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Pancreas Inflammation: What Is Pancreas Inflammation?

Pancreas Inflammation: What Is Pancreas Inflammation?

pancreas-inflammationPancreas inflammation simply put is inflammation of the pancreas. More commonly known as pancreatitis, pancreas inflammation can be classified as acute or chronic with certain other classifications for both types of pancreas inflammation.

Acute pancreas inflammation or acute pancreatitis can be mild, moderate or severe. Severe acute pancreatitis results in a death rate as high as 30%, usually due to infection, shock and organ failure. Chronic pancreas inflammation (chronic pancreatitis) can also lead to death but death usually occurs in patients with chronic pancreas inflammation due to developing severe acute pancreatitis.

Symptoms of Acute Pancreas Inflammation

Symptoms of pancreas inflammation depend upon the severity. Mild to extremely severe upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back is the prime symptom indicator of pancreas inflammation. Nausea and vomiting are usually experienced by those with acute pancreas inflammation with some patients experiencing intractable vomiting.

Since I have had acute pancreas inflammation (many times) I have experienced varied symptoms. Here is a list of likely symptoms you may have experienced if you too have had acute pancreatitis:

  • mild to severe upper abdominal pain that radiates to the back
  • pain is usually worse lying down
  • pain may lesson by leaning forward or bending down
  • swollen, tender abdomen
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • chills
  • cold sweats
  • fever
  • rapid pulse
  • rapid and/or difficulty breathing


Complications that may arise in severe cases are:

Obviously you nor I want the complications that can arise so it is absolutely in your best interests to do everything humanly possible to avoid acute pancreatitis and you be able to find out how I have been able to do that successfully for years simply by reading the information contained on my blog. Here are several blog posts:

1) What happens to your pancreas during acute pancreatitis?

2) Ibuprofen STOPS acute pancreatitis dead, in most cases, within 90 minutes

3) I have pancreatitis what can I eat?

You’ll find more information about diet, supplements and more simply by investing the time to read my blog. The good news is that I have been beating pancreatitis for over 30 years and you can too! Everything you read is from my own experience, research and testing and a lot is backed up by scientific articles as proof. You are on my blog now so just poke around and learn.

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Chronic Pancreas Inflammation

pancreas-inflammationChronic pancreas inflammation results when you have had enough damage produced by acute pancreatitis attacks. The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are usually much less severe that those produce by acute pancreas inflammation but they can still be extremely challenging especially if you are one of those lucky folks with advanced chronic pancreatitis.

Doctors seem to have difficulty diagnosing acute inflammation of the pancreas unless it slaps them in the face and diagnosing chronic inflammation is even more challenging for them. In both acute and chronic those brainacs have come to rely on a scoring system so …

If you don’t meet the criteria they most likely will tell you that you do not have either because most have never heard of minimal change chronic pancreatitis. What this means to you is that if reasons for your chronic pancreas inflammation do not show up in tests you could be looked upon as an idiot when the real idiot is the one who is providing care.

In order to protect myself from idiots I personally found in ER’s and at appointments (I went through 14 doctors to get diagnosed) I try to avoid them. I figure one should know that if something walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck and smells like a duck it is probably a duck but leave it to some doctor to get that wrong. The problem with incompetency is that while the doctors were screwing around, or worse doing NOTHING, my pancreas was being damaged. Pancreas damage causes chronic pancreas inflammation.

The secret is to eliminate the pancreas inflammation. Once the pancreas inflammation has been eliminated it is possible for pancreas healing to begin. If pancreas inflammation has caused a lot of damage it will take a lot of time to heal and if the damage to your pancreas is extensive complete healing may not be possible. Yet, I do believe you can find pain relief by simply learning how to eat an anti-inflammatory diet and by using supplements that promote pancreas healing.


206 thoughts on “Pancreas Inflammation: What Is Pancreas Inflammation?

  1. I am sorry, but I have tried to leave a comment to you several times, but I think I must be posted it incorrectly. I just wanted to ask you your opinion on enzymes, probiotics and artichoke extract? I thank you so much for your site, it is wonderful and I have used many things you have suggested that has helped my baby girl sooooo much. God Bless you, Joyce

    1. Hi Joyce – I apologize for my late reply. I saw your other two comments as well but I chose this one to publish and I’ll try to get all your questions answered. First the coconut oil, flour issue. Coconut it toted as a wonderful oil/food. It may be so for those who have a normal, healthy pancreas but for those who have pancreatitis coconut (high in fat), coconut flour (high in fat), almond flour (high in fat) are not good choices. Oil is oil – it’s fat. Even good oils like olive and fish oil are not good for those who have unhealed damage. Even after healing many pancreattis patients won’t be able to tolerate olive and fish oils, especially in large amounts. That is why I always suggest white meat fish when trying to add protein to the diet after going 6 months vegan. White meat fish has far less fish oil than salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and trout.

      Enzymes are almost always a must for most folks with CP, chronic pancreatitis. Good quality pancreatic enzymes help with the digestion and a damaged pancreas usually doesn’t produce like it did before the damage was done. If the pancreatitis patient get nauseated right after eating it is usually because their pancreas is not producing enough enzymes to break down the foods. If enzymes are taken right before the first bite of food the patient may see a big difference especially with protein (beans, egg whites, chicken, turkey, fish).

      Probiotics are necessary for good intestinal health but we usually have enough unless we have just taken a dose regimen of antibiotics. There are some people who advocate eating yogurt and other stuff while in an acute attack which is totally ludicrous. During an AP there should be nothing eaten. Nothing by mouth for 3 – 5 days after pain is gone. Just water. And there was an article I read that said probiotics increased the death rate in those who received them via IV while in the hospital for SAP. Now there is a vast difference between severe acute pancreatitis and mild acute so probiotics for many may be reasonable. One has to choose for themselves.

  2. Thank you so much again for your comments to my questions. I can not tell you how much you have helped us. You are a wealth of information and you taking time to share it means the world to us, as I am quite sure with many. I have heard that the coconut flour is just digested differently and that is why it might be a safe choice, but diffidently understand you explanation. My daughter has tried many of your suggestions, like the Turmeric and Grape seed extract, as well as others….these two had a dramatic effect!!…Did you just take them until you were healed are do you still take them? I have researched all my life about different health issues that she has encountered but this Pancreatitis is a challenge for sure, and so few people know much to do for it…except not eat…even the Doctors…especially the doctors. So again, you have been a true blessing. Thank you

    1. Hi Joyce – Thank you for your kind words. I am glad your daughter has had a positive response to suggestions. 🙂 In regard to the supplements I still take them daily. Like I have said previously the diet and supplements are not a cure unfortunately. Nothing seems to actually cure a damaged pancreas however, I have received comments that point to the fact that the damage can be healed to the point that evidence of damage seen on a CT scan “disappears” after using the correct diet and supplements for a time. One person said her scan was clear after a year of diet and supplements. That happened to me as well. Unfortunately I found out that it does not mean the pancreas is cured of the condition. Shortly after that scan I made myself VERY sick again due to stupidity. This leads me to believe that one can heal but never be quite cured. The good news is …

      That I believe (my opinion only) most pancreatitis victims can heal. They can live pain and symptom free or at the very least dramatically lessen their pain and discomfort by using an anti-inflammatory pancreatitis diet coupled with grape seed extract, vitamin c and curcumin. It’s worked for me, it is working for others now as well. I even have one guy who had severe acute pancreatitis, lost a lot of his pancreas (almost half I think) to surgeons cutting out his infected, necrotized pancreas tissue. He later developed a pseudocyst. It grew quit large. he was in constant pain. Now his cyst is shrinking (slowly but shrinking) and he has far less pain, to the point that he was weaning off the opiates he was taking. I do think he will have issues for life, never be “healed” but then who knows? So …

      Some will heal, some won’t (may only experience some relief). Those who have been filleted like a fish by surgical procedures will most likely never experience a pain free life. Hopefully your daughter doesn’t fit within that category. Thanks again 🙂

  3. I came across your site today while trolling the net looking for info on pancreatitis…my 23 yr old son is in hospital right now recovering from 1st acute attack. So glad I found your site, a wealth of info here that I will share with him. We are still in a bit of shock at what is transpiring and my son is crushed at the thought of no alcohol ever again, lol. Lots of learning to do. Just wanted to say thanks I’m glad I found your site and feel I should march into his room and give him my own dose of 800mg ibuprofen and quit the pain killers they are pumping into him! Lifestyle change here we come.

    1. Hi Karen. Sorry to hear your son is suffering from acute pancreatitis and is not well. I hope he achieves better health. I know it’s difficult for you as well. It’s tough to watch someone you love suffer. Good luck to both of you 🙂

    2. I just wanted to say I was the exact age and we are in the same boat. It’s going to be a complete lifestyle change with no alcohol and changing my diet.

  4. Hello, I had been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis in December 2013. I was 63 at the time. I cannot take ibuprophen as I am allergic to it.
    Is there any other pain med I can take to allieviate the discomfort I am having? It is not severe enough to go to a hospital. May I ask also, what is the life expectancy for someone with chronic pancreatitis?
    I was on prednisone therapy since 2006… for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. As I am not a heavy drinker, could this have been the cause? I have not taken prednisone for quite a long time now.
    What can I do to avoid another attack? thank you.

    1. Hi Stacy – No Ibuprofen for you huh? Crap that sucks. What about aspirin? I’ve tried 1300 mgs of aspirin while in an acute attack and it worked. It isn’t quite as good as Ibuprofen but it does work and aspirin doesn’t cause heart attacks like other NSAIDS. In large doses curcumin can be as effective as NSAIDS however, in large doses it can also cause nausea and vomiting. Instead of trying large doses (5000 mg or more per day) I’d try 500 mg of curcumin, 200 mgs of grape seed extract, 1000 mg of vit C and a couple aspirin. Yes that is a cocktail. I’d see how that worked for moderate daily pain that isn’t acute pancreatitis pain. I use the same cocktail for acute pancreatitis EXCEPT I use 800mg of Ibuprofen instead of the aspirin. Like I said I have also used 1300mg of aspirin with very good results on acute pancreatitis. The aspirin works almost as well as the Ibuprofen and doesn’t cause heart attacks (I think I said that). The aspirin doesn’t seem to last as long as the Ibuprofen.

      Life expectancy varies depending upon who writes the articles. My doctor told me maybe 10 years. That was 35 years ago now. Some authors say 7 years, some say a tad more. Some others say it only shortens normal life expectancy by 7 – 10 years. I can’t give you a real concrete answer because I don’t know. A lot would depend on the patient, the damage and what they did exactly to enhance healing.

      In regards to your question about cause – I have no clue. Steroids can cause pancreatitis (rare) but if you are no longer on it, probably not. The allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis is interesting. I had to look it up and read lol. I have no intelligent answer, I apologize. Thanks for reading my blog 🙂

  5. My husband had a onset of a pancreatic attack (pancreatitis)in July 2013 and was hospitalized. Since then he has been hospitalized 2 additional times and shad several ER visits. He has been diagnosed with both acute and chronic pancreatitis. He is 53. He says about 20 years ago he had a episode of acute pancreatitis but nothing since until July 2013.

    During his hospitalization his enzymes level are extremely elevated. The ER visits the enzymes level were slightly elevated and the pain was intense. Hence ER treated him for pain.

    He has lost a lot of weight since July and continues to lose.
    He is restricted on his diet especially protein. He takes a digestive supplement to help break down his food.

    Any suggestions on supplements, pain medications, diet . His dr. has recommend thiamine.

    1. Hi – Sorry to hear your husband is ill. been there, it ain’t fun. Everything you want to know can be found on this blog. Take some time to read the articles/posts and I won’t have to retype it all 🙂

  6. Dear Mr Nice Guy. I was diagnosed with Chonic Pancreatits with stones and calcification in early January 2014 due to alcohol abuse over the years. I am a 45 year old white female. I have been looking for a “herbal” cure on the Internet as well as praying for healing as I am a re-born Christian. I came across your site and was so relieved on your remarkable recovery. Amen to Our Lord and Saviour. I printed everything out on your website and also wrote to you on your facebook. Unfortunately I did not know how to write to you in private. The Professor here in S.A. did not advice of my “life span”, just merely adjusted my diet to a high protein, low carb one and put me on Creon to digest my food (enzymes). I praise the Lord Jesus that I have not had pain in my tummy since seeing him on 27 Feb 2014 altho had lower back pain about 4 weeks ago but none since then. He put me on Tramaset pain meds, but haven’t taken since then. I will follow your eating plan now as he said I could eat beef and lean pork, eggs (protein), etc. but no sweets. I eat oats and yoghurt in the mornings and take supplements, Vitamin B range, Vitamin C, pro-biotics, anti-oxidants, at night calcium, magnesium with borum. Thank you once again for your advice. I have re-written this mail as I am unsure if the first one went through. Kind regards Heather Kruger

    1. Hi Heather – sorry to hear you have CP with calcification. I’ve always wondered how one could dissolve the calcium inside the pancreas. Edta chelation comes to mind. It dissolves plaque in arteries why not the pancreas? Just thinking it may be worth a try. It’s something I’d look into, maybe do just to see what happened. Thanks for the kind words and yes! Our God Is an AWESOME God!

  7. Hello,

    I came across your site because I have been having upper abdominal pain radiating into my back for the past 3 months. I have been through a number of tests and still no diagnosis except a non-functioning gallbladder. I have had a blood work, an upper endoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, and a CT can with and without contrast and nothing has shown up except an inflammed colon on the CT which then they suggested colitis. I also had a hida scan and found that my gall bladder wasn’t functioning so they removed it but I am in the same pain if not worse. I do not have naseua or vomiting (only the one time the day before they told me I may have colitis) and I can eat most things without getting a lot of pain. My pain is just a constant dull to medium ache. I am a 32 yo female with 2 small children. I would consider myself a social drinker before all of this, and a heavier drinker during my college years. I know you are not a doctor, but I see that you had to go to 14 doctors before you got a diagnosis. Does chronic pancreatitis show up on abdominal ultrasounds and CTs? My surgeon said that usually you will see calcifications in the pancreas if I had the condition. They have referred me to another GI for a second opinion. In the meantime, I am trying to cope. I feel like I am falling into a deep depression not knowing what is wrong with me and thinking the worst. The fear of the unknown is taking over my life. I am in the process of taking your suggestions about a vegan diet. I am considering taking the supplements but am not sure I should do that without a diagnosis. I do not meet with the GI for a consultation until May 7. Any advice would be appreciated. Christine

    1. Hi Christine – You may have colitis if that is what the CT showed. From what I have read calcification of the pancreas is NOT always a presentation in CP however it is a common CP trait in those who have alcoholic pancreatitis. I was not told I had calcification but was diagnosed with both AP and CP. There are many who are diagnosed with CP who do not have calcification and then there is also minimal change chronic pancreatitis that almost always never shows calcification at that point. And yes chronic pancreatitis shows up on CT scans and other radiology exams. I would think the first step would be to get a concrete diagnosis. The colon spreads from right to left and descends to the anus but before it descends it crosses within the same area as the gallbladder and pancreas area. If that is the section that is inflamed that could be what the problem is. You may want to ask what section of your colon showed inflammation. The supplements and diet may still help since both are anti-inflammatory. You may find that your inflammation resolves with diet and supplements but who knows? It’s just a guess. And you may not want to do ANYTHING different at this point until you know for sure what is wrong exactly. IF diet and supplements resolve the inflammation your doc may NEVER be able to diagnose you. Just another thing to consider 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for your quick reply! I agree with you on waiting on the supplements until a diagnosis; however, I am just a mess and am willing to try anything to stop my constant pain. A lot of info on the internet says that diagnosing CP is hard. I have read that people have normal blood work and clean scans but still suffer from CP. My doctors do not believe I have this but the fact that I have a constant dull ache in my upper ab accompanied by back pain makes me think otherwise. Laying down on a heating pad helps me and I am trying to stop stressing which I know adds to my misery. Well I will wait to get a second opinion from a GI and probably a colonoscopy. I have not had the lower area examined because my pain has been upper abdominal the whole time. Even without a diagnosis, your site is uplifting and powerful. I spent a lot of time reading through everything and learned a lot about supplements. I am so glad you are living a healthy life and are able to help others who are suffering. Christine

    1. Christine – Thanks for the kind words. Diagnosing CP is hard for most doctors. To many criteria (9). IF you’d have been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis prior it would be more likely however … there is always the chance you are one of the rare birds that present with chronic pancreatitis first but the inflamed colon is interesting and as far as I know unrelated to any form of pancreatitis EXCEPT autoimmune pancreatitis but who knows? The back pain is also interesting and is certainly a symptom of both acute and chronic pancreatitis. Hopefully your GI is good and will find a proper diagnoses.

