you.
Research Pancreatitis and Know Your Illness
BeatingPancreatitis.Com can help with this research process by providing you with information, research articles and resources that may enable you to overcome your condition. Anxiety grows when our imaginations run wild. So don’t let your emotions control you. Instead learn everything you can because knowing more facts about pancreatitis makes you an empowered patient. You’ll make wiser decisions and choices regarding your treatment.
Don’t LOOK For Reasons To Wig Out!
There are midnight horror stories for many chronic illnesses and some people love to tell them. Just join a support group. You’ll definitely hear your share. I’m not perfect. I do my share of bad mouthing what I consider to be incompetence as you may have already read but …
Extreme cases of any type of misfortune are not the norm. It does no good to frighten yourself to death over things that may not happen but it is prudent to protect yourself as much as possible. Nobody has a crystal ball. Just because you read about one or two or even ten unfortunate souls don’t dwell on it because their fate may definitely not be yours, especially if you do something different that turns out to be more advantageous for you.
Don’t Be Led By “Blind Sheep.”
Many people are more than happy to tell you how to cure your pancreatitis, relieve your symptoms, what to eat or not eat. Many do it for money. Others do it to be seen as brilliantly knowledgeable and still others do it merely to be kind and helpful.
If someone is still symptomatic (sick), or had a relative who died because of pancreatitis or they have never experienced the wonders of it don’t be led by them. Take what they say with a grain of salt, nod politely and go on your way. I don’t want to seem cold but taking advice from an incompetent is simply guaranteeing you will remain sick. Bad information can physically harm you which will only increase your anxiety and stress. Choose your information sources wisely.
The Doctor You Choose
Should be well versed in pancreatitis. I mean REALLY dialed in. Most know very little about how pancreatitis presents let alone how to put it in remission. They all have theories. They all choose to diagnose via tests and criteria but few have common sense, real life experience that couples well with their book knowledge.
An idiot genius won’t help you much.
The omnipotent narcissistic won’t listen to you.
A piss poor doctor will only increase your anxiety and stress levels and for doing so they bill you! Your job is to find the guy or gal who knows more than the average cracker jack box M.D. and is willing to learn what he/she doesn’t know in order to treat you successfully.
Those doctors are very rare.
IF you live in or close to a large, thriving city look for a doctor who specializes in the pancreas and pancreatic conditions. The next best choice is a good gastroenterologist.
In order to make your life less stressful make sure your regular pancreas doctor leaves explicit directions with the ER in case you suffer another acute pancreatitis attack. That one step may ensure the ER doctor doesn’t waste time, while your pancreas is being devoured by its own juices, trying to figure out what is wrong with you. In fact you should explicitly ask that your primary pancreas doctor be notified immediately.
Join A Support Group
You don’t need to be the lone ranger. There are other people who share your same diagnosis. However …
I can tell you from my experience much of the advice you receive from support group members will be very “iffy” and even dangerous.
The ONLY good thing I can say about the 4-5 support groups I have joined in the past is that I saw people who were able to vent their frustrations to others. People who KNOW what you are going through.
They probably don’t know how to help you beat pancreatitis, cuz they are still sick themselves but, they do know how you feel. Sometimes being able to vent and hear others who vent the same issues in some way relieves some anxiety. Having people to talk to who have gone through the same procedures and treatments can be beneficial.
Write A Post
Write about your fears, stress, and anxiety.
Write about your dog crapping on the carpet while you had your head in the toilet.
Write about how insensitive your spouse, friends, co-workers or cats seem to be.
Write about your whole experience from day 1.
Writing about what you are feeling and going through is the only reason I can see for joining a support group. If you are having difficulty coping at 1 AM, write about those feelings and get them out in a post. Chances are, someone is going to be out there reading. The Internet never sleeps.
Ditch Pancreatitis and Do Something Fun!
Do something that takes your mind off of your illness.
Start a new hobby or get back into an old one.
Immerse yourself into something that pleases you like shooting spit wads at your spouse while they are trying to watch the news because …
When you get deeply involved in something you really enjoy, like worm farming or driving Walmart employees crazy with pranks, you’ll soon forget your stress, anxiety even an illness like pancreatitis.
Thanks Health Guy for another great post. Following your regimen I have been able to curtail attacks and actually start to re-introduce some normal food into my diet, slowly and methodically as prescribed. You are a life saver!
