It is time you did a pancreatitis food diary. I am going to share with you why a pancreatitis food diary is essential and exactly how to create your own diary so you can avoid dangerous foods.
Creating your own pancreatitis food diary is an absolute must in order to discover the true food triggers for acute and/or chronic pancreatitis pain, symptoms and resulting damage.
Without taking the initiative and time to create a pancreatitis food diary and log every morsel of food and drink that passes your lips and travels into your digestive system you will never be able to distinguish between what is and what isn’t actually causing you pancreas pain and discomfort.
A pancreatitis diet is required in order for your pancreas healing to begin when you suffer from chronic pancreatitis. If you keep eating the same foods you will continue to be sick.
Is that what you want?
If not you need to get busy and do your pancreatitis food diary.
Many people believe that this or that antagonizes their pancreas and produces pancreatitis symptoms such as pain and nausea and for some, certain foods other than simply fats and alcohol may be to blame and …
There is only ONE possibility that my limited IQ can recognize as a reason WHY you may not tolerate foods I do or visa versa. That ONE reason is your amount of pancreatic damage, in what area that pancreas damage occurred and how it has affected the enzyme and insulin production of your pancreas.
In order to truly KNOW what foods DO and do NOT cause YOU problems you’ll need to begin a pancreatitis food diary otherwise you are simply guessing or relying on one blind person (doctor, nutritionist, your buddy down the street) leading another (you). Now …
There is a right way and a wrong way to begin creating your pancreatitis food diary.
Unfortunately what I am going to share with you, in regards to pancreatitis food diary preparation, may not be possible if you have become diabetic due to acute or chronic pancreatitis. So in the case of diabetics, you folks will need to improvise and we’ll cover that later in another post.
Pancreatitis Food Diary Preparation For Those Who Are NOT Diabetic
The ONLY way you are going to find out the truth about what foods and/or drinks should be allowed or disallowed in YOUR pancreatitis diet is to create and keep a pancreatitis food diary and …
The first step: BUY a special pancreatitis food diary or notebook to log every morsel of food you put in your mouth each and every day for a very long time.
Long enough for you to know what foods work and which foods do not work for you. You should figure on at least a 365 day journal or a years worth of notations.
The second step: Prepare your system. This is an extremely vital step. Without this step it will take WEEKS to clear out KNOWN triggers such as saturated fats from beef, pork, lamb and other animal meats.
IF you do NOT prepare your system for beginning your pancreatitis food diary you may as well continue doing what you are doing because you’ll never know the absolute truth. Without a completely clean intestinal tract you will always be guessing and this preparatory cleaning can only be done properly by FASTING for 3 – 5 days, no food, just water and then …
The third step: Clean out your digestive system (small intestines and colon) via a water enema or five. Do as many as it takes to become completely empty and clean (don’t use laxatives or colonoscopy prep solutions).
I know that sound gross but here is WHY it is necessary.
You’ve been eating foods such as red meat and pork which take weeks in some cases to digest and eliminate. In order to truly know what foods cause you pain and/or nausea and discomfort you must first eliminate all offending food from your digestive system.
So lets say you become very determined and really want to know the truth about your condition and what foods cause Pancreatitis pain and more importantly lead to more pancreas damage.
You FAST (no food by mouth for 3-5 days).
You drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
You get out the old enema bag and flush your system clean.
Now, I am betting that after 5 days of fasting (no food) that your pain may have resolved and you feel much better, maybe weak from no food, but I’ll bet you have less and possibly no pain.
Introducing Food to Your Pancreas
Once you are clean you begin to introduce food to your system, making notes in your own pancreatitis food diary. You are beginning to develop your own pancreatitis diet. Now pay attention because this is important.
Start VEGAN. This means NO MEAT (NO beef, pork, lamb, duck, goose, chicken, turkey, fish or any mystery meat) and NO BROTH made with or even derived from MEAT.
NO FAT, NO OIL.
Introduce JUICE into your diet.
(Buy a juicer and make your own or try low sodium V8)
Drink the same exact juice for 48 hours then …
Introduce another vegetable or fruit (ONE maybe two).
Eat it for at least 48 hours and drink the exact same vegetable juice.
Do NOT introduce more than two foods at one time. This goes for spices too. You have to be able to track how the new foods affect your pancreas and if you introduce to many at one time it will be difficult to figure out which is the offending food or spice. Even when introducing two at a time if you have problems you’ll have to eliminate one at a time to figure out which is actually the offending culprit. It is best to introduce ONE new food or ingredient at a time.
Be careful when introducing processed foods. Just a slice of bread for example contains a myriad of ingredients rolled into one bite of bread and of course this is where it becomes increasingly difficult to determine the offending ingredient. Read labels, even on something that would seem to be as harmless as bread because bread makers sometimes use lard and lard is usually PORK FAT, sometimes it is made from beef fat. Neither are a good thing. Got it?
It is better to cover foods in a manner that you test ingredients first, one at a time before launching into processed foods.
Yes, this is and will be time-consuming.
Yes, it is tedious.
But, the benefits are astounding. And …
Yes you have to use common sense in a lot of situations in order to figure out why a processed food may be offensive.
Read labels very carefully.
100% fat-free on the label means NOTHING.
Ingredients are EVERYTHING.
I don’t care if the label says 200% fat-free if the food contains bacon (bacon and bean soup) it will most likely cause you problems.
Ingredients don’t lie, bacon contains fat, bad fat.