  9. I met with the GI and am having a colonoscopy tomorrow afternoon. I am also having a MRCP some time next week. Hoping to uncover some answers. I was having a pretty good week until I ate a few bites of lamb (I completely regret it but have not been sure food has been part of my problem)and have been feeling miserable all day. Since I have to fast and complete the colon cleanse, I figure I will start my food journal after 3 days. My GI said no supplements until after MRCP so tests are more accurate. So my question is will this food diary be accurate? I have read your blog on diet and supplements but have a few questions. Should you be completely pain free before starting foods? I haven’t had a complete pain free day since this all began. Sad. I want to start the supplements and be pain free! I am unsure if pain will go away without supplements. Thanks!

    1. Hi Christine – I guess by now you have had your colonoscopy. Maybe even the MRCP? Any answers? The lamb not setting well seems to indicate something is wrong in your digestive area. Hopefully they find out. It is sounding suspiciously like pancreatitis.

      The food diary is only as accurate as the person doing it. If you do it correctly it should be quite accurate. If you do it half assed you will get half-assed results and of course no accuracy.

      If it were me I’d do the fast until the pain subsided; however, no more than 5 days. 3 days and then the complete cleaning of your system via an enema or ten should be sufficient but if necessary 5 days of nothing but water and supplements should be quite telling. Then just follow the directions. Oh wait …

      Forgot you just had a colonoscopy and should already be cleaned out. BUT fasting is still important and an enema to get rid of any residual may be helpful. I’d also want to get rid of all that crap (barium) you drank and the laxatives before the colonoscopy began. I can’t see where any of that crap is good for a person.

  10. I found your site recently and I wanted to thank you for all the helpful information!

    During the years of 2012 and 2013 I have been having stomach issues. I always have this pain in my stomach (in the center/top of stomach). My family doctor can’t figure it out…. he orders Ultrasounds, CT scans, Hida scan but all are normal so he sends me to a GI specialist who orders a GI endoscopy (one done each year), another ulrasound and a colonoscopy…. everything normal so he puts me on Amitriptyline 25mg and after about 3 weeks my pain starts to go away so he diagnosed me with IBS even though I only have one symptom of IBS (Stomach pain)

    In November of 2013 I started having the same intense, burning, pressure, dull pain in the top/middle part of my stomach. I went to my family doctor and he did blood work which showed a slight increase in my lipase levels. I was on a liquid diet for 5 days and my levels dropped and I felt much better. Two months go by and I am feeling the same pain again but I don’t go to the doctor, I do the liquid diet myself for a few days and I feel better. Then July of this year it happens again and it’s more intense and more painful. I go to my family doctor again and says it can’t be my lipase levels so he doesn’t do bloodwork but he does send me to have another HIDA scan done and this time it shows 0%. I have my gallbladder removed 2 days later and for the first 3 days after surgery I am feeling fine.

    After the 3 days I started to feel bad, I knew something was off. I was very weak and exhausted, I was dropping weight, very nauseous and that horrible pain right below my sternum was back. Ten days after surgery I have someone drive me to my family doctor because I am too weak to drive myself. He thinks its an infection and orders bloodwork and sends me home. Nurse called the next day to say that my lipase levels were slightly increased and I was put on a liquid diet for 2 days and was told to repeat bloodwork. I went back on day 3 and tested again, levels were even higher… back to the liquid diet and repeat again in 3 days…. this time my levels were “2 points under normal” and he tells me everything is fine, I can start eating again.

    Now it is August and the pain has never left. I barely eat anything and if I do, I make sure it has no fat and that it’s a small amount but still the pain is there. I went back to the doctor today and he said its not my pancreas, it has to be something else causing the pain. He suggested “stomach inflammation” and gave me medication to decrease the acid in my stomach and ordered me to have another CT scan done (still waiting on that)

    So can you have pancreatitis with slightly elevated enzyme levels? If my levels aren’t very high can I still feel this kind of pain? What else can cause an increase in lipase levels and cause pain in the upper/middle of your stomach?

    Thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy post!

    1. Hi Elaine – Sorry you aren’t well. Lipase levels, though quite pancreas specific, can increase due to a list of conditions:
      Lipase levels may be increased in the following conditions:

      Acute pancreatitis
      Perforated or penetrating peptic ulcer, particularly involving the pancreas
      Obstruction of pancreatic duct by stone
      Drug-induced spasm of sphincter of Oddi (codeine, morphine, methacholine, cholinergics)
      Chronic pancreatitis
      Pancreatic pseudocyst
      Pancreatic malignancy
      Gastric malignancy or perforation
      Acute cholecystitis
      Small bowel obstruction
      Intestinal infarction
      Cystic fibrosis
      Inflammatory bowel disease
      Acute and chronic renal failure
      Organ transplantation, particularly associated with a complication (organ rejection, cyclosporine toxicity, cytomegalovirus infection)
      Diabetic ketoacidosis
      Intracranial hemorrhage
      Chronic liver disease
      Use of certain drugs: Methodological interference (pancreozymin [contains lipase], deoxycholate, glycocholate, taurocholate [prevents inactivation of enzyme], bilirubin [turbidimetric method])
      After endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

      Anyway yes, acute pancreatitis, even severe acute can present with low enzyme levels and unfortunately those patients are often misdiagnosed. For more info here is an article. Read the conclusion portion of abstract. Article: Underestimation of acute pancreatitis: patients with only a small increase in amylase/lipase levels can also have or develop severe acute pancreatitis read here

      Good luck, hope you are able to find someone who can get a handle on your condition.

      1. Thanks for all the helpful information!

        Since my last comment I have received the results of my CT scan, they were normal. So I was sent to see a GI specialist who went over all my test results and listened very intently to all that I had to say. He said he strongly thinks I have Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction that was brought on by the removal of my gallbladder. He prescribed Amitriptyline for the pain and sent me to have a MRCP. I have not received the results of that yet.

        I am still in pain daily. I have pain if I eat or if I fast. It’s just very frustrating.

        1. Hi Elaine – is the Amitriptyline helping the pain? Amitriptyline (Elavil) is used for depression and has a ton of possible side effects. It is also habit forming. I have never heard of using it for pain but then I certainly don’t know everything lol and if it helps, good! I’m not to well versed on SOD either. I know just enough to be dangerous but I bet a ton of grape seed extract might be beneficial. I’m just guessing but if you are still in pain it might be worth a try. You can grab some good, pure grape seed extract at your local health store. If it were me I’d try to find some NOW Foods Grape seed extract, 100 mg Vcaps and take about 200 mgs 4 times a day for as long as the bottle lasted to see if it did anything to help. If it does you have a solution. If not well you wasted about $20 – $30 bucks depending upon the cost at your store and size of bottle. And diet. HIGH Fat foods aggravate SOD. “What are the symptoms of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction?
          The symptoms of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction include recurrent attacks of upper right quadrant or epigastric abdominal pain. This pain is usually non-colicky and steady. The pain may be aggravated by meals, particularly fatty foods. Opiates may also worsen symptoms. Patients may present with a recurrence or persistence of pain after gallbladder removal.” That quote came from this page.

          1. Yes, my GI doctor said that Amitriptyline was for depression but they have found that it also helps with SOD pain. The only thing that it helps me with is sleeping. I take it at night and it totally knocks me out, I wake up tired and stay groggy for half the day. I haven’t noticed a difference in my pain.

            I will be taking your advice and purchasing the supplements as soon as the store opens tomorrow! I’m tired of hurting and I need to try something different.

            I avoid any high fat foods and I eat smaller portions throughout the day instead of one huge dinner but still the pain persists. I have went days with only water, hoping the lack of food will help but still I have the pain. At times it seems like having an empty stomach aggravates it even more so than normal.

            Thank you again for all your advice!

          2. You are welcome. I wish I knew more about it. Let me know if grape seed helps. It’s just a guess and if it doesn’t work I guessed wrong. But I’d like to know what results you have either way. Hope you feel better soon Elaine.

  11. Hello! I have pancreatitis – started with gallbladder issues and about 5 years after removing gallbladder and having an ERCP, I couldn’t eat anything without severe pain. Dr did another ERCP (his nurse has been hospitalized and almost died with pancreatitis so she knew over the phone that is what I had) and my pancreatic duct was swollen shut, the little hole thing in the pancreas was 80
    % swollen shut so my pancreatic juices were attacking my pancreas. He saw mutliple damaged areas but has said if I eat 20-30 grams of fat per day on a strictly vegan diet then it can totally repair itself in 5 years or so. That’s my background. Now, for my question. I did the juicing and got the supplements you recommended, was feeling almost normal again when doing the food journal….I got cocky, ate more fat than recommended, now I’m hurting again and very swollen for a couple weeks now. I want to confirm that I should take 800 mg ibuprofen, grape seed extract, and curcumin…do a juice fast….and start the food journal all over again right? Thanks!!
    Stacy R

    1. Hi Stacy – dang! I can’t believe it! Your doc actually said that?! HE’S RIGHT! You are REALLY lucky to have that guy. If you have already started your food journal you don’t need to “start over” with the journal and prep, just the fast no food for a couple days, water, supplements and a one shot dose of ibuprofen (400 – 800 mgs) couldn’t hurt with maybe 200 mgs per day with the supplements for a couple days to help reduce the inflammation, pain and other symptoms. Then juice for a few days, see how that goes. then vegan foods if the juice works out ok.

      IF it were me I’d do the supplements in this fashion: about 800 – 1000 mgs of grape seed extract per day in 4 doses, 500 mgs of curcumin , two – three doses.

      Good luck hope you feel better. 🙂

          1. Hello Healthy Guy

          2. Hi Linda I am sorry to hear you have had rough times (understatement right?). I do not envy you I hate nausea and vomiting. Hopefully with diet changes and supplements things will change for you. I deleted your email so you don’t get spammed but I did email you just now.

  12. Hello,

    I’ve been reading your site religiously since I’ve started my newest bout of pancreatitis. I’m currently deployed right now in the middle east and last week I got hit with a really bad attack. I’m hesitant to take ibuprofen because I’m convinced that my pain is caused by the medication I’ve been taking daily for the last 2 years due to my chronic back and neck pain. I was hospitalized and diagnosed back in February of this year right after a training exercise. It wasn’t until this last attack that I found out about changing my diet. In an environment where everything has either grease or oil, what can I eat that will provide me with enough nutrients and sustain me. It’s very hard to go days without eating, but it hurts to eat. Do you have any recommendations? I ordered the grape seed and all the other recommended supplements but it will take a few weeks to get them. I could really use some type of guidance being that the doctors on my base are convinced I have gastritis even though I’ve tried to convince them other wise. Thank you for all your helpful info and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Soldier in pain

    1. Hi Angeline! Thank you for your service! What meds are you on for chronic back and neck pain? Having served myself I know your food options suck. If Army chow is anything like Marine Corps chow you are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to pancreas friendly chow. I can’t think of much that was pancreas friendly. One of my favorite breakfasts, eggs, fried potatoes, smothered with that beef crap in cream sauce (shit on a shingle mix) and coffee isn’t good lol. MRE’s are not conducive to good health when one has an inflamed pancreas (in my case it was C-rats, didn’t have MRE’s then). Angeline, I don’t know what to tell you. You are kinda screwed. IF I read things correctly you have been diagnosed with pancreatitis? And they still have you deployed? You must be one strong woman to be able to endure that crap while in a combat zone. I really am at a loss for suggestions. IF I remember correctly even the vegetables found in the chow hall were cooked in butter/margarine. The only things I can come up with is to stay away from alcohol and eat as little high fat food as possible. Abstaining from alcohol shouldn’t be to difficult but eating is going to be a major challenge, especially since it sounds like you have had recurrent attacks. Did they check you for gallstones by any chance? The only other thing I can suggest is to take a ton of grape seed (800 – 1000 mgs per day in like 4 – 5 doses) and vitamin C (4000 – 5000 mgs in 4 – 5 doses) when your supplements come. 500 mgs of curcumin 2 – 3 times a day. Those may help a lot but with your diet choices it is gonna be a challenge. Trim all meat of fat/skin the best you can. Try to avoid gravy. Dang, good luck soldier. God bless ya. Stay safe.

  13. Hi Thanks for the blog, I have been suffering from attacks upper left front and back abdomen when ever I ate oily food, the doctors just dismissed it as gastric ulcer, but after taking the medicines the pain did not go off. Then I had endoscopy so ulcer was ruled out, blood testing, ultrasound, CT, all come up normal. The pain would last for 3 days then, if I ate oily food, the pain would come back again, I have suffered 3 major attacks and 3 minor attacks all caused by eating oily food in the past two months. The doctor said that it is not AP or CP since there is no evidence, he said that it is probably caused by stress.

    1. Unless you are in the middle of an AP episode (4+ hours) enzymes (amylase and lipase) usually haven’t risen yet. If you go to the ER as soon as an episode begins and happen to get in quickly and the er draws blood right away chances are nothing will show. But don’t get me started on doctors. Most are useless unless you are having a heart attack, have been shot, knifed, or been in a car wreck. You know, something easy to diagnose. Hang in there. Find a good ER and go in during one of your bad attacks. A concrete diagnosis is important.

    1. Sorry LS somehow I missed this comment question. Mild acute pancreatitis can heal on its own but usually not if you continue eating because that simply aggravates your already inflamed pancreas. Since CP is a digestive disorder/disease I would imagine it could increase your farting ability. I know I cut some real rippers but I also eat a lot of beans lol 🙂

  14. Hello I come across your site through a link on a pancreatitis site on facebook. My dad is currently in hospital with severe acute pancreatitis. It will be a week tomorrow he’s been there. The pain we have seen him go through is unreal and you feel helpless not being able to help him.