Hi Steve – that is GREAT News! I LOVE news like this and you are welcome for the info but it was you who implemented it. You took action and that is the ONLY thing that makes information worth anything. I’m glad you like my posts. Thanks for the kind words 🙂 Keep healing!
My husband is right now going through his first bout of pancreatitis, it started February 17th and we spent 10 days in our local hospital with his symptoms getting worse very day, we were then transferred to U of M for two weeks and is home now on a feeding tube till the end of April, I have searched and searched for info on the pancrease and especially for someone who has gone through it. I have found not much info until I came across your blog. Thank you! I do still have questions for anyone who has gone through it as to how long does it take for the swelling to go down in the belly? And how long it took before you got back to a normal life? I do understand that maybe not a lot of people have been through the intense journey that we have, basically we almost lost him at our local hospital and ended up at one point in the intensive care on a bi pap at U of M. So his insides have been beat to crap! Thanks again for all the info you have provided!
Hi Connie – Sorry to hear your husband isn’t well. You’d be surprised how many people go through intense bouts of pancreatitis. Your husband isn’t alone in that regard. About 20% of acute pancreatitis cases are severe acute. Many of those do not make it, about 30% – 40% depending upon situations. I had another lady whose husband was on a feeding tube and she fed him my cocktail (grape seed extract, curcumin, vitamin C and Ibuprofen) through an IV drip if memory serves me. I think she tried the feeding tube itself first and it got clogged up. I’d have to find her comment and read it again but after awhile on the cocktail he felt better and actually ate last Thanksgiving dinner with his family! It was a cool story.
I FOUND it!
“Hi Health Guy, I just want you to know that I was praying to the Lord so hard about my husband, when He guided me to you sight. I know this wasn’t by chance! My Husband was literally dying. He couldn’t quit vomiting. I got the C Caps, Turmeric Curcumin & Grape Seed like you suggested. I emptied out the said amount into a little bowl and added purified water. I used a syringe to slowly inject into my Husbands feed tube, as putting it in formula did not go over so well, clogged the tube line. Once we got going on this 4 times a day, it only took less than a week to start seeing a difference. First thing we noticed, is that the vomiting slowed way up. After a couple of weeks we noticed that he was not vomiting or feeling nauseated for the most. Steve kept saying that he was going to eat Thanksgiving Dinner with the rest of us, but I felt sick to my stomach wondering how he was going to take it when he finds out that he will never eat again. I was wrong and so were the Docs!!! To make a long story short, Steve ate Thanksgiving Dinner with the rest of the family and I have to say I’m still in shock. Now Steve is making up for lost time. I really thought I’d never see this day come, I only hoped for him to live and stop vomiting and feeling sick, so he could have a better life. Everyone thought that Steve was going to die. Now we see that he is going to live, thanks to God for sending us you!!! Can’t thank you enough, you truly were God sent… Susan”
Ok … I have no idea how long it will take for his swelling to resolve. First you have to get him started on the road to healing. Did he have any surgery? Hopefully not. People who have had surgery don’t seem to heal well.
In regards to a normal life – pain and symptom free is good but he’ll never have a “normal” life again because if he eats like a “normal” human he’ll always be sick. THAT probably wasn’t what you wanted to hear but I try not to give false hope. Good luck Connie I hope your husband is able to heal.
I bumped into this post and what a find. Thanks a lot for your efforts in educating about Pancreatitis. One question i have is about having Chronic Pancreatitis with a definite possibility of Diabetes in future. Is there anything we need to do differently from your diet or medication?