If you find that a certain food is offensive it can almost always be traced to some form of fat or alcohol. Baked goods for example use vanilla extract and lard (we’ve covered lard earlier) in many recipes (breads, cookies, cakes, pies). Vanilla extract, used by most bakeries and bakers, contains alcohol. And …
Alcohol is so toxic to the pancreas that just a little in that vanilla extract could set off your next acute pancreatitis episode or at least make you nauseous and with continued usage cause AP.
Once you have a balanced VEGAN diet and no symptoms you’ll thank yourself for having the wherewithal to have followed through on your pancreatitis food diary but …
You aren’t done.
It is a continuing process.
Once you have a fairly large VEGAN food profile within your pancreatitis food diary then you can begin adding ONE protein, like eggs for example, to see how they work. Egg whites are safe and a good source of protein and a little vitamin B12 but egg yolk contains some fat (5 grams per yolk) so you need to test a whole egg to see how it works for you. In fact …
TEST EVERY FOOD to Be Safe
When you begin your pancreatitis food diary go slow.
Remember it takes quite some time to digest animal type proteins so when you introduce one (milk, eggs, fish, cheese) do so slowly and give each at least a couple of weeks worth of testing before thinking it is a safe choice for your pancreatitis diet.
I’m not even going to suggest testing red meat, pork, lamb or duck in your pancreatitis food diary because all are so filled with fat that if you sneak by one time you’ll be lucky, if you sneak by for 3 – 4 times, without any symptoms within one – two weeks you’d be a notable scientific discovery.
If you notice I say to give things anywhere from 48 hours (veggies, fruits, whole grains like rice) to two weeks (proteins such as meat) for symptoms to show up. There is a reason for that and it is because despite what people (you, your doctor, whoever) think most foods and drinks are not immediate triggers.
Some seem like immediate triggers when they are NOT triggers at all while others seem like they are harmless when in fact they are insidious culprits. Then there are those that will immediately trigger a negative response (AP) a few hours after ingestion yet not do so the next time. This is why so many people think the offender is something (collard greens) when it isn’t.
… And it is this enigma or complexity that makes it so important that you get serious about your food intake and do a pancreatitis food diary.
Once you get serious, do the preparation and pancreatitis food diary correctly the guessing will cease because you’ll KNOW, without a shadow of doubt, whether foods such as grapes (usually safe and full of inflammation fighting polyphenols), additives like nitrites (usually safe and a common component of fresh vegetables), green bananas (usually safe when peel has NO spots), garlic, cayenne pepper, or some other spice (usually safe especially those mentioned because of their highly anti-inflammatory properties) are in fact the offender OR if it was really that piece of red meat slathered in gravy you ate two days ago that was the real culprit and cause of your pain.
Instead of blaming that bowl of sliced apples, oranges and grapes you had an hour ago you’ll know that the real bad guy was the steak from last night or that pot roast when dining at Grandma’s last Sunday just catching up and grabbing you by the midsection. And of course if you still drink alcohol you should simply put a pillow between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye because you are playing with a damn bomb that is gonna explode. So …
Get yourself a diary or start one on your computer. If you use your puter just make sure you have an external hard drive to keep your diary on so if your system crashes you don’t lose it and have to start all over. That’s one reason why I suggest buying a nice big note book and a pen. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than an external drive. Then do the fast, then prep and then start introducing foods while taking notes.
Good luck 🙂
im glad that i found your blog ive got pancreatic lupus which makes my life miserable,my question is that can i do a 28 days juice fasting instead of water fast?
Im looking forward for your reply,many thanks.
Hi Andrea 🙂 Is there a reason you can’t do a 3 day fast? I’m not sure a 28 day juice fast is necessary or would enable you to clean out your intestinal tract like a 3 day water fast but you could always try juice for 3 – 5 days. It may work almost as well. A clear juice like apple juice may work. The idea is to clear your system of ALL offending foods that were previously eaten. Let me know what you do and how it works out for you. Good luck.
I just finished the fast and am starting a food journal tomorrow. However, I can only introduce 1 food every 2 days? For example add brown rice, then 2 days later add tofu, etc?
Yes, it is best to give non meat and non dairy food items about 48 – 72 hours (2 – 3 days) to see if they cause problems. I think you’ll find that vegetables, spices, legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and grains are all safe but you can only tell how your pancreas reacts by giving one food item a chance to digest the item completely. Then you can try another item and do the same thing. It is best to do one food item at a time so that you know without doubt. If you do two at once it is difficult to tell for sure. When you get into things like bread it is really difficult to know, especially store bought, because of the many ingredients in a single loaf but store bought (commercial) breads are usually always made with some kind of oil, or lard. The food diary is a tedious project but is well worth it. Go slow and be sure to read all labels on store bought foods (when you get to that point) 🙂
Thank you for your quick response! I really do appreciate all the work you put into this blog. I think it will save me from anymore attacks. It makes so much more sense to me than all the doctor opinions I got on how to handle my pancreatitis. Hope you are still doing well. You are now my home page 🙂
Thank you for the kind words Stacy. My blog is your home page? Huh! Didn’t know you could do that. 🙂 I’m fine, thanks and hopefully you will be soon as well. Good luck, I’m rootin for ya!
My husband is currently in hospital with his 11th attack! May I say, the medical professionals he has seen have not once, in the last 2 1/2 years has he ever been advised to follow this. But can I say by god he is going to be following it now. Everything you have mentioned, everything is what we have been through. Fingers crossed your blog changes our life. Thank you, this is now a shortcut on my homepage and will be my bible. Thank god I found you.