    The doctors did a ct scan but said they couldn’t see any gallstones. He’s not a heavy drinker and it come on out of no where and floored him. I worry that 7 days on morphine isn’t good. The doctors said they have to wait for his pain to subside till they can investigate further. So its just been morphine, flushing his system and no food. It’s frustrating that they can’t do anything else and he has to endure this extreme pain.

    1. Hi Claire – sorry to hear about your dad. I know you are worried. Severe acute pancreatitis isn’t anything to play around with and the doctors are probably monitoring him for infection and organ failure. I hope he gets well soon.

  15. Hi Health Guy, on one of your posts you had mentioned being very sick over a 2 or 3 year period. Just out of curiosity, was your primary symptom during this period pain and nausea, presumably with several acute episodes in there? Even when not in acute pain, did you generally have constant pain and tenderness, for example, aggravated with movement during this period? It helps many of us struggling to learn all aspects of your story, so thanks for sharing. Please keep up the good work you’re doing here.

    1. Yes Pain and Nausea. Almost every night and sometimes during the day. Never constant. Acute pain (before ibuprofen) would last for 12 – 18 hours, constant. No break. Usually started at night about bedtime and kept me up all night and into the next day but some started during the afternoon. Got a shot of demerol at the ER once. Didn’t even take the edge off. Heck they may as well have shot me up with sugar as much good as it did. The doctor who diagnosed me gave me demerol tablets. They were worthless. Abdomen was very tender, sometimes distended. Motion made nausea worse at times. I never ever got sea sick while aboard ship but after I started getting really sick simply driving my car/truck would make me nauseous. Running did the same thing. Even light pressure on my abdomen caused pain and nausea.

  16. Hi Health Guy

    Do we need to worry about MILD chronic pain in both left (it seems the tail of the pancreas is involved too) and right abdomen? I have pain that is mild, and some time it appears regardless of any food taken, but most often half to one hour after meals.

    I mean does mild chronic pain means mildly inflamed pancreas or does it just mean unhealthy pancreas without any current inflammation?

    Do I need to stop eating even safe foods if I have mild pain before or after meals?

    May be it matters for your answer – I take Creon for malabsorption.


    1. Hi Larry, it often takes time to heal and during that time the pancreas may become slightly inflamed from time to time. The more damage you have the more possibility there is of even small amounts of safe foods causing som inflammation. IF it were me I’d increase my grape seed and vitamin C consumption until I no longer had the pain. Sometimes another 100 mgs of grape seed is all it takes. Most people with damage need around 600 – 1000 mgs of grape seed daily broken into 3 – 4 doses. Some people need even more. I might even add an extra curcumin capsule if i wasn’t taking 1000 – 1500 mgs daily already (500 mgs 3 x daily). It’s a crap shoot and takes trial and error to determine what amounts work best for you but you’ll know when it does.

      If you have suffered a lot of damage and since your discomfort starts 30 minutes to an hour after meals you may need a larger dose of creon (pancreatic enzymes). So you may want to ask your doc what he thinks about it.

  17. Oh, I forgot to ask…do you know if sometimes there is a sweet taste in mouth when you have chronic pancreatitis…maybe this means lipase levels are up?

  18. Hello HG… The information on your site is very good. My father at 72 last summer (2013) had a pain in his stomach got it checked out…. and it was a tumor the size of a lime on his pancreas. He was gone 60 days later from Pancreatic cancer. He was a health nut and a recovering alcoholic sober for 16 yrs. He never had any symptoms of any kind for Pancreatitis. Last November I had a my Pancreas checked with out any symptoms of any kind, my dad wanted his kids to get checked out. I had a EUS done. When I woke up the Dr at Mass General in Boston told me I had mild inflammation and scarring of the Pancreas. I was stunned… I have not pain or symptoms at all. The Dr said it was from Drinking, he told me to stop drinking and not to eat any fatty fried foods. I’m still struggling to fully stop drinking.. but trying. Should I be taking supplements, even though I don’t have any of the symptoms most of the folks on this blog have? The Dr said I should be fine if I follow his instructions, but he did say that there was no need for supplements.

    1. Hi Pete – IF it were me I’d be getting on the diet and supplements. I’ve actually had one lady that said here damage that originally showed on her CT scan cleared up after a year I think. Her testimoney can be found on the “about” page I believe with a link to her actual original comment on my other blog. So there is definitely something to diet and supplements in regards to healing. Of course quitting drinking is a priority as well. Good luck!

  19. Hi Health Guy, Paul?, I have had pain, center below sternum, for a few months now, pretty constant, and a feeling of fullness, nothing traumatic, no vomiting, no fever. After I noticed a small swelling left side below my ribs and pains in the left upper left below my ribs and, I started doing research which led me to finding you last week. Since then I have stopped drinking and have changed my diet no fat i.e., fish chicken breast and boiled vegetables rice cakes etc.,. Now I have added grape seed to my already expansive list of supplements that I have been taking already for years (already have been taking curcumin and lots of C 5000- 7000/day). I still have a little pain, just a poke here and there may last 5- 30 minutes at a time, but it is much less than before, may go much of a day with no feeling at all. It’s been almost 7 days. Is it expecting too much that the pain should be gone already, or am I thinking correctly that it too a long time to get this way therefore it will take time to heal? Do you think the swelling go away? Should there be no pain at all? Because I never had a really massive attack like I’ve read about on your blogs, does this mean my damage more minor or could it really be bad? I just need some reassurance that I’m doing the right thing. Thanks Mike

    1. Hi Mike – the first thing you might consider is to see a doctor to get some tests and find out what is actually wrong, especially if you have experienced relief from a low fat diet, no alcohol and supplements. You may have more damage than you might suspect even though you haven’t had acute pancreatitis or “classic” symptoms yet. It sounds like you have symptoms that could point to chronic pancreatitis, autoimmune pancreatitis or the big C. I’m not trying to scare you. I can’t diagnose but if it were me I’d go see a doctor. It is always better to know exactly what you are dealing with. Both alcoholic and autoimmune pancreatitis can present as chronic pancreatitis at first. In my opinion the right thing to do would be to get a professional diagnosis from a good doctor. Good luck Mike. Let us all know what the doc says.

  20. Hi HG, Well the pains are really subsiding (THANK YOU – LOW FAT DIET!). I had my doctor appointment yesterday. It does not look like the big C. He could not feel any abnormalities in my abdomen, instead of swelling, it looks more like some excess fatty pockets on my left side more so than the right, I may have never noticed them, personally, however I believe that there is damage maybe not overt. He also did additional blood tests as I insisted that I needed more confirmation. Got the results this morning, things are looking good. As you suggest, he as well told me that I need to keep the food diary, adding one thing and waiting to see the effect, I started last night. I’m also going to keep my diet restricted to low fat for good. Its time, for years and years my diet has been bad, terrible, not a whole lot of junk food, but VERY high fat, rich, hard alcohol and indulgent, really over the top, thanks to getting scared and finding your blog, I feel like a second chance has been given to me to prevent really bad continued damage from occurring. HG, Thank you, Mike

  21. Hi Health Guy

    I would like to ask:

    – does uninfected necrosis in chronic pancreatitis cause pain itself?
    – how does infected necrosis pain differ from chronic inflamed pancreas without necrosis?
    – can necrosis be seen by ordinary abdominal ultrasonography or just by CT scan?

    Thank you for your answers

    1. Hey Jan you aren’t gonna like my answers much cuz I don’t have any for the first and second question except I don’t know. Necrosis can be seen by CT and EUS and I believe by MRI. Sorry I’m not more help in the areas you wish to know about.

  22. Hi Health Guy

    Seasons greatings!

    I’m a little confused. Two different doctors in two different hospitals did ultrasound on me and found single calcifications in the pancreas and the second one also found “mild diffuse process”. I had an attack with pains and yellow stool and diarrhea for two weeks and it only began to got better after I started to stick to the low fat diet on your blog. Some days ago I had CT done on my abdomen, and everything is normal with the pancreas, not even calcifications.

    So, I thought CT is better than ultrasound? How come doesn’t CT detect anything and still I need Creon because I seem to have malabsorption issues like frequent bowel movements and more stool per day? What is the single ultimate test to prove pancreatitis and rate how serious it is – EUS?


  23. Hi. I was diagnosed with CP about a year go. A couple of months ago I had my gallbladder removed. Since the gallbladder removal I have experienced far less nausea. However, I do work a job that requires lifting and climbing and I feel tired and fatigued a lot of the time. Pain is a constant but is manageable so far. Its the tiredness and fatigue that seems to be my biggest problem right now and of course doctors haven’t been all that helpful when it comes to managing my CP. Any suggestions to improve energy levels and reduce the fatigue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Rob sorry to hear you have CP. Constant pain, even though not severe, can drain you and cause fatigue. Make sure you read my entire blog, especially about anything having to do with diet and supplements. Following such should help decrease your pain more, even resolve it. That is gonna help several ways. The resolution of pain will help your energy return because you’ll feel better. Your outlook will improve. You’ll sleep better. Once your pain resolves eat foods that are pancreas friendly like white meat fish (halibut, cod, perch, bass), increase your intake of whole grains, particularly bran cereal and eat less sugar to avoid highs and lows. You might also consider a B12 supplement.

  24. Hi. Great site – I am SO grateful I stumbled upon it and will definitely “like” to help promote it to others!

    I’m a 43 year old woman, quite physically active, social drinker until I started having serious digestive problems. I had my gall bladder removed five years ago, then last year started having attacks of severe abdominal pain in the same area as the gall stones. I finally ended up in the ER and was diagnosed with AP three months ago. I then saw a specialist at a top-tier teaching hospital (UCSF) who ordered an MRCP; nothing showed up. Then he did an endoscopic ultrasound exam, which revealed sludge in my bile duct. I had an ERCP 5 weeks ago that triggered another AP attack and a 4-day hospital stay, but – silver lining! – the doctor said that he had removed some sharp stones and sludge from my bile duct, performed a sphincterotomy, and was confident that I would make a full recovery within a few weeks. I adhered to a very strict diet during my recovery – fasting, then clear liquids, then full liquids, then bland food… and then 4 weeks in, I got a little cocky at a baseball game, ate peanuts and a pretzel and drank a beer, and sent myself right into an AP attack. Moral of the story: never, ever think you can “cheat” on an angry pancreas.

    So here’s the question/problem: when I got to the hospital last week I learned that my specialist had abruptly left his practice for a “personal emergency leave” and is not returning (this is the same guy who did the ERCP only 5 weeks ago and knew that as of 2 weeks ago I was still in severe distress when I ate). So he’s gone, and there is no one overseeing my case. My enzyme levels in the ER were not elevated, so when I was admitted, the ER assigned me to the Medicine team. According to one doctor who saw me, the GI team saw my chart and passed on it, saying, “We’ve done all we can for her.” Among other problems, this assignment to Medicine meant that the nurses didn’t have the right orders – in a moment of inadvertent cruelty, one ER nurse offered me a turkey sandwich, and inexplicably, I was flagged as potentially contagious so no one could enter my room without a gown, gloves, and face mask. I checked myself out of the hospital after one night, but now I cannot seem to get my case reassigned to another gastroenterology specialist at UCSF, and it seems like The Medical Establishment is saying that nothing more can be done for me. I’m in constant pain, whether I eat or not, I am nauseated and have terrible diarrhea within minutes of eating anything. I take Zenpep with all food, which at least keeps me from vomiting, but honestly, eating is so problematic that I have starved myself into malnutrition (anemia, low potassium, low proteins, etc.). So… I know you can’t diagnose me, but does this sound like pancreatitis to you? My story seems so similar to yours and everyone who posts here, but the medical community keeps telling me that my imaging and blood tests don’t show classic signs of pancreatitis, or that my problem was fixed by the ERCP. I feel kind of crazy, since the experts are just shrugging their shoulders and turning me away. How do I persuade a specialist to see me and work with me to figure this out? Are there magic words I can say, or things I can search for online to find doctors who are willing to look into atypical cases like mine? I’ll try the supplements and keep trying to force enough food down to keep myself afloat, but this obviously isn’t sustainable forever.

    Thank you for any help and advice you can offer!


    1. Hi Lisa, it sucks to be sick, sorry. About your questions …

      1) “I know you can’t diagnose me, but does this sound like pancreatitis to you?”
      You were diagnosed 3 months ago with acute pancreatitis. Had an ERCP which caused another AP. They found stones and sludge. So yeah, it sounds like you had acute pancreatitis that caused enough damage to make your life miserable yet not show enough damage on CT to get the medical establishment’s attention. EUS (endoscopic Ultrasound) usually seems to work better for seeing small changes in the pancreas (damage) than CT. But that isn’t always true.

      2) ” I feel kind of crazy, since the experts are just shrugging their shoulders and turning me away. How do I persuade a specialist to see me and work with me to figure this out? Are there magic words I can say, or things I can search for online to find doctors who are willing to look into atypical cases like mine?”
      No need to feel crazy. Doctors are weird people. Incredibly smart (their brain is stuffed with knowledge) yet in most cases so brainwashed by what I call the “criteria craze” and so reliant upon technology that most couldn’t diagnose a pimple on their own butt without pictures. All I can say is keep trying to locate someone who will listen and understands the term “minimal change chronic pancreatitis” and how it is actually diagnosed, including what “criteria” are important and which are not. Which in the case of MCCP means that almost anything seen as abnormal on EUS, MRI or CT should be considered as a definite possibility pointing to MCCP.

      Magic words? Interestingly enough there are some. Ask the doc if there is a cure for pancreatitis, especially chronic pancreatitis. Any doctor with brains knows the answer is no. Next ask him/her this question: ” Doctor, if it were you, your spouse or your child who had been diagnosed with AP twice and was now having the same symptoms, pain, nausea etc that I am what would you do?” Unless he/she is a complete moron the answer will be to find out why you are still sick. I personally can only see one reason, possibly two. 1) Chronic pancreatitis 2) SOD (sphincter of oddi dysfunction) which is fairly common in middle aged women who have had their gallbladder removed. SOD causes acute pancreatitis and repeated AP attacks (for any reason) usually cause chronic pancreatitis.

  25. Hello!
    I am so glad I stumbled upon your site. I had a whipple in November 2013 because I had 4 IPMN’s that were not cancerous, thank God. I am still having issues with pain and have been to the ER a few times since December 2014. Docs can’t figure out what the problem is. It is the same pain that I got prior to my whipple. Docs say it’s a backup of fecal matter and after a few days they send me home. I had a CT last week which the doc said looked normal. I am having an ultrasound endoscopy next Tuesday and I plan on asking the doctor about SOD. I believe that is what is happening. I had a very bad attack yesterday and I believe it was pancreatitis again. I tried the 800mg of Advil and within 90 minutes I was no longer in pain. I’m amazed….I’ve done all the narcotics before and they don’t work which is why I stay away from those meds. I went to the Vitamin store at lunchtime today and bought the enzymes, grape seed extract and the Vitamin C. I did not buy the curcumin until I find out if in fact I do have SOD. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have posted. Unless you have had pancreatitis no one can imagine how painful it is…. I’m a 52 year old female who is otherwise pretty healthy and hope these vitamins can help me out. Everything happens for a reason and I think God helped me to find your site. I do have one question for you. The only meds I do take are protonix (for heartburn). They do help but is there anything else I can take naturally instead of those? Docs said I had to stay on it as I am at high risk for ulcers due to my surgery. God Bless and thank you so much.