Hi Shree – Is there anything you need to do differently from my diet and supplements because of possible diabetes in the future? No. All of us who have CP have increased risks for several things. The diet I follow should actually help you avoid diabetes for two reasons. The only sugar I eat comes from fruit and molasses both are good for you. In my articles on juicing you’ll notice I do not juice fruits, just vegetables. The reason is because whole fruits have fruit sugars but fruit juice is almost all sugar, not so good for diabetics or those trying to lower risks of diabetes. The whole fruit also has fiber which helps to slow down the rate of sugar absorption. Fruit is important (vitamins, mineral, phytonutrients) but I usually only have it once per day, usually lunch. I really like smoothies (banana, kiwi, orange, pineapple, apple and blue berries), mixed in a blender. Tons of flavonoids, vitamins, minerals AND fiber. 🙂 Anyway …
I want to avoid diabetes too as well as pancreatic calcification (can happen via any type of pancreatitis that has become chronic but mostly found in alcoholic and hereditary pancreatitis) and of course pancreatic cancer. One of the best ways I know of doing so is to avoid being sick, especially acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis always causes more damage which may lead to diabetes and worsening chronic pancreatitis. Resolving any pancreas inflammation such as chronic pancreatitis and keeping it resolved, in remission and controlled will help avoid all three conditions as well. The diet and supplements seem to handle the inflammation which in turn reduces risk for the conditions I do NOT want. I hope this answer is what you were looking for and helps. Good luck!
Thanks a lot for detailed response as i am borderline(Pre-diabetic) wanted to check with you. The only other questions that is bothering me regarding the digestive enzymes. Do i need to have digestive enzymes to absorb all the vitamins and minerals(I am taking supplements now)?
BTW i ordered all the supplements you have recommended through your webpage.
First off let me say thank you for ordering through my link. I appreciate the kindness. 🙂 No, take enzymes only with food once you start eating. They are strong little devils and will cause problems if taken without food. I take them either a couple minutes before eating or as I start to eat. I started with one cap per meal and increased until I no longer experienced Nausea 10 – 20 minutes after eating. IF you don’t experience nausea or that bloated feeling 10 – 20 minutes after eating safe food you may not even need enzymes however one per meal won’t hurt and may help the pancreas heal by “taking a bit of the load off its shoulders.” Once you are healed up you can test whether you actually need enzymes or not. If you feel fine after eating safe food enzymes are not necessary. Save your money. Grape seed, vitamin C and curcumin are probably a lifetime commitment. By the way grape seed, according to a small study, helps protect the eyes from diabetic retinopathy (retina damage).
Currently i am taking Creon due to malabsorption and dosage is 2 capsules 30 minutes before eating and 2 capsules while eating. I want to test digestive enzymes you recommend.
Shree, if your doc has you on enzyme therapy already why would you want to test other enzymes? OTC (over-the-counter) enzymes aren’t as potent. I should rephrase that OTC enzymes are not the same potency. Prescription strength is more powerful. In fact sometimes the dose is so powerful they cause problems (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). If that is the situation you could just ask your doc to tone it down some. He/she has you on Creon for a reason. You may want to visit with him/her before you add enzymes or detract Creon.
Thank you i will visit the doctor and check. The primary reason for Creon was Malabsorption and take the load off pancreas. The only reason i was interested on the OTC that you have recommended was due to same quantity of Amylase, Lipase and Protease. But i get your message will check with the doctor. Creon supply is like (3000$ for 4 months)
Whoa! If you have no insurance (don’t know whether you do or don’t) – That is EXPENSIVE! No wonder you want to try another enzyme product. I never knew Creon was that pricey. That is simply ludicrous. Ya, check with your doc, show him/her that the quantity of amylase, lipase and protease is the same and he may say “fine and dandy” and maybe not but worth exploring.
What i really meant was when taking Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants(supplement u recommend) do we need to take it with digestive enzymes to get absorbed.
Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for your blog! I’m new to this disease and scared and lost… I’ve gone vegan and gluten free just because it makes so much sense and now you’ve confirmed my thoughts. I also have juiced on and off for a couple years (they misdiagnosed me and took out my gall bladder needlessly). I didn’t know you could make soup from the juicing pulp! It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it. You certainly have earned karma points with your free site, most people would want to make money with this, you’re a wonderful person and your sense of humor and positive spiritual attitude are just what I wanted and needed to find! A God send for sure. God bless you.
Thank you for the kind words Jayne :-). Yup I use the juice pulp for soup/stew/broth cuz food is expensive. I see no reason to waste it especially since there is still some nutrients left that the body can use. Good health to you!
Thank you so much for all your information! My husband suffers from pancreatitis. We are at our shots in at trying to figure out why he has continued to have flare ups. By reading your posts I have learned a lot of new information on how to help him better. I have Fibromyalgia as well and some of this should help me too. We are only 33. We have a five year old daughter! We want to be around to watch her grow up. Thank you so very much.