Hi Samantha 🙂 Thank you for the kind words. I certainly hope your husband is much better by now since I am about 3 weeks late in answering. Good luck to you both!
Hi Paul, I was diagnosed with Accute Pancreatitis back in June of this year and have suffered 6 attacks since. At first the attacks were mild with no nausea but have increased in severity as time goes on. Doctors still have not been able to diagnose the cause of the Pancreatitis even after extensive testing, MRI, MRCP, ERCP and CT. Doctors noticed that the tail was inflamed from the usual 2-3mm to 5mm but took no action. They decided to take out my Gall Bladder back in August after identifying micro sludge in the Gall Bladder but this did not work as I suffered the worst attack four weeks afterwards. Other thoughts is that I may have divisum.
I now suffer from malabsorbtion after a stool test was conducted telling me that the Pancreas is not functioning properly. I have lost 33 pounds over the last 5 months and struggle to keep weight on. Does not help that I am 6ft tall and am a walking skeleton. I have taken your advice and have started a food diary as I now clearly believe I suffer from Chronic Pancreatitis and wish to get rid of the pain. I must admit that fasting was very hard and I lost a further 11 pounds.
My question is, I have noticed the pain was less after fasting of course but upon eating even simple items being introduced into my diet the pain has come back a little. Simple things like boiled potatoes and broccoli do cause discomfort about half an hour after consumption. Is it a simple fact that the pancreas needs to work on any foods to break them down and cause discomfort? I take Creon with meals and I am taking Grape Seed Extract to help with the inflammation.
This is my first week on the diet and supplements and I am just looking for direction as to how this progresses. Did you have immediate relief or did it take time for the supplements and diet to take full affect. Thank you for your blog and the time that you have put into it. You have given me focus and direction to try and beat this horrible condition.
Hi Paul – sorry to hear you are not well. Pancreatitis sucks doesn’t it? It took a while for me to heal. At first all I did was get rid of high fat foods. That lessened the attacks. I wasn’t well by any means but I was better. Then I did the fast and diary thing. That helped more. Then I started drinking grapefruit juice and one day noticed it had been months without an acute attack. The months turned into years but my abdomen was still always tender. I was taking a multi vitamin/mineral and extra vitamin C at that time as well. In 1994 I found grape seed extract and that’s when I started to really heal. Then I added curcumin. Pretty soon I almost felt normal but I don’t remember how long that “pretty soon” actually was. So to answer your question about how long it takes – I really can’t say with any truthfulness because I simply don’t remember. IF I’d have known I might need the info some day I’d have taken notes. I wish I had because I know I have probably forgotten some things, I can tell you I’ve tried to forget a lot of it. 🙂
About your food issues and discomfort. Are we talking plain (no butter etc) boiled potatoes and broccoli? Were those the first foods you ate while starting your diary? Did you eat something prior? Just curious. Unfortunately the pancreas secretes enzymes at the drop of hat. What I mean by that is the SMELL of food can cause brain signals that stimulate your pancreas to secrete enzymes. Yeah I know, weird huh? This may possibly mean that people who are more damaged and/or unhealed may even experience discomfort from the smell of food. I’m not saying that plain boiled potatoes will cause an acute attack because they are what I personally consider to be a safe food (broccoli too) and I have not, to my knowledge, suffered from eating potatoes or broccoli but if someone is still quite ill even the smell of food may bring on discomfort. With that in mind …
I can’t say for sure, when I was really ill (1979-1982), what actually caused me pain and discomfort. It seemed like I felt lousey all the time and extremely horrible all to often and during those years I wasn’t near as knowledgable as I am now and I still only know enough to be dangerous.
Yes Pancreatitis does suck!! I am only 37 years of age with a young family. I am in a very dark place right now and I am finding my anxiety levels to be high. Emotionally I am a wreck and I just want to find a way to be semi normal again and watch my children grow. I have had some bad things happen in my life but this cuts the cake! I am also yet to be diagnosed with some bowl disease which has been picked up through blood tests.
Anyway, as for the food. The potatoes and broccoli were plain boiled in water and was consumed as they were. I am researching and am aware of what bad oils and fats are out there and I am steering clear of them all. This was not the first food, oats cooked in water was my first food with a little pure honey. This combination allowed me to steady the weight loss. Could it have been the amount I was eating? Two large potatoes and a small amount of broccoli again to curb my weight loss. Seeing that I am now into my second week I would guess that it may take some time for my Pancreas to settle with the supplements and low fat diet.
I am seeing my GI today to get the results of a new MRI and MRCP taken last week and will see if the Pancreas has changed since the first attacks back in June of this year. He also wants to conduct a ERCP which I am going to fight against unless he has a very good reason. My Pancreas was quite normal upon the first scan apart from a inflamed tail and has not shown any changes with repeated CT scans, so I am hoping that I have not sustained to much damage. Can I ask if you lead a normal life with your pancreatitis?
Thank you Paul for your blog, in a very dark time this is helping me move forward. Thank you so much.
You are welcome Paul. Plain potatos and broccoli shouldn’t be a problem. I’m stumped. You did mention something about a detected bowel disease. Maybe by now you have heard more about that. If it were me I’d pass on an ERCP. I’ve heard of to many people having post ERCP acute pancreatitis AND I read somewhere that ERCP wasn’t even advised anymore except under certain circustances such as gallstone obstruction. Here’s some biased info on ERCP with the Gastros even admitting there’s a 5 – 10% complication rate (I’ve see articles that state 11% average) with the most common complication being acute pancreatitis.