    1. Hi Johanne! Sorry to hear you have been through so much. I’ve heard that the Whipple is a tough surgery to perform and recover from but at least you didn’t have cancer! Praise God for that! Thanks for your kind words. I’m happy to hear that you also found relief with 800 mgs of Advil (ibuprofen). Hey if the protonix is helping stick with it. I do not know of a natural replacement and if the whipple surgery put you at risk for ulcers it’s necessary. May God bless you with continued healing 🙂

  26. anyone here with Autoimmune Pancreatitis? Fiancé was diagnosed today- he’s 27. We are nervous of what lies ahead. Thank you

    1. Hi Steph 🙂 AIP (autoimmune pancreatitis) often responds well to a regimen of steroids. It should also respond to diet and supplements. NEITHER the steroid regimen or diet and supplements are a cure. AIP usually returns but I see no reason it can’t be controlled just like any other type of pancreatitis. It may be beneficial to search for other autoimmune diseases your fiance’ may also have because there has to be a cause and one autoimmune disease usually suggests another is lurking somewhere. There are a number of autoimmune diseases that cause pancreatitis. RA, lupus, sjogren’s syndrome, celiac disease, and others are associated with pancreatitis. You can find all the diet and supplement info on this site. Your fiance’ will probably be explain the steroid protocol by his doc.

  27. Thanks for the response. We are unbelievably overwhelmed. The last few months have been extremely hard. …including losing our newborn son in February. I am heart broken over this diagnosis and terrified. There is so little information. is it life threatening?

    1. Oh geez Steph, I am so sorry. Y’all have definitely been tested to the extreme. 🙁 And what I am going to say in answer to your question isn’t gonna help because, yes, acute (severe acute) pancreatitis can be life threatening. Mild or moderate is simply painful, and debilitating for a few days with most people recovering nicely and many never having another problem. Yet, even mild acute pancreatitis, if it recurs often enough, can create enough damage to cause chronic pancreatitis which if not put into “remission” via diet and supplements can progress to the point it is unbearabe. Again, the majority of folks who have ONE mild acute attack usually recover fine with no other problems.

  28. Thank you! His attack lasted about 12 hours. No vomiting. Has not had any pain since and feels normal. They said he had a mild case but I am not really sure how that is determined. Numbers were in the 500s and we were told they can get into the thousands? I guess we will have to see what the future holds. He starts steroids after his upcoming foot surgery.

    1. Amylase and lipase numbers actually do NOT predict severity of acute pancreatitis. There have been people who have presented at the ER with severe acute pancreatitis yet their enzyme levels were not off the charts. There have even been cases of SAP with no pain! Rare but fact. Severity is most generally determined by ransom’s and apache II scores and the CT severity index. Autoimmune pancreatitis, which your finace” has been diagnosed with, is a different animal than other types of pancreatitis. IF they did all the right tests (CT, EUS, MRI) to determine whether or not his particular case presented this one and only first time as mild acute, with neglible damage (not seen) he has a good chance of the steroid therapy working and being fine. On the other hand if there is another autoimmune issue lurking somewhere, isn’t found, isn’t addressed that may have originally been asociated with his autoimmune pancreatitis or IF it presented as “chonic pancreatitis” first and he thought it was simply the flu, gastritis, something he ate etc and it has been an ongoing, undiscovered codition for a time then there may be issues down the road but if no other autoimmune disease is present and the list of AID’s is LONG then he has a really good chance of steroid therapy ridding him of the problem for good. Mile long list of autoimmune diseases and conditions that are suspected to be autoimmune in nature. So smile, be happy. Things are not always dark and ugly 🙂

      1. There was one time that i remember in the last year he had stomach bug symptoms but i never caught it…maybe it was related. He had ct, endoscopy and mri i think but no EUS yet. They are waiting till after the steroids. Will the diet and no alcohol be a lifelong change? Small if it means health but still a but daunting at this point in our lives. Ill be advocating for a full workup to look for other issues. Is AIP usually linked with something as opposed to on its own? He donated half his liver to my dad a few years ago…i also wonder if that affected it

        1. Hi Steph, I’d be extremely suspicious of that “one time.” IF it were a bug someone else would have caught it. Stomach bugs (rotovirus, norvirus, etc) are extremely and aggressively contagious. Norovirus can live on hard surfaces (counter tops, door knobs, etc) for up to 4 weeks! Anyway …

          I can’t tell you about what will happen in the future regarding his long-term health my crystal ball has not yet arrived. For some reason it’s on back order. 😉

          Autoimmune pancreatitis can be associated and/or co-exist with other autoimmune diseases or can simply cause problem on its own. I have no clue whether donating half his liver had or does have anything to do with present condition. Sorry I am not much help.

  29. Hey There!

    Really good site with loads of vital info.

    Long story short… I used to drink a lot like most students do, after student life it turned into mild to severe binge drinking ( lunches, dinner parties, evenings at home ). Then I switched to a more high flying job and things got out of control, I had big nights which turned into cocaine and booze filled weekends and then one Sunday night I just stopped, snap, just like that after hitting it for 100 hours… and had tremors which turned into a stroke and I was hospitalised and joined AA… that last for only so long by my friends sat me down and pointed out that it is again getting out of control.

    After that It has been under control(ish), unless it has been a special occasion. I had a big weekend last week. I still was out on Sunday night.

    On Monday morning I woke up with pain on my left side, swollen stomach etc… At first I was thinking it might just be a busted muscle from the gym or something… but after the heat pads didn’t work I did some research and here I am.

    It is very mild pain, no vomiting, no fever, normal appetite and I go to work normally. I just hurts when I am lying down and mild painkillers and herbal sleeping pills help. But it is still bloated.

    Should I be worried that there is damage going down inside me which I can’t feel? Should I head to the hospital?

    It has been three days now. I live really healthy being vegetarian and go to the gym regularly.


    Robert the Recovering Alcoholic (Male, 31)

    1. Robert it sounds to me like you need to see a doctor. Whether you go to the ER, Urgent Care or make an appt with your primary care physcian, you should get medical attention and find out what is wrong.

  30. Hello! Great site!

    I am scared that I might have had a mild acute pancreatitis after a heavy weekend of drinking. I woke up with pain on my left side, just under my ribs and also in the back. My stomach was also bloated. There was no vomiting, nausea or fever etc and the pain only occurred only when coughing, sneezing or making certain movements like bending down. It was not a regular pain. I took paracetamol and herbal pills ( milk thistle, dandelion root ) and drank lemon juice and cranberry juice. I went to work normal that day.

    I did not call my GP thinking it was just a muscle strain. It is now day 4 and most of the pain is gone. Sleeping in some positions hurts slightly and the stomach is still swollen. Also left side hurts a bit.

    I have a history of alcoholism which is now under control. I took a long time off via AA and understanding girlfriend, but I read that only one night can cause it, which I do have if there is a special occasion. I eat very healthy, I am a vegetarian and I exercise almost daily.

    I am worried that if this in fact was acute pancreatitis, is there a possibility that it has done some damage inside me that does not heal by itself?

    Thank you, Robert!

  31. Hi The Health Guy. I had a gradual flare up of AP this week and recognized it immediately. I hit it with the 800 msg of Advil and started fasting with nothing but water and half of a pain pill. I think I headed it off at he pass.

    I’m going to give it 3 – 5 days after pain stops. My question is, last year when I was hospitalized, one of the first “foods” they let me have was vegetable broth. The best thing I ever tasted in my life after a week of IV.

    I know you discourage meat broths, but is vegetable broth acceptable to start back with? I do have organic low sodium vegetable juice.

    Just curious. I didn’t recall seeing vegetable broth on the website.

    Thanks again for all the great information.

  32. I had acute pancreatitis 20 yrs. ago & nearly died. Very painful. Was in hospital 2 weeks. (Was drinking alcohol during abusive relationship.) Have had 2 or 3 less painful pancreatitis since then, due to drinking and/or not adhering to my usual healthful diet. I’m afraid that it has become chronic, or that I have pancreatic cancer. I’m bloated, tired, itchy all over body, etc., and recent tests sowed what my GP referred to as “crazy high” triglycerides.
    I fear I might have pancreatic cancer, but am not sure my GP will agree to refer me to diagnostic tests, though I have all the symptoms and want to be sure that I’m diagnosed in time.
    should I go to the ER for tests?

    1. Hi Joanel – You may want to do something. ER if you are having an attack. If your doc doesn’t do anything find another doctor. The phone book is full of them.

  33. have all the symptoms of pancreatitis. Had acute episode 20 years ago and several milder episodes over pat 3years.
    Don’t think my GP will refer me to specialist or do proper tests.
    Should I go to the ER?

  34. Good morning?, For the pass 3 days my little sister has been in serious pain. She has really bad pancreas problems. I need some help and advice so I can help her. She gets these really painful flares and can’t even move. What can I give her to reduce or element the pain. If you have any advice PLEASE please share and tell me “What I can do to help her.. Thanks for caring?
    Cassandra ?

    1. Hi Cassandra – sorry to hear your sister isn’t feeling well. The information you asked for is all in my blog but …

      1) Ibuprofen
      2) Grape seed extract
      3) Curcumin
      4) Vit C

      Go to the store and buy Ibuprofen (motrin, advil or simply generic Ibuprofen). It usually comes in 200 mg pills. Your local health store or even walmart or fred meyers should carry the rest. Just make sure each product does NOT contain other stuff. You want pure, stand alone products. She also needs to watch what she eats. A complete diet make over is essential and that info is on this blog as well. I hope your sister gets better soon. 🙂

  35. I want to say Thank you for taking your time and providing that information for me. I went and got all that stuff except for ibuprofen. She takes blood thinner meds. Today Is day 6, I’m getting really worried. Please keep me and my little sister in your payers ???

    1. You’re welcome Cassandra. IF I were you and I’m not – BUT – I’d call her doc that put her on blood thinners and ask if there is any reason it would be unsafe for her to take Ibuprofen. I know Ibuprofen supposedly thins the blood a little but I don’t think it is as potent as aspirin. I’d call and ask. A lot would probably depend upon what blood thinner she is taking. I’ll keep you both in my prayers. You may want to submit a prayer request on the page meant for that and others who visit may then pray as well. 🙂

  36. Currently coming off a. Acute pancreatitis which I believe is due to chronic panc.
    33 yr old female, gall bladder removed 8 years ago followed by an ercp two weeks later due to crazy itchy skin which suggested SOD blockage. After the removal all was good for about 2-3 years until pains started again, gentle at first but more severe as time went on. Diagnosed with everything under the sun, IBS,ULCER,HPYLORI,GASTROINTEITIS,OVERWIEGHT, STRESS, PSYCHOLOGICAL and endless visits to specialists. It was not until the latest bout which was so bad that I had to go to a&h- 4 visits in 2 days and not one correct diagnosis until finally admitted. One dr suggested pancreatitis and AP was confirmed following a ct scan. Left hospital after a week nil by mouth, day three had a non fatty meat broth( dr did not advise against it or a diet to follow, and upon discharge Drs were still disagreeing and disputing it was pancreatitis even though I was convinced it was and had all the signs- pain, nausea,green vomit, drugs did not really relive pain, increased pain following drinking water, itchy skin( dr still denies this is related , as not jaundiced and bilirubin only slug joy elated as were lfts, but being a highly allergic person I know my body and understand my itches :)!

    1. Cont’d-Upon second admission to hospital three days later, 12 hrs after eating meat broth, I was sent to a specialist hospital who overruled mrcp and suggested ercp. Ercp confirmed inflamed and fatty pancreas and biopsy of pan crease was taken to determine if it’s auto immune disease or something else. I a, convinced it’s either blocked or sludgey bile duct or SOD ESPECIALLY as itch still persists. Dr still disputes this as my lfts are only double and not in the thousands and I’m not jaundiced but again know my body and I’m convinced.
      Have any of u suffered the itchiness? Mainly upper and lower limbs but closer to the torso and on belly, buttocks etc.
      Also I would like them to be able to tell me if the inflammation has gone down and need the, to understand the cause of the original AP… Biopsy results not in yet but Drs in disagreement – one say biopsy is pointless and Mrcp is the way( even though the. Last one I had was
      inconclusive) ct scan also confirmed sludge in induct – so frustrated at the moment but can confirm that low fat diet has helped tremendously and pains subsided aside from a flutter occasionally. But also have flutters on right side( liver area) when I eat , any suggestion as to why or if possible can liver also be affected.
      Thanks so much your site has bought me much relief and peace of mind even though I’m still shit scared 🙁

      1. Biopsy would be useful if it’s autoimmune pancreatitis which often presents, even LOOKS like pancreatic cancer on CT (mass). IgG4 levels (antibodies) are increased in both Panc Can and autoimmune pancreatitis so that doesn’t help differentiate a diagnosis. For some reason anything that affects the biliary tree (gallbladder, so, pancreas, liver, etc) can also affect the liver because it’s in the “tree” and even cause liver enzymes to rise. Try not to worry. I know that is easier said than done. Hopefully your docs will get you figured out and diagnosed properly. 🙂

    2. Hi Edit sorry to hear you’ve been ill and have some dense docs too. IF you have been diagnosed with SOD you should avoid opiates (morphine and/or derivatives such as codein, meperadine aka demerol, dilaudid, hydrocodone, etc) because they can cause the sphincter of oddi to spasm which inturn can often cause acute pancreatitis.

  37. Hi I’m Jay I was diagnosed with acute pancreas last March 7 months ago I was drinking a lot and they said it was due to the alcohol. I had a endoscopy and a colonscopy done on me, also CT done I’m scared I’m going to get again I’m very paranoid over this doctor said in should be fine it was due to the alcohol I dont drink anymore I’m 28. Is it possible this was a one time thing for me? Or this going to happen again to me i don’t drink anymore and I don’t plan on drinking ever again. Everything comes back normal when incontinence the emergency I have gastritis so when I feel something inferior scared . Maybe you can help me give me a peace mind or tell me the truth. When I had the AP it was in the 700 range of inflammation. I am eager to hear back from you. I just need to start living my life again.

    1. Hi Jay – The good news, if the stats are correct, is that about 80% of those who have one mild pancreatitis attack heal with no others problems. So let’s hope you are one of the 80%!