Hi Amanda – thanks for stopping by, the kind words and I hope you both enjoy better health soon 🙂
when the blood draws are normal, can you stil have pancreatitus? My Dr. says you dont have a bad pancreaus, just a bad gall bladder. I have sludge & 17% ejection rate, but have all the back pain & misery you discribe for 10 yrs. or more. I have 4 tic borne illnesses & didnt realize this was pancreaous related, just blamed everything on Lyme disease!I cant convince Dr. to look at pancreous. The antibiotics I have used hav made it all worse! Just got over 2mo. of agony w/ shingles, & the needed meds. to treat it has almost killed me! Thanku so much for your advice!
Hi Bobby, sounds like you’ve had some rough times. You might want to consider having your gallbladder removed. Sludge can cause acute pancreatitis. That doesn’t mean you have or have had pancreatitis. It just means that it could be something that is in your future. You may have been experiencing cholecystitis, gallbladder inflamation with infection. Remember I am not a doc and can’t diagnose or prescribe treatment. I can tell you that acute cholecystitis is nothing to fool with because in a really bad case it cause your gallbladder to rupture. So you should ask your doc what he/she thinks you should do. Of course if you get ill you might also consider a trip to the ER.
Hi I have ]been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis. Was in hospital for a week. On IV and morphine. Have no appetite and losing weight still in a bit of pain after nearly 6 weeks what is the best diet. Had CT scan no gallstones but sludge was present. How long do I need to suffer this. Feel very weak.
Hi Margaret 🙂 I know your pain. I have been there. Sludge can and does cause acute pancreatitis. Everything you need to know about healing your pancreas can be found on this blog. Invest time reading. Read my article posts, read the comments. Read, learn and take action. I wish you better health! 🙂
I love you! I am in a foreign country so very scared. I had my second attack in my life. I am so filled with anxiety that I think I am going crazy. Then I saw this post. It just really clamed my spirit. Thank you. I apparently have a very large cyst that was discovered yesterday. Covering my pancreas. Am I in trouble?
Hi Dan – I’m glad the post was helpful to you yet I am sorry to hear you have been suffering. It is especially difficult when one is not home. Where are you and where is home? Unfortunately your question is one I can’t answer because I am not a doctor. I can tell you this NOTHING is to tough for God. Trust God, have faith in Him.
I had a severe pancreatitis attack in March 2016. I had been fine the day before but as we, my kids and husband were playing on the bed i slid off on my stomach and i knew something was wrong. Then that night, the pain was so severe i woke up crying and almost simultaneously had a severe anxiety attacks.
I had pain in my stomach area, diaphram my back. I hurt when i would move my shoulders up. I hurt when i twisted my body. I hurt when i rested my arms on my stomach even rested them close to my sides. I had to sit up real straight or recline so my stomach was straight.
I went to the hospital only to be told everything was normal. Within these past 2 years, I had an endoscopy, colonoscopy and countless blood tests which they told me ruled out most of the serious conditions even cancer. Everything was normal. That helped a little with the anxiety but no knowing what was wrong gave me anxiety.
CP is what the last doctor id seen had said i had. That was in the fall of last year. I waited almost a year for my scan. I was still in the dark about my condition and had been in pain from cp and anxiety for 2 years. I should have my scan results next week.
Now, even without the results I know now that’s what i have because i came across your blog
April 30. I bought the supplements May 1..it is now May 7th. I watch watch what i eat. Almost to no fat at all. I can say i feel much better. I know my pancreas is still damaged but after a meal i don’t feel so bloated anymore and in pain anymore. The anxiety is not so severe anymore in fact it is almost all gone. Thank you for using what you’ve gone through to help others. You’ve helped me a lot.
Hi Suzanne – I know how frustrating it can be to be ill and not know for sure why. Maybe you’ll know more from the scan results next week. I am glad to hear that changing your diet and using the supplements have seemed to help and that you feel much better. That would seem to indicate you do have inflammation somewhere in your digestive tract (gallbladder, pancreas, sphincter of oddi etc). Do you know for sure whether your pancreatic enzyme levels were checked via blood work while you were sick in March 2016? You would be amazed how often that is NOT done and so they miss the diagnosis. By the way you are welcome for the info I am glad you liked it and it has seemed beneficial. I hope you find out what is wrong so you can know for sure and get healed.