Paul I lead a pretty normal life. Haven’t been ill for over 8 years and that was my fault for not reading a label closely. That instance of illness was the first acute attack in maybe 15 – 16 years. And previous to that I felt REALLY good for years. If I had to have relied on orthodox medical care I may be dead now or wish I were. Hang in there.
Hi Paul. Bit of a mixed bag over the last two weeks. I went in to see my GI to see the results of my MRCP and was confronted with a mass growing near the head of the pancreas. An EUS and biopsy was taken soon after and after a week of terror the results came back clear for cancer and the mass was more likely inflammation near the head of the pancreas. Lucky.
I have been diagnosed with Autoimmune Pancreatitis and have been put on a course of Steroids. I have had Autoimmune problems in the past and all the dots line up. I am feeling better now and believe the diet and supplements are working really well. This combined with dulling my Autoimmune disease.
My next journey will be to try and work out a Autoimmune diet combined with the pancreas to stop this again. Yes I now have chronic pancreatitis after the last five months of doctors guessing but you have provided me with the tools and inspiration to control it.
Thank you again so much.
Hey Paul you are welcome. Glad it was autoimmune pancreatitis instead of cancer. AIP responds well to steroids so I hope it goes into remission for you. Good luck, hang in there.
Our story is long and arduous. Thank you so much!
I have left the grocery,and half full grocery cart in the isle in agony, almost crawling to my car to lay down, curl and breath! This has happened so many times….couldn’t figure any contributing factor for such a massive attack…and quite sudden.
Smell, hunger, colors of fruit.
It makes so much sense. Pancreas turned on. Big time. From vision and smell stimulus.
To all. I have gone to the grocery store without serious incident many times also. I think I was really really hungry and had just been through a three-four day episode with no anything food wise.
Our mouth waters at sight and smell.
Hi Jim – it is entirely possible, especially if your pancreas is already inflamed, to have food smells trigger enzyme production (fact) and if they activate while still in the pancreas viola! AP!
Thank you for your site and words of encouragement. You’ve answered questions and given insight to issues my doctors give me a blank stare when asked. I was/am desperate but ordered your recommended supplements following the diet …dont curse me. I have been feeling better!
Hi Jim – why would I curse you? Have I done that? I am glad to hear you are feeling better! If it’s working keep doing it 🙂
I was diagnosed with diabetes 4 years ago and had an acute pancreatic bout a month ago and was in the hospital for 6 days. I’m having a flare up now that I know were caused by me enjoying normal foods with my family (steak, fried chicken, mac n cheese) I’m on a broth diet and able to eat some fruit.
I would like to see your diagram for a food diary for diabetics with pancreatitis. Thanks! Will I have this chronically from now on?
Hi Leslie, sorry to hear you have joined the pancreatitis hall of pain. Type 2 diabetes drugs are nortorious for causing acute pancreatitis. I’m not saying that is your problem because I don’t know. Did anyone tell you what caused the acute pancreatitis? To answer your question “Will I have this chronically from now on?” I’d say it is very possible. I’ve been meaning to put together a regimen for diabetics but haven’t done so yet. IF you are not insulin dependant it shouldn’t be that difficult to manage. In regards to “prepping” for the food diary I’d call your doctor and ask if you can fast for 3 days or so, what to do about any meds you are taking while fasting and what problems fasting might create. If fasting isn’t possible you’ll have to improvise. If you are not insulin dependant the diet shouldn’t be much of a problem. Just stay away from refined sugar, limit the fruit, fruit juices, simple carbs (white potatoes, white rice, white bread, pasta, etc) and check your blood sugar to see how various things on the diet affect you. I’ll wager you actually see improvement because sweets (cake, cookies, pie, donuts, etc) are not pancreas friendly due to high fat ingredients and so eliminating sweets because of the high fat ingredients also rids a ton of sugar from your diet. Now, IF you are insulin dependant as some type 2 diabetics and pancreatitis patients are then there are more challenges and frankly I don’t have enough knowledge to even answer. You’d definitely need to consult your doctor.
OMG, after days of searching I found you. I’m not going to flip you the bird I want to know if you want to get married (kidding of course). I was rushed to the ER on 2/11 after profuse vomiting and horrible stomach and back pain (actually the entire trunk of my body pain). After a CT scan resulting in no gall stones I as diagnosed with pancreatitis and shipped to another facility for a 6-day stay receiving 9+ liters of IV fluids. Once the IV was stopped they shipped me to a rehab facility where I was greeted with a meatloaf dinner followed the next day with spaghetti and meal balls with marinara sauce. Later the night of my first full day in rehab I started feeling like crap again. I called for a night nurse (3:00 am) who helped me find food information regarding pancreatitis. After playing with my smart phone I stumbled on information through WebMD that gave me the basics for a pancreatitis diet starting with no red sauce, especially marinara, and no red meat in that order. The next day the dietitian paid me a visit and told me I could eat their meatloaf because it was made in house. I basically decided to follow my gut, literally, and ordered what I needed. Rehab had no dietary instructions except ‘no salt.’ I feel there was a disconnect between the hospital and rehab for dietary instructions and/or restrictions. The chef finally came up from the kitchen and spoke with me directly so he was preparing specific meals for me personally. Lunch had already been ordered so I received a chicken salad sandwich (loaded with mayonnaise) with a cute little bag of potato chips perched atop and a piece of blueberry pie for dessert. WHAT! The supper meal was much better with a piece of white fish and canned vegetables (I’m sure they weren’t salt free). I am still waiting (today’s date is 3/8) since release from the hospital on 2/16 and rehab on 2/20 for a nutritionist to contact me. In the midst of my writing to you, I received a phone call from a patient advocate from the hospital asking what my concerns and complaints were. She is going to find out why I still have not heard from a nutritionist and follow-up in general. But now I have found you and question whether or not any of the medical people that are supposed to be contacting me are qualified. I’ve learned more from this website and your blog than anything else so far.