  38. Hi, I came across your site when searching about pancreas. I’ve been in and out of the hospital mostly all year! So far 2015 has been nothing but pain for me. I can’t even enjoy my kids with So much pain I get. Yesterday I ended up on the ER for the same reason as always. I suffer from a sharp pain in my upper abdomen. (Like always) they ruled it out as Gastritis! (Even though I have never experienced the burning sensation like the Drs say) and was order Pepcid. <-(Like always) For the first time the ER doctor told me my pancreas was elevated by 3 points. But that it was nothing to worried about. But that's all she said. Should I worried or not?? Since my husband got layoff at the moment I can't follow up with a doctor because short on money. Meanwhile I'm going to start your diet.

    Little background info.
    I had my gallbladder removed almost 4yrs ago. I started with really bad episodes of sharp pains since then. 3 years ago I had an colonoscopy and they told me I had Hpylori wich I took the Prep pack twice and finally got clear. The pains only got worst. I started experiencing Cold sweats. Will drink a soda and will feel better. But my stomach pains get worst at night. I don't sleep. I don't drink nor smoke. I don't take no meds. And have change my diet 360 degrees and I still suffer from pains. So no I have my pancreas elevated by 3. That's all I know about it. After reading comments I found out alot of ppl suffer the same way. But I ask the ER doctor if the pancreas had anything to do with my pains and she said No! So I'm confused. Also found out Morphine makes my pain worst! Oh before I forget burping sometimes eases my pain.

    1. Alexia sorry to hear you aren’t well. Has ANYONE check you for SOD? I can’t diagnose but women who have had gallstones and also have had their GB taken out seem to have a higher risk for SOD (sphincter of oddi dysfunction) and that could be your situation and morphine (and similar narcotics derived from opium) make SOD worse – but … I CAN NOT DIAGNOSE or give medical advice. I’d suggest you keep going to the ER especially IF you get REALLY sick. Sorry I’m not any more help. IF it is SOD or pancreatitis the diet should give some sympton relief. Good luck. I know it sucks to be sick, especially when nobody knows what’s wrong.

  39. I think I’m having a attack of acute pancreatis ……it started Friday night December the 18th 2015……around 8:00pm…after eating ….started having severe pain in my lower left back and stomach …..could not lay still all night …..was vomiting from 10:00 pm until the next morning …..I had a hida scan Wednesday morning …..but it showed nothing …..I am a diabetic

  40. hi iv just been diagnosed with cp and I’m very scared I’m on morphene for the pain which helps a bit I have changed my way in eating and take vitamins everyday what. is life expentacy with someone who as co

    1. Hi William – I understand your fear. Even though I am healed and have no symptoms of CP I still know, in the back of my mind that IF I screw up like I did in 2006? (it could have been 2005 or 2007) and MISS something on a label like I did I could again have another nasty AP attack which, well, you know, could end my blogging lol. Anyway …

      Life expectancy with CP is an enigma. Some say 10 years from diagnosis (that’s what my doc said) and others say it simply shorten normal life expectacy by maybe 10 years. I have NO clue who is right except to say this … according to the doc who diagnosed me (he is one smart cookie, only dude out of 14 who could recognize and confirm what I had) I should have been dead about 26 years ago – give or take a year lol. So … Who knows? I KNOW THAT probably wasn’t the best answer or the one you were hoping for but hey! I was told I may die and I’m alive 36 years later so why not you too?

      Unless you do stuff that will kill you like eat high fat foods and drink alcohol there is always hope. I’m PROOF! So dig into this blog and learn how to live! 🙂

  41. I’ve been in lots of pain for months now I’m at my wits end I hurt all the time under right rib cage follows to my back the only way I can describe it it’s like labor when I go through the spams at its worst hard core labor I fell like I can vomit eating or not eating I’m exhausted and this past week I’ve started freezing nothing keeps me warm… need advise. ..could this be pancreatitis?

    1. Hey Dawn sorry to hear you aren’t well. It’s possible it could be pancreatitis. I’d suggest going to your doctor or if you are really ill to the ER. Getting diagnosed is the first step.

  42. Yes had a appt Monday then tues a gi series and within 4 hours Dr’s are calling saying I need a gi scope which is this morning so hopefully I’ll have some answers today although I was very surprised to hear from the Dr’s within hours of my gi series so my way of thinking they may have seen something questionable so that’s why we’re doing the scope praying for answers

  43. I have been to hospital emergency room now 4 times with sudden severe abdominal pain. Wakes me up in middle of night while sleeping no warning. Was told my intestines were swollen. The pain was around my belly button to right. I was just discharged from hospital after two day stay. Sonogram showed pancreas was swollen, my blood work was off with my liver. They told me it was pancreatitis. They did a mri (or catscan) it showed that it was normal except my ducts were swollen. I should note I do not have a gallbladder. They did a endoscopy and took biopsy, showed that I have too much bile on stomach. I got them to release me so that I could drive home from Georgia to Texas to get with my doctors. The release paperwork talks about stomach acid but not Pancreatitis yet that is what they said they were treating me for in the hospital for two days. What are your thoughts do I have it or not? If you think it is possible thats what I have, I have not been able to chew food since 2009 due to bike-cycle accident. The accident injured my bowels so what I am not able to eat meat without extreme difficulty. I eat soft food or have it chopped and swallow whole. My protein intake was from whey up until last three months I started salmon. I am physically fit, train five days a week. I eat gluten free, sugar free, dairy free diet. I do not drink alcohol but occasional ( 1 time every 2 to 6 months), cholesterol is normal, and the list of medications they said was not an issue. Is it possible that because I don’t chew food, and enzymes are activated when we chew food that this is causing the problem?

    1. Hi Bernice – sorry to hear you are having crappy times. Anytime the pancreas is swollem on CT or MRI Or US (sonogram aka ultrasound) it is definitely indicative of pancreatitis. I don’t know of any other name it could be called. Inflammation of the pancreas is pancreatitis. Now you may have had a mild case, your pancreas may have resolved to an “unswollen” state when they did the CT or MRI which showed it wasn’t swollen at that time but that you still had a swollen duct(s). I’d make sure they (your docs) kept a strong eye on you. It would also be a good idea to find out what is causing the inflammation. A pancreas usually doesn’t become inflamed simply because you’ve had a bad day.

      In regards to not being able to chew and that being a cause – I don’t know. I would think the accident which injured your bowels would be a prime suspect. Injury to the pancreas could be the cause, especially if you have been having symptoms/problem since that wreck. So …

      Dump the alcohol. Check out this blog for what is usually safe to eat when your pancreas has been damaged. I’d also suggest you do the prep for the “food diary” and then do an actual food diary so that you know EXACTLY what foods trigger your symptoms and pain. Make sure you read this blog, especially about foods, fat and triggers (fat and alcohol). HIGH fat foods, (beef, pork, lamb, duck, goose, oil, butter, margarine, cream, nuts, coconut, avocado, soy and more) should be avoided like the plague. Good luck to you and feel free to ask questions anytime. I can’t diagnose or prescribe treatment. I’m not a doc but I can answer questions the answers to which are based only upon my personal experience and indepth research.

  44. I found your site a while back and have been taking the supplements you suggested. My symptoms feel like pancreatitis and have been gradually getting worse over the years. (I don’t have as many attacks now b/c of my limited diet, but I have a much lower threshold for what brings them on, so I consider that a worsening in symptoms.– used to be able to eat a small burger or chicken, but now can’t eat either, but can eat fish – even fried- for some reason, so basically I’m pescaterian) I just went through rounds of testing b/c I was worried about cancer, how much damage there might be etc. and wanted some definitive answers. Did ultrasound, hidascan, ct scan w/wo contrast, and lab work. The only thing that has been abnormal is elevated liver enzymes. Now Gastroenterologist wants me to eat something that I know will provoke an attack and then if it does, come in for lab work to see if enzymes are elevated. Should I do this or should I just be relieved with the test results and stay on my limited diet and supplements. Is there any advantage now in getting more test results? Would love some feedback on this.

    1. Hi Nancy – At least your doc is listening to you. The doc who daignosed me wanted me to do the same thing unfortunately the ER wasn’t able to follow directions and that attack was a waste of time along with the risk. I can’t advise you. EVERY attack carries the risk of being “severe” (20% chance) and so I would never feel comfortable telling someone to cause one but it is the only way to find out for sure IF damage doesn’t show on tests. Be advised it really is like playing “Russian Roulette.”

  45. Aldan
    30yo female
    No Gallbladder
    Pancreas Divisum

    Thank you so much for this site. As you know, a lot of doctors out there are idiots when it comes to the Pancreas. So, your site has been very beneficial to me. I am going to double check but I am really hoping you have a book. : )

    So, I do not have a Gallbladder anymore. Its been 1 1/2 years since the removal and since then, I have had a lot of spasms, like, a lot. Everything you described on your page above, under “symptoms”, I have. In addition, I have Pancreas Divisum. The issue is, I cannot get my doctor to diagnose me with Acute Pancreatitis. I need him to do so because I am unable to work because of my spasms. He has only diagnosed me with Pancreas Divisum and said I do need a stent but that would make it worse. I am not doing anymore surgeries. Also, my levels never show signs of Pancreatitis, even when the most severe flare ups happen. How can I get him to see the “Duck” and give me the diagnosis? Maybe get a new doctor?

    Also, finally after 1 1/2 years of spasms I am able to figure out what triggers my spasm: 1) Ill get them at work. It might be stress related. This is why I cannot work. 2) Morning time, empty stomach, spasms wake me up. If I quickly eat yogurt or bread, I can stop it. But this does not always work. 3) I burp a lot and when I say a lot, I mean I am the female version of Homer Simpson. Sometimes, if I cannot get all the air out of my stomach, ill go into spasm.

    Good thing, I am able to eat and drink fluids again. Now I am getting fat but it is better than my cancer like figure from last year, where I was constantly dehydrated and felt faintly. So, I have made improvements with being able to eat, drink, and know when spasms are.

    Do you have any advise?

    Thank you so much for your time.

    1. Hi Aldan – No book sorry. I’m not sure what you mean when you say “spasms.” Does that mean pain or something that actually feels like a spasm? Since you had your gallbladder out I am guessing you had stones? You said: “Also, my levels never show signs of Pancreatitis, even when the most severe flare ups happen.” Are we talking enzyme levels? If so I can understand your doc’s reluctance to diagnose acute pancreatitis because it’s rare when amylase and lipase do not elevate during an acute attack. And if other tests such as CT do not show inflammation it may be something else however …

      Pancreas divisum does cause acute pancratitis and other “flair” type symptoms. Since you are female with gallbladder issues that indicated the need for removal there is always a chance that you may have SOD (sphincter of oddi dysfunction). SOD can cause symptoms that are VERY similar to acute pancreatitis yet NOT be acute pancreatitis. SOD can also cause acute pancreatitis. And SOD isn’t easy to diagnose without doing an ERCP and checking SO pressure.

      One thing to note is that eating usually doesn’t “help” any of those situations. So I find it interesting that yogurt and bread sometimes helps relieve symptoms. Have you ever been checked for an ulcer? Does antacid (Maalox, Mylanta) help relieve the “spasms”? IF food and/or antacids help I’d get checked out for an ulcer especially since stress seems to worsen the symptoms.

      I do NOT know much about pancreas divisum. I know that some people who have it never have any symptoms while others live in nightmarish hell because they do get acute pancreatitis and damage. I’m sorry I’m not more help.

      1. This was great information, thank you.. It was the 3rd opinion I was looking for. Also, my mother has SOD and I seem to be the one kid who gets every health issue she has.

        I do not have an ulcer, been checked. However, I have been diagnosed with having “functional dyspepsia/visceral hypersensitivity” but the diagnosis does not match the severity of the pain.

        I am seeing my doctor next week. Ill speak more to him about SOD.

  46. Hi! I am coming off an AP attack, on day three. I’ve lost a lot of weight lately. I’m taking supplements and ibuprofen. Drinking fresh juices. Do you recommend any juice recipes in particular? Can they be fruit too or just vegetable? Also do you think it’s ok to suck on a lollipop for at least something tasty? Just a plain lollipop, nothing fancy. Thank you so much for all you do.

    1. Hi Jayne – You sure are going through some crap. I hope a resolution is found. A very nutrient rich juice can be made using tomato, kale, spinach, carrot, beet, cucumber and celery. I also add onion and garlic (you’ll smell bad lol) cuz they are awesome and I like them lol. Fruits are good too. A lollipop should be fine. I hope you feel better. I KNOW it sucks to be sick.

  47. Hi! You mention that opiates by mouth can aggravate AP. Do you think that a patch for pain that you put on your body would bypass that danger? I’m constantly in pain, I think mostly from starvation as I’ve had trouble lately due to surgery and repeated attacks when the hospital feeds me the wrong foods. I know I can’t eat yet as this is only day two of my fast. Thanks again for all you do.

    1. Jayne – Since you just had the whipple surgical procedure I would guess that you may definitely need some extra help with opiates. If you are in pain use whatever it takes to find relief. Ibuprofen works for pancreatitis because it resolves inflammation BUT you have had a tough surgery and will probably require actual pain medication. Keep us posted on your recovery progress.

  48. Hi everyone,

    I’ve had 7 attacks in the last 1 and a half. You might have guessed I have a drinking problem. And unfortunately for me I get hit with the most excruciating pain for a few days. I need to make some serious changes in my life especially now at 40. Anyway the following has helped me deal with the unbearable pain: I find that sitting in a hot tub for about 30min a time gives some relief, unfortunately you have to jump back in every 5min later. I’ve also been using Nurofen for a while. I’m amazed that although available without a prescription this drug has always help during the hard times.

    1. Hi Ellington – the reason Nurofen helps is that it is Ibuprofen which is a strong anti-inflammatory. Pancreatitis is pancreas inflammation. Reduce or eliminate the inflammation and the symptoms resolve. I found that a dose of 800 – 1000 mgs of Ibuprofen usually stops an acute attack within 60 – 90 minutes. Since Nurofen comes in 200 mg tablets 4 – 5 in one dose should resolve your symptoms BUT check to make sure that Nurofen contains ONLY Ibuprofen. You could ask your pharmacist for clarification. You might also consider removing alcohol from your diet. In fact you may want to totally restructure your eating habits (diet). Everything I have done to become pain free is on this blog. I wish you better days! 🙂

  49. Hi this is a great thread. Can you answere me. My mum has been having most of the above systoms serveral months now. GP sent her for ultra sound she’s had her gallbladder removed few years back. The afternoon of the scan her GP called to ask her to go for a CT scan as they noticed a swelling under her pancreous she’s 84 and I am very worried. My question is the term swelling used in this type of condition pancreatitis ?

    1. Hi Mafy – I would imagine swelling would be a common term because the pancreas can and does swell when inflamed. It can look like an overstuffed sauage lol but they may be seeing something else and referred to whatever it is as a swelling.

    1. Hi Joene – THAT is an excellent question and guess what I do NOT know for sure but probably not. I do know that with advanced chronic pancreatitis the pancreas often burns out and doesn’t produce enzymes any longer. In which case there aren’t enzymes to elevate. The case may be the same with a pancreas that has been resected. And why in both situations the person needs to take pancreatic enzymes in order to digest foods. Nothing is ever “always.” There are RARE instances when enzymes do not elevate in acute pancreatitis. They often don’t elevate in mild CP cases.