Here’s my question. I’ve been home and eating on my own since release from rehab 2/20 following a low-fat, low salt diet and eliminating red meat, red sauces and anything made from white flower from my diet. So far so good. No nausea and no recurring symptoms, but I have to admit I’m scared to try anything new and trust that following your recommendations here I’m in safer hands than before, albeit I’m already past the first few steps you recommend. Any suggestions or comments are more than welcome. Thanks so much for your blog.
Hi Sue sorry to hear you have been feeling poorly and joined the pancreatitis hall of pain. It sucks don’t it? From what you were fed in rehab I am amazed you didn’t have a recurrent attack. THAT may be a good sign. Meaning if you follow a low, low fat diet, do the food diary and get the supplements you may heal totally and be a normal healthy woman again. I sincerely hope that is true in your case.
They didn’t see any gallstones. What about sludge? Does anyone know WHY you had that attack? Have you ever had anything similar before? I’m asking simply because if you have never had acute pancreatitis before, you haven’t sustained a lot of damage and there isn’t an underlying reason you could heal completely and lead a normal life, like I said earlier. THAT would be a GOOD thing!
Be advised, be GLAD you haven’t heard from a dietician. Most medical professionals don’t know squat about pancreatitis or what a damaged pancreas needs to heal or what foods promote inflammation and recurrent attacks. Take care. Good luck, get well, stay well 🙂
I suffer from pseudo pancreatic yest is it also for it? I already finished 2, days of fast.. Now plz tell me more abot it coz I used to pain whole back side and both kidney side its like burning and also pain in front side from chest to abdominal side…
Hi Gopi – sorry to hear you aren’t well. Your pseudo cyst(s) should benefit from a proper low fat diet and the supplements. You can find out about diet and supplements by reading this blog. I hope you feel better soon. 🙂
Hi, I have been binge drinking on and off for 10 years. I remember a few years ago I felt like my left side was swollen. I wasnt in pain. But I felt like it was my kidney and went to dr. to get checked out. They did a cat scan and test and everything was fine. Now I was not thinking pancreas at all. When I do have too much to drink my left side will hurt but goes away with hang over. However, I drunk 3 beers last week and i felt it bother me and it has been 7 days and still here and I had mild naseau. I found your website. I am on 2nd day fast and starting taking supplements today. I have an appt with reg dr. for annual. I also called and left a message w/GI dr to see if can get in. I do have acid reflux. How would you approach all this? I do believe I have some kind of pancreatic issue. I have no problem quitting alcohol. But I am worried about the diet. Also, are there convenient snacks that one can carry with them to places to have something on hand?
Hi Lisa – Sorry to hear you are feeling well. “How would you approach all this?” you ask. My first goal would be to get a firm diagnosis that makes sense. In order to do that it may be helpful if you do not change anything right now. If you do the fast, the diet and take the supplements and begin feeling better that does NOT mean it’s a pancreas issue. It could be a gallbladder, liver, or a small intestinal issue so getting an appointment with a GI doc is smart. It could also be an autoimmune disease of some sort (celiac, ibs, crohn’s, uc, etc). But that is what I’d do. I’d get a diagnosis that made sense. Snacks could be celery or carrot sticks, apples, oranges etc. Something without fat that fits nicely in your purse.
I am type 2 diabetic started Trulicity last fall. Had some of the symptoms from the beginning but the last few weeks have had them all. 99% sure it is the Trulicity. I really hurt . If I stop the medicine will it get better?
Hi Angie – IF it were me I’d find another way to control my type 2 diabetes. Trulicity, Januvia and Victoza all cause acute pancreatitis. If you are having abdominal pain you may want to stop taking that crap and go to the ER. 🙂
I have had tests that show I have a cyst on the head of the pancreas. Fluid tested pre-cancerous. Are symptoms & diet same as pancreatitis? Thanks so much for your blog & your insight! It’s has been far more helpful than all my doctors!
Hi Bobby – I would guess and that is what it is, a guess that the diet couldn’t hurt and the cyst likely produces similar symptoms as does a psuedo cyst due to pancreatitis. So, yea, I am guessing your symptoms could be similar. Sorry. IF it were me I’d go to the health store and get grape seed extract, vit C and curcumin and start taking those 3 supplements in combination with a low fat diet and see what transpires. That’s just what I’d do.
Thanks 4 your suggestions!! I hav taken grape seed ex. Grapefruit juice,enzymes as you suggested and am feeling much better! Your help has been priceless, my many Drs. Have been of no help @ all, so I appreciate your sound advice! The food diary is tedious! But is a must! Started it this week also!
Hi Bobby – You are very welcome! Glad to hear you are feeling better! That IS AWESOME! Keep doing what is working and get well. Then stay well. 🙂
Wondered if you suffered from severe headaches w/ your pancreatitis? Even w/ the diet, I suffer from severe headaches after I eat anything I can feel ok, but as soon as I eat, even no fat meal, headache becomes debilitating, even tho stomach pain may not be as severe. I can feel ok, but get so hungry! I eat plan oatmeal to fill stomach and then feel bad from headache & stomach pain.
Hey Bobby – Nope I rarely get headaches. None of which I can attribute to my pancreas. Are you on an enzyme formula?
Wow! Thanks so much for your blog! I’ve been researching for months and just found it tonight. My story: I’ve had PNETS (pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors) for almost 5 years now. It’s a very uncommon cancer (think Steve Jobs), but I searched the world over for the world’s greatest NETs experts and I’m getting great care. My tumors have never caused me any discomfort. Then, suddenly in September of 2015 I had an awful attack of pancreatitis that landed me in the ER. I wound up in the ER two more times after that in December, 2015 and January, 2016, also with pancreatitis. I’ve seen many gastroenterologists since that time, but all they do is check for blocked ducts, declare my ducts unblocked and send me back to my oncologists. The best my oncologists can do is write me prescriptions for powerful opiods like delaudid. I’ve had at least 6 episodes in total, probably more, but I can keep myself out of the hospital most of the time by taking Zofran for nausea and vomiting to avoid dehydration. My doctors say I need to try to stay out of the hospital because the dangers of infection are too high. When needed, my doctors now hydrate me by infusion at their own offices. In total, I lost 17 lbs I could not spare from my petite frame.
I’m seeing a nutritionist who specializes in this disease, and I’ve been given lots of advice by the doctors at the hospital. I’ve changed my whole way of eating, but I’ve never heard anything like your recommendations. I now drink 3 or 4 Ensure Clear supplement drinks per day, but of course they are full of artificial ingredients and great amounts of sugar. Most of the foods I eat are refined now because I’ve been told to eat as low fat and as low fiber as I can. I was told to eat small meals all day long and avoid spicy foods as well. I avoid all but a few cooked vegetables, and almost all fruits. The only “natural” foods I eat are fresh white fish fillets which I cook myself with a few un-spicy seasonings and those veggies I’m allowed: zucchini, squash, carrots and mushrooms. No broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts or cabbage are ever allowed, even cooked. Yet it seems I can eat non-fat cookies, breads and ice creams in almost unlimited quantities. This diet seems so unhealthy, I’m almost sure it will make me sick in some way, but it works okay for my pancreas as long as I follow it very strictly and take lots of pancreatitic enzymes (“Zenpep”), which is just like Creon. Still, I do continue to have a occasional episodes of pancreatitis which I mask with the opiods, and treat with the Zofran.
I take it from your blog that it’s time for me to relearn how to eat again. The task seems quite daunting, but the GI doctors haven’t helped and I don’t want to do any further damage to my pancreas, especially considering that it is carrying a load of tumors which must be dealth with delicately. And I’m afraid of losing any more weight, and petrified of adding fats back into my diet. But I’m willing to start anew because I’m desperate. Tonight, for the first time, I took ipubropfren instead of delaudid and I’m feeling better without being high. I will ask my doctors whether it’s safe for me to take grape seed extract and the other supplements you mention. They probably won’t mind. I know I can’t drink grape fruit juice in the morning with my synthroid, but I’ll try it in the afternoon and evening. All my NPOs in the past involved IV electrolytes, opiods and Zofran which took away my appeitite. It’s going to be challenging to attempt it at home. I don’t care for or eat meat, so that’s already eliminated. But I think your method makes sense and may well work for me, so I’m going to give it a try. Thanks so much and apololgies for the length of this email.
Hi Picky – about the grapefruit juice – CAUTION – it does NOT play well with a lot of prescription meds. Make sure you check with your doctor and pharmacist BEFORE you drink grapefruit juice. This is extremely important Picky – the interaction could be life threatening with certain drugs. Keep in touch and lets us all know how you progress. 🙂
I am a diabetic and suffer from pancreatitis. I take Lipitor as well Nexiun as prescribed by Doctor. Would the curcumin interact well with either of the above?
Natolie – Curcumin shouldn’t react or cause problems with either drug.
You sure know how to put a knife into my chronic pancreatitis! Get a cup of coffee (to stay awake) as I’m going to be like “Picky” above. I really enjoy a good steak, love pork ribs and lamb!! Unfortunately I was diagnosed with pancreatitis about 6 years ago, right after my final surgery and struggle with Colon Cancer. I was advised that it was due to the cancer, however, I don’t remember when they updated it to the Chronic stage. Granted, years ago alcoholic beverages were high on my list, some to do with business dealings, but mostly socially, and I was very social. There were periods of time that I didn’t even have a glass of wine but I’m sure the amount that I did in between those ‘dry times’ was probably enough to cause my problem now, in spite of the cancer. By the way, cancer may be my middle name as I have had several bouts with the big C. Ovarian cancer when I was twenty until they couldn’t do any more and at 33 finally removed all the pieces that they hadn’t already cut into/off. Radiation followed, however, after approximately seven surgeries for the colon cancer I didn’t require any radiation or chemo, and I’ve been good with that and any blockages providing I really chew my food well, including all meats, and eat slower than any one else at the table…what else can one do with only 18 inches of intestines left, and very little of the small intestine. Both of my breasts have had pre-cancerous tumors removed, several other tumors that have ‘popped up’ throughout my abdomen and so on… I chose not to go to ER when I had my recent attack (2 days ago) so I have been hydrating myself and finally eating some steamed unsalted rice last night and today 1/2 cup of yogurt. THEN, I came upon your website this afternoon and found it very helpful about having some coffee (headache you know without any for two days) and a plethora of other information. My main concern is about the supplements you take, i.e, the grapefruit juice for one. I can’t have grapefruit of any kind because of my HBP. Is this something I should first check with my primary or cardiologist? I know you suggested that to “Picky” but I’m on some 15 plus prescription drugs, WHICH I HATE TAKING. and not sure if any of your supplements would interfere or inhibit any of these drugs. Since this past attack and I called my primary, I am, once again, on Creon. So far I am not sure that’s going to help. It’s been about 2 years since I took myself off the Creon (it became too expensive when I had to make co-pays because of the insurance gap) so who knows, it may not be as effective as it was previously. I can follow your diet that you’ve suggested, with lots of grumbles of course, and I am willing to take the supplements, however, are you the one or to whom should I go to for assurance that none of them will interfere or alter/affect the other ‘junk’ I’m taking. I’m not liking doctors much these days and I”m not liking them prescribing a medication because they don’t know what’s wrong with you or what’s causing your problem(s), and in my opinion they are finding way too many for me… Hope I haven’t bored you to sleep, or confused you too much, but would appreciate your feedback. Just as an added note: I ordered a book entitled “Understanding Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer” by Suzy Cohen, RPH. Have you ever heard of the book or author? I must add that I have really enjoyed and read almost all of what you have on your site and obviously I”m very interested in you and what you have to say. Thanks for all I’ve learned so far.