  50. Thanks for your helpful information on this but I’ve been experiencing some problems with my abdomen for nearly 2 months but it just worsen on May 18 of this year so I went to the ER and they did an CT scan,took blood samples,urine specimen and a ultra sound on my stomach and results came back negative but I had inflammation on my pancreas. The Dr.only prescribed me Norco 10 mg but nothing to help the swelling and the pills didn’t help at all so what should I do now because I can’t even get any sleep due to this extreme pain.

    1. Hi Sherree – IF it were me and it was I’d take 800 mgs of Ibuprofen. You can get Advil at the store. It comes in 200 mg tablets so I’d take 4 = 800 mgs. I’d also get some grape seed extract, vitamin C and curcumin. I’d fast for 3 days (nothing but water, Ibuprofen when needed, grape seed extract, Vit C and curcumin). In 3 days your inflammation should be reduced, maybe eliminated and you’ll know by the way you feel. When you buy grape seed extract, vitamin C and curcumin you want to buy SINGLE, PURE products. Do NOT get products that contain other ingredients that may be toxic in larger doses. Did anyone happen to mention a reason for the pancreas inflammation? It would be good to know.


    1. Hi lORI – beer or any alcohol is not a good thing for those of us who have pancreatitis. The only thing I can suggest is that you (IF it were me it’s what I’d do) adhere to a low, low fat diet, get some grape seed extract, curcumin and vit C and Ibuprofen (OTC) so that you have enough to cover the pain of flairs. I have found that it is up to me to do what I have to do in order to stay well and symptom free. Diet, supplements and Ibuprofen when needed. Unless you become horribly ill (severe acute pancreatitis) there isn’t much an orthdox doc can do to help once you have been diagnosed.Ask God for His healing, wisdom, help in overcoming any alcohol addiction and forgiveness. It’s amazing how much He will do for His children who accept His Son and do what He tells them. He will also give you peace.

  52. Dear sir, I m from India, n I really appreciate your efforts in helping people suffering from this weird disease. My husband was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis in March, 2016 and since then we r not leading a normal life. He was admitted and hospitalized for 3 days. At the time of discharge his CT scan, ultrasound, blood tests, urine, amylase, lipase and rest of d other tests were perfectly normal, except for the tlc count which is main cause of concern for both of us. Tlc count was 17 (normal range 4-10) and doctors were giving antibiotics to keep this in control. Sir, it is still raised after 4 months when my husband got the test done, doctor don’t have any answer to this continuous raised levels. We have already changed 3 doctors n believe me they don’t give us satisfactory answers. Sir, plz guide me on this. Plz sir u r my only hope.

    1. Hi Muneeza – A higher than normal TLC count or Leukocytosis (high wbc count) can be caused by infection, inflammation, allergic reaction, malignancy, hereditary disorders, or other miscellaneous causes. Since your husbands other tests at discharge were normal and he was on antibiotics it may be due to residual infection and/or inflammation. Please understand I am only guessing. A higher than normal baseline is also seen in those who have sickle cell disease. WHY was he originally given antibiotics? Did they see indication of infected necrosis (infected dead pancreatic tissue) or was it as a precaution against possible infection? If they saw no evidence of infected necrotic tissue on CT chances are he simply has residual inflammation. BUT I am NOT a doctor and could definitely be wrong. Check his temp periodically and If he starts running a fever get him back in the ER.

      1. Thanks a lot for your reply sir, I feel like describing his history and lifestyle so that you can understand his situation in a much better way. He is a 38 years old guy, who is a massive drinker since 2011, a chain smoker as well. The day he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis he is not taking alcohol n strictly following the low fat diet. When he was admitted he was experiencing extreme abdomen pain. He was discharged and given antibiotics and other medications. Since then he experienced slight pain last week because he has eaten pizza, chicken, re d meat etc. Which triggered the inflammation and caused the pain, I have thoroughly read your website and guided him about ibuprofen n now after taking it he is feeling much better. We have ordered the supplements and will soon reach us. I just want you to ask one thing , may be his tlc is continuously raised because of the inflammation, I want him to have your cocktail of supplements and would go for a check after a week or 10 days. I really believe he will be fine, I always check his temperature, always normal. Sir u r doing a great help to people like us. Thanks again

        1. Hi Muneeza – you are so welcome! And I’m glad to hear your husband is feeling better. I do think the raised tlc levels could be from inflammation, especially if he is NOT running a temp. So get him on a proper diet and the supplements when they arrive and there may be a good result achieved. Let me know how he is doing in a couple weeks. 🙂

  53. I have a question. I have been on a strict diet for 9 months after experiencing what felt like pancreatitis symptoms. I had blood work, ultrasound, hida scan, and ct scans. The gastro dr finally told me they found nothing and the next time I had symptoms, to come in and pick up blood work orders. I have since made an appt with a new gastro dr. closer to home and before going to him have challenged my diet to see if I would have symptoms so I could tell him. I have eaten a pescetarian diet since last Thanksgiving(fish, veggies, low fat milk products, etc). A couple of weeks ago, I tried grilled chicken and had no symptoms. Last weekend I had a small grass fed filet mignon with no symptoms. Having cleared those hurdles, I’m thinking of trying hamburger. If I do, and experience symptoms, how long after symptoms should I go get blood work done in order to get the best reading? I’m thinking if I go in with no symptoms since January, they aren’t going to take me very seriously. I have no idea if my lack of symptoms is diet related or if I’ve gotten better.

    If you are going to suggest not challenging my diet to see if it induces symptoms(which you did before), then can you suggest how to approach the doctor? What should I say? Thanks for all of your helpful feedback.

    1. Hi Nancy – I very well may have cautioned you against challenging your pancreas with diet to help the diagnostic process. The reason being (not to scare you) is that statistically 80% of acute pancreatitis cases are mild, 20% severe. But it’s like rolling dice. Who knows whether the next attack will be mild or severe? SAP (severe acute pancreatitis) can kill you, me or whoever. So, being an anally cautious kinda guy, I really do NOT feel comfortable telling someone to place themselves is harms way.

      To answer your question: “If I do, and experience symptoms, how long after symptoms should I go get blood work done in order to get the best reading?” TYPICALLY it takes 2 – 4 hours into an acute pancreatitis attack for pancreatic enzymes to elevate. Two (2) hours for amylase to elevate and four (4) hours for lipase.

      “can you suggest how to approach the doctor? What should I say?” Since I am sorely handicapped when it comes to conversing with doctors (I find most don’t listen) I’d still do my best to outline everything (symptoms) being sure to include severity, frequency and so on. One can only hope they take notes (or you could provide written notes for them) and actually listen.

  54. I’ve been told i have some calcification of the Pancreas. Does this mean i definitely have chronic pancreatitis

  55. I am having pain in my stomach upper left side what should I do do I need to go in and go to the hospital? What will happen if I don’t go

    1. Hi Brittanie – Have you ever been diagnosed withpancreatitis? If so and it feels the same it may be wise and prudent to seek medical advice. It is probably prudent to do so anyway. 🙂

    1. Hi Michael – it takes time to heal. If you are doing everything right (diet and supplements in the right amounts) you should heal up nicely in time. If you have only had one mild attack of acute pancreatitis and any cause has been resolved you may never have another problem. Hang in there 🙂

  56. Hi Health Guy. I’ve been researching plenty since reading your site and after my first (and hopefully only) AP attack. I have a question please if you don’t mind. All tests for stones and sludge etc were negative (ultrasound, MRCP, EUS) and previous MRCP when pain was very regular was clear also. I have been referred to a pancreas specialist gastro and for a test for SOD. I’m curious seeing as stones etc have always come back negative what is the likely hood the AP was something passing through?? The EUS showed nothing. No signs of any inflammation or evidence of something having been there but it was nearly 3 weeks after I was released from hospital, would you expect there to be some signs of trauma then? I’m really keen to know exactly WHY I had AP but as I no longer have pain just mild discomfort ocassionally (although historically the pain has been on and off with sometimes weeks of nothing) I’m very worried that the SOD test is unnecesary. I have the consultation meeting next week for this so of course I will be asking all of this, I just wondered if you might have any thoughts and or can think of key questions that I should make sure I ask?! I don’t wish to write it off as a stone that passed (gallbladder long gone) and find myself in hospital again but equally I don’t wish to search and search for a reason that could well have passed through and for which I will never have an answer! Thanks in advance for any thoughts.Danielle

    1. Hi Danielle – sorry to hear you have joined the pancreatitis hall of pain. I’ll try to intelligently answer your questions.

      1) “I’m curious seeing as stones etc have always come back negative what is the likely hood the AP was something passing through??”
      Hey, it’s entirely possible that IF the gallbladder is involved that it expelled the stones and most passed without further trouble except that one may have been stuck for a short time causing the AP and then passed as well. If they all passed then they certainly wouldn’t be seen on scans. What I don’t know is if the GB exvacuates all stones at one time or during a certain period of time. But I think it’s entirely possible. And that could have caused a case of mild AP.

      2) “The EUS showed nothing. No signs of any inflammation or evidence of something having been there but it was nearly 3 weeks after I was released from hospital, would you expect there to be some signs of trauma then?”

      In a mild case of AP a 3 week time period may be sufficient to see the inflammation totally resolve. If there was no serious damage things would look normal. The good news is that if there isn’t an underlying cause (GB issues, SOD, autoimmune disorder, high blood fats, etc) for your AP you may heal up and never have another problem. It is my personal opinion there is ALWAYS a cause. Often the doctors never find that cause. But it is very difficult for me to believe that a pancreas simply wakes up one day and decides to make it’s host go through living hell. And so knowing what I know now (versus 35 – 37 years ago) …

      I’d be taking serious stalk of the common causes. asking some pointed questions and expecting someone to search out the reason why I had AP.

      Most common causes:

      1) Gallstones #1
      2) Alcohol #2 (I’d want to know if I had the gentic variant)
      3) Genetic mutations (read, read)
      4) drugs (various drugs cause AP, read)
      5) Abdominal Trauma
      6) Autoimmune disease (lupus, RA, celiac disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, Cystic fibrosis, type 1 diabetes and others)
      7) Scorpion, snake, spider venom
      8) High blood fat levels
      9) Certain viruses
      10) High calcium blood levels

      I don’t believe in an idiopathic diagnosis. That just tells me the doctor didn’t want to look hard enough to find the cause. There is ALWAYS a cause. One just has to find it. By the way nothing I am sayin is intended to scare or worry you. You ask my opinion and I am giving it. I’m not a doctor so it is an uneducated opinion. And so if it were me I’d ask about all the above possiblities. IF I didn’t like the answers I might even ask the doc if I were his/her daughter would that be what he/she would simply stop at and tell me?

      1. much for your reply. I have seen the consultant now and have had genetic tests and other blood work carried out and am booked in for an MRCP with secretion next week to check for any issues with the ducts not working properly and look for any abnormal functioning. The consultant did say if it comes back clear he would be reluctant to do ERPC for SOD as I am now pancreatitis pain free. The pains I have now are barely worthy of the word pain in comparison and are symptoms I have had ever since children and gall bladder removal etc. He suggests if nothing untoward is highlighted it would be preferable to continue on this good spell and take up ERPC investigation if any pain returns as microscopic.stones or sludge could well have been the cause and now be gone. Obviously I am happy to not have any more procedures and if it never happens again, thank god for that but not having a definite “this caused it” does make me worry a little. My concern would be then that if it were micro stones etc what on earth can I do to stop them from coming back and I wonder could it have been escapee bits from my GB surgery. I’m hopeful it was as a result of GB surgery, which was in a real state, and that’s the end of it! If so I’ll thank my lucky stars and never feel that pain again! I wish all on here well and pray for pain free days for all x

  57. Hi Health Guy. I see you are thankfully still active on this blog.

    If been following it for a few weeks now.

    About 8 weeks ago I woke up in the middle of the night with severe pain which led to hours of vomiting profusely. Ended up in the ER, for a week they couldn’t find a cause and sent me home. On the Monday after I was sent home I got a call from the Dr to say it was my pancreas and she asked me to come back if I was still in pain, which I was. Went back to hospital and started vomiting again while eating their hospital food because I was non-the wiser to the fact that diet played such a crucial role. They have done nearly every test except for the genetic test. ( i am seeing and endocrinologist on Monday who I will ask to help me get this test done) But nothing with me makes sense. I never drink at all and I have never smoked, not even one cigarette. I am already underweight, and have lost 8 kilograms in the last 8 week. I had no gallstones that can be seen. While in hospital all the scans were clear. But after I left the hospital I was still in so much pain that the Dr sent me for a sonar last week to check for cysts. It showed an inflamed head of my pancreas and fluid surrounding it, but no cysts. The Drs just told me theres nothing they can do and to stick to a low fat diet. I have been on a totally vegan diet as per your blog, no fats at all except those found in veggies etc. I have been on this diet for 4 weeks now and have been taking grapeseed extract with Vitamin C and Selenium. Also on tumeric capsules X 3 a day. Theyve tried cortisone with me but no improvement. I am doing literally everything I can possibly do to get this to heal, but from what I can see from the net, it seems acute pancreatitis just automatically means chronic and it just never heals. Is there any hope at all for us? How long did it take you to heal on this diet and the supplements? I am also taking enzymes but not Creon. How do I go about preventing Diabetes and cancer? What have you done other than the diet and supplements, do you still get your lipase levels tested and get scans done to check if you have cancer or not? I apologise for all these questions but I am still in agonising pain, barely eating as it is. but I am eating only the right foods obsessively as I have taken this as seriously as I should. I am on the pancreatitis groups on facebook and the guys on there are struggling like crazy, in and out of hospital day in and day out and I am quite frankly petrified. Im really just wondering how many weeks it will take for this pain to reduce for the fluid to go away and for some sort of improvement. Is it literally impossible for our pancreas to heal? It just makes no sense that there can be a body part that just simply will not heal especially if I am doing everything humanly possible to help it along. I am only 29 and married with a 2 year old and I really dont want this to be a death sentence or shorten my life. If there is any hope please let me know. LAstly was there any Dr at all that assisted you in anyway at all? Kindest Regards Candice

    1. Hi Candice – I’m sorry to hear you are having a really rough time. Ok so you have been vegan for about 4 weeks with no oil or fat. You are taking grape seed extract, C and turmeric. I prefer curcumin (stronger than turmeric) but turmeric is fine. Curcumin (curmunioids) come from turmeric. Anyway …

      How much of each are you taking daily?

      With fluid around the head of your pancreas (possible ascites) it may take a longer time to heal. Even though pancreatic ascities is more commonly seen in longstanding chronic pancreatitis I have no doubt it could be also due to acute pancreatitis. I’ve heard of interesting things that most docs do not realize are possible. I had one guy , from India I believe, who had acute pancreatitis with the complication of pleural effusion which is most commonly seen in those with lung, heart, liver or Kidney disease. So I have come to think almost anything is possible. I am not saying or showing you stuff to scare the bejeebers out of you. I already know you are frightened and worried and I do not want to add to that. But it is extremely important to find the actual cause of your AP if at all possible. As I’ve said time and time before a nice, friendly, well pancreas just doesn’t wake up one morning with the intent of simply making it’s host’s life miserable. There is always a reason for AP but many doctors never discover the real cause and so classify the condition as idiopathic which to me is quite idiotic. Anyway …

      Again, I do NOT mean to scare you but IF it were me I’d ask for a test (blood work) to check CA19-9 and IgG4. The first is for cancer the second for autoimmune pancreatitis and often PC as well. Sometimes acute pancreatitis is the first sign of pancreatic cancer. It would be really good to rule that out even though they did NOT see a mass on scans. Again, don’t get scared or more scared than you already are cuz it’s just a shot in the dark idea to rule out one not so common possibility.