Hi Sunnie – First off thank you for visiting BP. I’m glad you like the site. Gosh, I must say you have certainly been put through the “wringer” and have definitely had your share of misery. I’m sorry. Now …
With you being on 15+ medications I can pretty much guarantee that grapefruit juice would not be wise. In fact anything with or having to do with grapefruit should probably be avoided because it does NOT play well with others (medications). In fact GFJ in combination with some prescription meds can be lethal. It’s to bad because GFJ does protect the pancreas but what can I say? IF you wanted to call your pharmacist and go over each med step-by-step to see if GFJ is compatible or non-compatible you could always do that but knowing how it can cause some really bad adverse reactions when taken with prescription meds I am inclined to just say avoid it.
The other supplements (grape seed extract, curcumin and vitamin C) are all considered to be non-toxic and generally always play well with others (prescription meds). The only exception to that is “blood thinners.” Since all three (3) supplements can thin the blood they could thin it too much when combined with powerful blood thinning medications. Over-the-counter pancreatic enzymes shouldn’t be a problem. If creon doesn’t interact inappropriately OTC pancreatic enzymes shouldn’t either but who knows for absolute sure?
Naturally I can NOT guaratee that the supplements will not interfere with 15+ medications. I am certainly not qualified to make that judgement. Again, they are usually, in most cases, even in high doses, non-toxic but that does NOT mean that someone, like you, who is on an arsenal of medications that would need their own pharmacy to contain would not experience possible adverse effects. I doubt it, OK? BUT I can NOT guarantee them to be safe for 100% of the human population, especially in your case. Murphy’s law states “whatever can go wrong, will.”
You’ll have to use your own judgement moving forward. 🙂
I know that probably is NOT what you wanted to hear but it is the best I can do.
P.S. I have never read “Understanding Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer” by Suzy Cohen, RPH. I have never heard of her. THAT fact does not mean she doesn’t have good knowledge. I imagine she has never heard of me either lol 🙂
Thank you for the information,, I have been losing weight rapidly and at the same time trying to figure out what to eat to stop the naseau. but not trigger more pain..and eating food to gain weight. Now I got myself so confused with what is good or what is bad that I’m starting to worry…I am going to follow your plan EXACTLY AND HOPE IT WORKS FOR ME.. RESPECTFULLY MEL…
Hi Melanie – I hope it works for you too. It should, it works for others, mot just me 🙂
Why do you recommend white grapefruit juice? Regular grapefruit juice isn’t ok? I am on Creon and Dexilant. Is this ok with grapefruit juice? Your website is great!
Hi Janel – glad you like the site 🙂 I THINK Creon works with grapefruit juice ok. Creon is pancreatic enzymes. I think there are others who take Creon and drink grapefruit juice. I take over-the-counter (OTC) pancreatic enzymes and drink grapefruit juice with no problems BUT I don’t know about Dexilant. I know what Dexilant is I just don’t know whether grapefruit juice would interact so it would be best BEFORE you drink grapefruit juice (or eat it) to call your doc and your pharmacist (actual pharmacist not the help) and ask if it is safe for you to drink grapefruit juice while taking your current medications. I recommend white grapefruit juice (not red,ruby or pink) ONLY because it’s the only one I drink and so I do NOT know whether the other varieties work or work as well.
Hi. I am reading your writings with interest. Having recently had an episode of AP as resilt of gallstones. In the past i had minor pains & discomfort in abdo/intestines with very odd indigestion/discomfort/reflux but never so bad that I had to seek out advice from my GP. So big surprise for me… I had AP on 10/10/16, fasted few days whilst in hospital then advised to eat again for abdo (pancreas) to swell extensively. Once pancreatitus sumptoms calmed my gallbladder & multi stones (one large) were surgically removed (keyhole) on 31/10/16. There was noticed during surgery that pancreas is still slightly swollen. I have started diary and intend to follow yr advice dilligently whilst introducing foods. Thanx for your enthusiasm in supporting others -it’s pretty scary territory to say the least. All the best to you all. ?