      I’m glad you are doing everything possible to heal and also pursue the actual cause. Don’t apologize for questions. Questions are GOOD. I may not have the answer. I may not be right when I think I am. I’m not a doctor. But I will tell you if I really don’t know. I may even LOOK for the right answer. I’ve been known to do that lol. And …

      YES! There is ALWAYS hope! 🙂

    2. Candice – again … I know you are scared but calm down, take a breath cuz there is always hope and it is probably going to take some time to heal. It took me YEARS to really heal up but I didn’t learn everything right away either. With what the good Lord has taught me people are healing much faster than I did cuz they have everything I learned on this blog to put into action whereas I learned it kinda “piece meal” or a step at a time. I don’t know where you stand with God or whether you have a close relationship with Him and His Son Jesus or what but you may want to consider putting yourself in the hands of the GREAT Physcian. Let me know about how much grape seed, C and turmeric you are taking daily. Milligrams per dose and how often etc. Sometimes people don’t take enough.

      1. Hi, I presently have gastritis, gerd and a hietal hernia.I have been doing pretty good except for occasional burping and hiccuping for the past 3 years.The pressure in my stomach (not pain) that feels like a fist being pushed in was my reason to first see my GI doctor. Now about 3 weeks ago I started feeling nauseous all day and night.I would even wake up in the middle of the night feeling sick.Than a day or 2 later that same pressure came back again and I have a back ache that mainly stays toward the middle.its been an every day thing. Some times it will let up for a while when I eat and other times it will make it worse.
        I went back to my GI Dr.and he sent me for blood work and a MRI which I will be having in a few days.He thinks it might be Pancreatitis.Has any body ever had severe pressure in the upper stomach instead of pain with Pancreatitis.I also get a few hot flashes and a faster heart rate from time to time.I hear that laying flat on your back and bending over makes it worse.Mine is just the opposite it relieves it. I also get a lot of stomach gurgling. Do these symptoms sound like it Could be pancreatitis or could something else be going on?

        1. Hi Marie – Sorry to hear you are feeling lousey. It could be. Not everyone presents with severe pain. I’d suggest waiting to see what your blood work and MRI show. Your GI obviously suspects something or he/she wouldn’t have done blood work and ordered and MRI.

      2. Hi Health guy. Thank you. I have had igg4 tested and it was negative. I did test positive on for anti nunclear factor. Tyey put me on cortisone but it did not help at all. It’s bizarre that this happened out of nowhere. I’ve been taking 160mg of grape seed 3 x a day today ive taken it 4 x and 500mg of turmeric. 500mg of vitamin C. They didn’t test for cancer because there was nothing to see. But I’m seeing a endocrinologist tomorrow and I’ll ask her to test for my piece of mind. I am a born again Christian yes and I have a loads of people praying for me. I have a two year old and I just feel like I’ve been given a death sentence. I havnt felt any difference in pain so far. Does this mean I am still in the middle of an acute attack? What I mean is, is this still an acute attack. I mean how do I know. I’m no longer vomiting like I was. Is vomiting the key factor to knowing you are going through an acute attack ? My pain is less than it was 9 weeks ago but barely. I still have moments where I’m cringing over from pain. Struggling to keep it together at work etc. Should rather just be fasting totally until this pain goes away? Thank you for your reply. I appreciate it xoxo!!

        1. Hi Candice – GREAT to hear you are a Jesus follower! IF it were me I’d fast (nothing by mouth but water, supplements and Ibuprofen) because when the pancreas is inflamed food is not your friend. And since you already feel like death warmed over I’d go to 200 – 250 mgs of grape seed 4x daily, 500 C 4x daily and 500 turmeric 4x daily (if no gallstones or sod). I’d also do one 800 mg dose of Ibuprofen and then back down to 200 mgs 2x per day for about a week (then off the ibuprofen). IF I were feeling much better 3 days into the fast I’d start drinking V8 juice and also grapefruit juice if not on drugs that would negate use. Let me know how you are doing. 🙂

  58. hi, my mother amylase serum test for pancreatitis is normal but she feel severe pain in left lower rib. Can you tell me something about this?

  59. Sorry one last thing. Do I need to keep getting my lipase levels tested for rest of my life and are they even able to go back to normal. I’ve been testing it every week. It fluctuates between 107 and 600. Is the lipase level indicative of inflammation. I find the lower the level has been the worse the pain is. I always expect a very high number then it ends up being 145 or so.

    1. Candice – In regards to lipase – “I’ve been testing it every week.” You are testing your own blood or your doc has been drawing blood every week? 107 is like inflamed a bit whereas 600 lipase would indicate acute pancreatitis (AP = 3x upper normal = 150 – 200 depending upon testing lab). 600 or 10x upper normal should leave no doubt. In fact I have heard some horrible horror stories about physcians not being overly concerned with lower elevations of enzymes thinking that enzyme elevation indicates severeity of inflammation which is totally bogus according to studies. DO NOT get scared. This article is only to make you aware that if your doc is not concerned that you might want to slap him/her about the head and shoulders until they wake up.

  60. Hi my 26 year old son keeps getting pancreatitis does this mean he will have it for the rest of hes life.

    1. Hi Michelle – he’s 26 and has had it since 17 (I’m combining the two comments)? so has anyone found a reason why he has recurrent attacks? How many has he had, actual AP attacks? One isn’t good but many people can recover and live normal lives but more than one indicates some underlying reason or enough damage from the first that the damage results in chronic inflammation. So, either way it may be he will have to live with it for a long time.

  61. Have a lipase level of 14 ul on lab 7to 60 ul being normal with a cyst Near the pancreatic head with damaged strands! Have symptoms of chronic pancreatitis and believe had several acute attacks! Was on norco and ibuprofen 600 x 3 a day for an accident but didn’t go to er because had no general doctor and literally just had water and pills to get thru it! since then have had several mlnl episodes and now have left sided pain especially when eating and when the pain pills are wearing off! I feel it is chronic pancreatitis but my GI doctor died of a sudden attack at 47! His partner did the EUS did not do a biopsy and did a mRI which if no evidence will see me for a followup EUS I did not meant him until the procedure nor did not get a cance to tell him my issues!
    If not pancreatitis I feel my digestive emcyzes are low and have tried to follow a low fat diet! However I feel I have to be my own doctor! Not sure what pancreatic encymes to take my Vitamin D was 10 ny the way!


  62. Hi. My loved one who is in his early 30’s was in ICU for just shy of 4-weeks diagnosed with alcoholic Pancreatitis. He was just moved to intermediate care. He nearly died. At one point they said he had complete organ failure, he had blood in his lungs, pneumonia, an A-fib which caused an eschemic stroke, etc. He still has a trachea and a feeding tube etc. But with lots of prayer, and good care in ICU, I think he will survive. Any additional suggestions or ideas? I don’t know if he understands yet that this is all because of alcohol. I don’t drink at all, but I think some friends and family may not understand the seriousness of him needing to never drink again.

  63. HI Health guy, random question but are we meant to be taking calcium while we have pancreatitis or meant to stay clear of it? I am trying to find info on the net and getting contradictory advice. Why are given Vitamin D in hospital?

    1. Hi Candice – I don’t think (means I’m not sure) calcium or vitamin D in normal food doses have any affects on pancreatitis. IF someone has EPI (Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) they could become deficient. HIGH doses of either via supplementation would not be something that would be wise to do. High doses of vitamin D can cause AP and high blood calcium can as well.

  64. Last question sorry, I started vomiting again with severe pain last week and was hospitalised for a week. The scans show that the head of my pancreas is bulky but nothing other than that and my lipase was only 96. I have one Dr who diagnosed me as chronic and another who says thats ridiculous because the damage on the CT is barely visible. The thing is, I am still in pain every single day since my first attack. I was just wondering how many months its meant to take before things hopefully settle down. This Dr last week even said she doesnt think my pain is from my pancreas if my lipase is only 96, but I can guarantee that it is. Same pain I have had since day one and still struggling to eat.

    1. Candice – forgive me for being blunt but that doc who says CP isn’t possible and that an elevation of lipase (96) isn’t indicative of a potential pancreas problem should be fired. I’d stay way clear of her. She’s an idiot where the pancreas is concerned.

  65. Dear Health Guy,

    First of all, thank you for taking the time, and having the care to put this website together. It has been a great resource for me.

    About 5 weeks ago my dad went to the hospital with an acute case of pancreatitis. He spent 2 weeks in the hospital with different cocktails of pain killers, opiates, antispasmodics etc… After 2 weeks he was sent back home as the inflammation was reducing and he was tolerating foods. He was put on an antibiotic to fight a small necrosis that had formed around the pancreas and it was recommended he keep a bland diet while continuing on pain killers and other drugs.

    An interesting thing about my dad is he doesn’t drink a drop of alcohol and he had his gallbladder removed about 10 years ago. We suspect the cause of his pancreatitis is an inability to metabolize fats. Hence, he was also put on an anti-triglyceride pill. It sometimes seems to me like all MDs know how to do is medicate and cut one open.

    I have been back home trying to help my dad cope with the pain and better the condition. We have been feeding him mostly cooked vegetables and lean meets with almost no fat as he got a bit anemic after not eating for almost 7 days. I saw you recommend a vegan diet. I don’t know how to implement this without finding a way to supplement the protein intake to fight the anemia. Any recommendations on this?

    Also, I read what you wrote about Ibuprofen. It makes perfect sense to me. Per all of his latest CAT SCANS, fortunately, his stomach, his intestines and the rest of his digestive system are healthy and operating normally. Even after 5 weeks his pancreas is still inflamed. I am considering giving him the 800mg of Ibuprofen to reduce and mitigate the inflammation. My only concern is that it might have an adverse reaction with the other medications he is currently on. What do you think? Do you believe the benefits outweigh the risks?

    I happen to be a health nut myself. I have an athlete’s heart-rate, I don’t drink, I compete in triathlons and eat a predominantly plant based diet. I strongly believe correct supplementation can dramatically help relieve any condition. I read what you had to say about grape-seed extract and ascorbic acid. I read the dosages and tried half a dosage yesterday but it irritated his stomach. Any recommendations on how to ease into it? Also, where can I find a good curcumin supplement?

    I really want to thank you again for putting this website together. I have been on it almost every day since i discovered it and have studied your articles several times. Any help and guidance you could give me, specially regarding the possibility of giving him Ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation, and consequently the pain, would be greatly appreciated. You are a good man.


    1. Hi Warren – thanks for the kind words. Sorry to hear about your dad. if your dad is tolerating lean meats he should be able to easily do what I’d do and keep up his protein. I’d cut out ALL red meat and pork. Vegan with some modifications. Vegan protein can be had from legumes (beans, peas, lentils). Egg whites are an excellent no fat source of protein. White meat fish (cod, pollock, perch, bass, rock fish etc) are low in fat, high in protein.

      About the Ibuprofen, call his doc and ask if there is any reason why he shouldn’t take it (other than bleeding risk which is low). Ask if it will interact with his other medications. I’d then call his pharmacist and ask the same question.

      About the grape seed extract, vitamin C and curcumin. What is a half dose? I usually suggest one works into the dosing. Like 100 mgs of grape seed extract once per day. If you get Now foods grape seed 100 mg veggie caps it comes with 300 mgs vitamin C so you could just do the one cap daily for a week and go up from there in 100 mg ( 1 cap) increments and see how he tolerates it. IF one (1) 100 mg cap of grape seed extract bothers him try to locate 50/60 mg tabs or caps. I just remembered Countrywide (company) offers a grape seed/pine bark product. It’s a great formula but it’s a weak formula. If memory serves me it’s called Grape Complete by Countrywide. If I recall correctly each cap actually contains 25 mgs of grape seed extract, 25 mgs of pine bark extract and some grape skin. Jarrows makes a great curcumin supplement. You should be able to find curcumin supplements at any health store. Good luck 🙂

      1. Dear Paul,

        Thank you very much for your caring and thorough reply.

        Fortunately, my dad is doing much better and we are slowly but surely beating pancreatitis.

        My dad lives in Mexico where its been hard to get access to supplements like in the states, but my brother is bringing some down for me when he comes visit next week.

        Again! Thank you very much!



  66. Dear Paul,
    I’ve spent just over 5 years now trying to get answers. The pain and sickness comes and goes as does my motivation to find a diagnosis. I find myself giving up after another “I don’t know what you have” visit only to have another attack and another desperate surge to figure out what’s going on with me. I know you aren’t a doctor but you seem to be a wealth of knowledge and I can tell you’ve helped a great many who have come to you for advice. My symptoms – upper center right (just below the ribcage) pain. Typically I first notice the pain when I go to bend over…it feels as if my ribs have brushed up against some sort of inflammation. My stomach will be a little tender to touch. After a day or two I begin to have headaches…the pain in my stomach becomes more noticeable (without touch). I reach a point where I feel fluish with intensifying pain. And then an attack….the attack is a stabbing pain. The pain is so severe that I can’t do anything but lay there in agony. The “attack” lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. It eventually subsides on it’s own. I gradually over the course of another week begin to feel better. These episodes come and go every 2 months or so with fairly healthy months in between. Well, that was until the last 7 months or so. I’ve been having attacks with much more frequency. Less build up to the attack…just abdominal pain for a few days and then an attack. Food and drink seem to have a great influence. The greasier the food the worse I feel. I’ve tried avoiding gluten and other triggers. Alcohol (although I’m just a social drinker) doesn’t always help. I get flushed in the face after some foods and alcohol consumption. Things just seem to be getting worse. I’ve had an MRI, CT scan, Endoscopies, blood work, digestion studies…I’ve been treated for CAPS (Central Mediated Abdominal Pain Syndrome). I had one EUS and in the doctors notes he mentioned inflammation of the pancreatic duct, focci stranding…mentioned 1 major and 1 minor criteria for chronic pancreatitis. But I guess they didn’t feel that it was worth further investigation. My CT scan showed stomach distention. But nothing else. I haven’t had an MRCP or CT scan with contrast. I guess my question to you is, has chronic pancreatitis ever been described to you like this? When I’ve gone to the ER, they’ve never said anything about acute pancreatitis so does that rule out chronic pancreatitis? Are there other tests I should be perusing? I’m frustrated….and I feel like giving up again. Any help or advice would greatly be appreciated and I thank you for all that you’ve done for so many.


    1. Hi Daniel – it is hard for me to know exactly what is going on with you but when I used this search term (your docs description) “inflammation of the pancreatic duct, focci stranding” info (articles) from various sources on chronic pancreatitis was immediately given. The problem with diagnosing chronic pancreatitis (especially without the acute form first) is lack of knowledge and too many needed criteria to be met. I’m a “walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck so chances are it’s probably a duck” kind of guy. And …

      Here’s where my lack of knowledge comes into play: I do not know how alcoholic, autoimmune and hereditary pancreatitis can many times present first with chronic pancreatitis type symptoms and small amounts of what can be probably called damage. I KNOW that people can have the genetic disposition (gene variants) towards any of those types of pancreatitis yet I do not understand how they actually begin without first having the the acute version but science (reports) says it in does indeed occur.

      Where doctors seem to often miss the boat (diagnosis) is that if the criteria does not scream CP, it couldn’t be CP. If common sense dictates further investigation but science (tests and criteria) does not it (the possible condition) is often thrown out, dismissed, rejected etc and they move on. And this doesn’t happen just with CP, it happens in many conditions.

      Question #1: ” I guess my question to you is, has chronic pancreatitis ever been described to you like this?”
      Answer: I have had many people describe their CP and most include abdominal pain (twinges to severe), nausea, abdominal tenderness. Symptoms often include abdominal distention, diarrhea and more.

      Question #2: “When I’ve gone to the ER, they’ve never said anything about acute pancreatitis so does that rule out chronic pancreatitis?”
      Answer: No. As I said earlier several forms of pancreatitis can present with chronic type symptoms first. Often the symptoms are mild and shrugged off until they become less tolerable.

      Question #3: “Are there other tests I should be perusing?”
      Answer: You’ve had EUS and as far as I know it is the best test for discovering minimal change chronic pancreatitis.

      I’d quit drinking, get on a proper chronic pancreatitis diet (dump the high fat and greasy foods). You could also get really serious and and begin a food diary starting with the proper prep (see pancreatitis diet category). I hope you feel better soon 🙂

    1. Hi Lola – yep it definitely hurts. Sorry to hear you have found out how bad it does hurt. Are you in the hospital or at home? If you have questions feel free to ask. I’ll help any way I can. legally. You can also invest time reading posts and pages on this site to get an idea of what your next step should be. Hang in there you may heal up and never have another problem (80% chance according to medical community).

  67. My husband got pancreatitis from a seizure medication. They recently changed his BP meds too. It has been a uphill battle ever since 2 years ago. Severe in the last 4 months. In and out of the hospital. He has lost 35 lbs and can’t afford to lose anymore. We have been waiting for a special contract secretin to come into the hospital. He is home and is getting worse. low fat diet, no alcohol, water and juices. He has a pseudo cyst now but they don’t think its causing he reoccurrence’s. Most we can hope for is plugged duct. Something has to be wrong! Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Cindy – sorry to hear about your husband’s illness. Drug induced pancreatitis does happen, a lot more than is known. I know the seizure medication Valproic Acid does. Certain medications used for BP control (Ace inhibitors). They (Ace inhibitors) contain snake venom peptides. And diuretics such as furosemide and thiazides can cause AP. Diabetes medications, immunosuppressants, and more. His pseudocyst could be causing a lot of his pain and other symptoms.

      IF it were me I’d try to get off any medication (if possible) that could be causing the recurrent issues. I’d go buy grape seed extract, curcumin, vit C and Ibuprofen and start resolving the inflammation.

  68. Hello! I have been battling lower left side pain for months.
    CT scan….clear
    Amylase 257….31-124 normal
    Lipase 215….0-59 Normal
    a1c 5.7 …. 4.5-5.6 normal
    triglycerides 226…..0-149 normal

    Gastro says NOT pancreatitis
    GP is concerned it is pancreatitis


    1. Hi Randy – don’t you just love it when doctors can’t agree? Anyway … Your enzyme levels aren’t real high but they are high enough to be a cause to ask questions. A quick test would be to eliminate ALL fat and alcohol from your diet and see what happens. If you feel better you’ll know whatever is wrong has something to do with the biliary tree (pancreas, gall bladder, liver, sphincter of oddi, bile duct, etc) and more investigation of the pancreas would be warranted. If you do eliminate ALL fat and alcohol and see no results within a week or two it may be something else. I’m inclined to agree with your GP. But the diet test should help shed some more light.

      1. Thank You for your response, the MRCP coming up with nothing is why my Gastro shrugged it off I guess. I’m going to see yet another Gastro for his opinion. My GP suggested the no booze then do a retest so that will be my next step unless Gastro #2 has another plan. BTW Gastro #1’s conclusion all along had been IBS.

          1. Well the verdict is in. The EUS (done by 3rd Gastro) showed “some scarring” but no inflammation at this time. He said to cut the drinking drastically 1-2 drinks a week tops and rerun all the blood work in a couple months and see what my numbers look like. So that’s the plan

          2. Hi Randy sorry to hear you have visible damage. I have to say this – stop drinking period. Drinking alcohol with pancreas damage is asking for more pancreas damage but it’s your body, your health so you need to do what you think is best but I wouldn’t touch alcohol period.

  69. I have mild to moderate mid left back pain after eating many times. I also notice it come in combination of eating and being under stress. I have never had nausea or any of the acute symtoms, just the dull knawing mid left back pain. It almost feels like something is in there. I have come to the conclusion it must be my pancreas. I am 58 and do have slightly elevated triglycerides and blood glucose levels. I have never had what would warrant a hospital visit, but am afraid this may lead to something very serious down the road. Can you have chronic pancreatitis without having had an acute episode?

    1. Hi Kathy – yes one can get chronic pancreatitis symptoms without an acute episode – often alcoholic pancreatitis starts out that way. Autoimmune pancreatitis and hereditary pancreatitis can as well. BUT other conditions have similar symptoms. You should make an appt with your doctor and get evaluated.

  70. I can’t read anything on your site, so therefore cannot and likely will not use it, because the social media bar obstructs the text on the left side of the page. If your stuff is good, people will share it. When there’s an annoying and pushy bar that keeps someone from actually using the webpage, it needs to go.

    1. Thought I had that fixed. You must be on a phone. Nothing is perfect – if you don’t want to use the site that is your choice. by the way I just checked it and it is fine – I can read it just great the floating bar doesn’t even show so it may be your problem since no one else has mentioned it since I adjusted the bar 🙂

  71. Hey my name is Aaron I got a case of ap about a year ago spent 4 days in hospital. It was caused by excessive hard alcohol. About 4 months ago I started going balls to the walls with drinking again. Well my pancreas hasn’t bothered me at all since a year ago. For the last month I sweat unnameable and all the muscles lock up in my body. I drink slot of water but drink slot of booze. Well three days ago I felt like crap and and yesterday .i had the pain in my stomach and back. Which was the same feeling as brforebut this time it washalf as bad. I haven’t drank for 2 days and my stomach doesn’t seem to hurt. But I’m scared to eat certain things and worried there’s still a problem. I was charged 20000 for my last visit and don’t want to go to we if my pancreas could heal on it’s own. I’m done drinking and got all the supplements possible for pancreatitis .if I’m not having pain should I be worried. Would I be in pain if I was releasing enzymes into pancreas

    1. Hi Aaron – It is good that you are done drinking. Alcohol is definitely not good for an unhealthy pancreas. Since you were having some pain there is undoubtedly some inflammation so again it is good that you have decided to quit drinking. What you experienced may be a HUGE warning to keep on the alcohol free path. I wouldn’t worry, since the pain has resolved, but I sure would keep a cautious eye on what is going on. Stay well 🙂

  72. Hi dr my husband is 34 yrs old and diagonised with acute pancreatics where dr say 30% of his pancreas is damaged… he is in the icu for 15 days…how long will it take heal… im.dam.worried

    1. Hi PRIYANKA PRABHANE – First I am NOT a doctor. I’m just a guy. I understand your concern. With 30% of his pancreas damaged it is probably going to take some time for your husband to heal. If he is in ICU he is sick. I do NOT wish to scare you, that is not my intention as you are undoubtedly already scared enough so be patient, have faith, pray that Almighty God will guide the doctor team and believe for your husband’s healing. Give him to God and the peace of God will come upon you. I’ve witnessed God’s work and His work is awesome. He loves you, He loves your husband.

  73. My symptoms of mild epi-gastric pain started in FEB 2017 and Doc found mild increase in both Amylase and Lipase and recommended i see a GP.. My GP diagnosed me with moderate chronic pancreatitis in Apr 2017 thro an EUS. Looks like my whole pancreas is inflamed and its idiopathic.

    I have been on low fat diet and have have lost 16 lbs since Mar 2017. My elastase level is quite normal. Do i have Exocrine Pancreas insufficiency (EPI). If no , can you loose so much weight within 4-5 months of moderate CP diagnosis ? Also i am hungry all the time and eating frequently. No Nausea or Vomiting. No Steatorrhea .

    1. Hi Jody from what you have said I doubt you have Exocrine Pancreas insufficiency (EPI) but that is for your doc to determine. Yes one can lose weight on a low fat diet and/or with CP.

  74. my husband was just diagnosed with sever chronic pancreatitis with a pseudocyst from a CT and EUS. here is my question and problem with this diagnosis. He had NO symptoms and never has. He only drinks 3 beers a year if that. Never drank in his younger years either. I just cant wrap my head around having no symptoms. They are going to CT it again in 6 months to keep an eye on it and also on his colon cancer. Any thoughts

    1. Hi Traci – sorry to hear about your husband. I have to admit that no pain or symptoms with a diagnosis of severe chronic pancreatitis is VERY unusual. I can not imagine having long-standing chronic pancreatitis without symptoms especially when a pseudocyst is involved which usually cause pain themselves. I have to ask, did they say severe chronic or acute? I have never heard chronic pancreatitis called “severe,” advanced or creating severe pain yes. Acute pancreatitis is normally classified as mild or severe. It would still be very unusual to have severe acute pancreatitis and have no pain or symptoms. He also has colon cancer, correct? Does he have pain with that? What about chemotherapy, has he had chemotherapy? Those drugs can destroy a pancreas along with other organs. So I thought I’d ask.

  75. Dear Paul, How are you doing? I have a couple of questions for you. I’m coming off another CP attack. First one since April so I was feeling pretty good about myself. But as I get better I tend to push the envelope and eat more foods from the danger list than I should. Let’s blame the start on Halloween chocolate… at any rate I started getting rib cage burning the beginning of November and I’m still not entirely healed of inflammation. I get better and then add bananas or saltines to the broth and vegetable soup only diet, then have to start again. My question is: if I follow the diet you recommend and don’t indulge in “danger” foods like chocolate or potato chips, Can I totally avoid ever having another attack? Also, could I add a zero fat chicken bouillon cube to my vegetable soup or is that dangerous when coming off an attack?
    Thank you for all you do. I saw where you added a contact Paul tab to this site. You’re a complete angel of a human being and I think you’re the bomb!

    1. Hi Jayne! I’m good thank you and you are gonna make my head swell with all the nice words lol 🙂 Sorry to hear you have not been well. Chocolate and potato chips don’t usually work well. Unfortunately I can’t say that you’ll never have another CP flair or an acute attack. You could do everything right and still have problems, I hope not, but it is reality. I’m not cured just healed. Yet my next meal could cause problems (especially if I overdo something). About the chicken bullion – I don’t know. I have never tried it. IF it is zero fat you could always try it. I might check it out and see if I want to try it. I don’t know why I have never thought to give it a go.

  76. Hi Paul, you mention on one of your pages that you have a great recipe for applesauce that tastes like apple pie filling. Is the recipe posted anywhere? I can’t find it.
    Also when is it ok to add fruit to my diet after an attack? I’ve been on broth, vegetable soup, and split pea for two weeks now. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jayne – if you are well, symptom free add ing more food types should be fine. Ah yes, my apple sauce 🙂 I just dump so things never taste exactly the same and I haven’t written out a recipe for this dish but here goes:

      You can use any apples you like or can find available. I use granny smith and or granny smith and golden delicious (combo).

      1) You need at least 10 apples for a decent batch, but more is always better. 🙂 You can peel them or not. I’ve done both and it is what you prefer. So peel them or not and core them. Cut them into nice sized chucks (I like big chunky apple sauce). If you don’t then cut them into smaller chunks.
      2) Dump apples into a large pan and add about half a cup of water. Apples are full of juice so if you add to much water at first you could end up with runny apple sauce. You can always add more water if necessary.
      3) Full flavor molasses or “black strap.” You’ll need about one quarter cup
      4) Brown sugar about one quarter to one half cup
      5) 1/2 teaspoon of allspice
      6) Dump in a nice teaspoon of cinnamon

      Bring your apples and water to a high boil and add the other ingredients then back down the heat to medium, a boiling simmer. I do not know exactly how long it takes to cook the apples but I like them to be soft, tender and not mushy. When they get cooked to where I like them I take them off the heat and let them rest and cool. Ok, like I said this is a guess about what I do because I really don’t measure ANYTHING I simply eyeball it (my apple sauce is brown, not golden) and smell it but it usually comes out tasting good (very similar to my grandpa’s apple pie) and never lasts a day lol IF you don’t like it try what ever amounts of ingredients that looks and smells good to you. Good luck 🙂

  77. I have two questions. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks diagnose pancreatitis release because I was able to take soft foods therefore pills as opposed to I.V. meds. I’m still experiencing pain does that mean my enzymes are still eating away at my pancreas as I write this?
    Second part of my question is I also have pseudocyst associated with this pancreatitis. You don’t speak much about pseudocysts as far as I could see do you have any thoughts on this. Thank you

    1. Hey Matthew I think I have seen this before 🙂

      Hi Matthew – sorry to hear you have experienced a severe case of acute pancreatitis. It takes a while to heal from something like you have been through and I know this isn’t what you want to hear but. It may be MONTHS, even a year or more before you feel good again, if then. A lot will depend upon whether your cyst resolves or not. They (pseudocysts), in themselves, cause pain and other symptoms. In my very humble, uneducated (not a doctor) opinion, your diet and what you do to resolve the inflammation (anti-inflammatory drugs and supplements) will determine how well and how fast you heal.

      I think your pain can be coming from two areas of concern.

      1) Unresolved inflammation inside the pancreas itself. Even a small amount can cause pain and suffering. Whether pancreatic enzymes are the cause (like in acute pancreatitis) is debatable at this point. The inflammation may be residual (left over unresolved) or because of your current diet which may be offending that damaged pancreas of yours.

      2) As I have said previously your cyst could also be part of the problem or even most of it. When it resolves your pain may resolve as well. Sometimes I have had people stop by my site and mention they have cysts but no pain. So the cyst may or may not be the problem but chances are it isn’t helping.

      Take care, get well and be well.

  78. Hi there. Just wondering about MCT oil. Have read it is safe to consume (in moderation of course) if one has pancreatitis as supposedly doesn’t affect pancreas but has benefits in relation to weight and energy. I know it is mainly derived from organic coconuts and has a bit of fat content.

    1. Hi Brian – for those who have pancreatitis fat is NOT good. Oil (ALL oil) is pure fat. Fat is inflammatory. Fat and alcohol are the two major enemies for those who suffer with pancreatitis.

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