Catherine – you are welcome. Sorry to hear you have joined the pancreatitis hall of pain BUT the good news is that since they found the cause and eliminated it you may heal up and never have another problem. That is why it is important to be diligent and by doing the diary, the diet etc you are definitely on the right track. So, I can only say I hope you have mild damage and by doing a proper diet for 6 months to a year you’ll completely heal, be able to live a normal life and never have to worry again. 🙂
I was just diagnosed with pancreatitis. Hell of pain. Hospitalized for 10 days. I found this site lucky me the first week home. Was eating very little and variety of foods, no problem. Week later went for follow up, had blood work done and my lipase is creeping up. Dr. told me few days clear fluids. Tomorrow I have another blood draw only because I asked to have it done. I don’t think they are doing extensive tests for I have been told no damage to pancreas. I started supplements 6 days ago. All I can say is I am glad I found this site. I sometimes feel like getting second opinion. I also asked for diabetes work up due to it being in family. No sludge or gallstones found, and that to runs in the family. My grandmother died of burst gallbladder and my mom and her sister had theirs removed. My stomach Stull has tenderness after 3 weeks of the attack.
Hi Brenda – sorry to hear you have had a taste of pancreatitis. It does take time to heal. Diet and supplements will help the healing process. The good news is that you most likely will heal up and never have another problem. Let’s hope that is your outcome! 🙂
Hi.. hopeful with your blog.
My dad 65yr old and has AP ..It’s second attack his amylase n lipase are normal after 2days IV fluids still on treatment n is given milk rice n soup of lentils .. he is very weak n tensed n anxited BP is increasing .Whole day one food item and may be his sugar level will drop .
What to do for nausea n anxiety n hunger.
Hi Sultana – there are several things that can be done to help nausea. Promethazine is great for nausea so ask his doc for a prescription. Grape seed extract will also help nausea, so will ginger. Curcumin is also beneficial for resolving inflammation as is the grape seed extract. Anti-inflammatories e.g Ibuprofen would also be beneficial.
Thank you so much for this site! I was diagnosed with AC about three weeks ago. Went to ER and was admitted for four days. The discharging doc said I could go back to eating my regular diet, which I did. First meal: sushi. I was in pain again and went back to ER eight days later. I’ve had ultrasounds, MRI/MRCP and a an EUS. All test have come back normal – no damage to the pancreas, etc.
Anyway, I am not having luck reintroducing food. Some days I’m good, the next I have pain and discomfort. I am going to do the food diary you recommend. I started fasting today. My question is this: The supplements you recommend, should I start taking those now or after I complete the fast, etc.?
Again, thank you for this site. It’s given me hope that I may be able to manage this.
Hi Jeff – sorry to hear you have joined the pancreatitis hall of pain. Sucks don’t it 🙁 anyway the good news is that IF you heal up you may never have another problem. I think (and it is just my thought) doctors take mild pancreatitis way too lightly and start people off on way to much unsafe food. My thinking is that one should start out with vegetable juice and fruit juice first for a few days to see how that is tolerated and then slowly moving into low fat solid food a little at a time instead of having the patient dive into a normal diet. Too many times the patient gets sick again because of the “normal” food they eat too soon. Ok …
I’d do the supplements (grape seed extract, curcumin and C) while fasting.
I just found your sight, are you still answering questions from people? Thank you!
Hi Marie, yes, I am just slow at times lol 🙂
Recently diagnosed with acute Pancreatitis after a slight elevation of lipase following Indian takeaways. I noticed you mentioned of water diet for 3 – 5 days. I have a BMI of 22 and am average 5fter. My work is very active and through this episode has lost 5kg. Can I use Hydralyte for water substitute??? I have noticed I lost a large amount of energy, suffering from sleepless nights with moderate to light pain only with high gastric issues. Appears that I may have had a mild pancreatitis but would like to put a stop to further deterioration.
Thank you AND the bloggers for their contributions throughout the years….Its good to have a nice sense that a community group does exist to support each other and identify their experiences
Hi Tyny Timmy – I see no apparent reason why Hydralyte would not be an acceptable substitute but I have never done the fast using it.
I am currently recovering from pancreatitis, and I just finished my three day fast (ordered by my doctor) I really want to make sure that I recover properly and do not relapse because this episode was crippling, but I am a little apprehensive because this new diet is a complete 180 degree turn around from how I normally eat. (I.e. I eat everything that you said not to eat and I don’t like 50% of the things I should eat.) so what’s the best way for me to get started?
Hi Beth – you are on the right page to start. Yes, the diet IS usually a complete 180 for most people but it’s either that or the good possibility of continued pain, nausea, vomiting, slow healing and maybe another acute attack. If this is your first attack and they know WHY you had it and have addressed and resolved that problem it (the diet) is a short-term inconvenience for a long term positive outcome. By doing things right there is an 80% chance you could completely heal and never have another problem, ever! So to me, the choice would be easy because trust me, NOBODY in there right mind wants to deal with pancreatitis as a chronic condition. Get well, stay well 🙂
Thank you for this website and keeping it up to date. Do you have Pancreatitis as well? I was diagnosed about a month ago. I changed my diet, cut out drinking & cigarettes, and drinking water only. But I was still eating bad stuff occasionally or having caffeine. Every night when I go to bed its hell, and back pain hurts so bad that I was beginning to think it was my bed. I am on protonix, and have a Dr appointment in a week. Although yesterday the pain was so bad I was in tears, and then painful again this morning. I went to the ER, and they said my pancreatic enzymes were better than when I was in last, but as I type this I am in bed and it hurts to take in deep breaths.
What do you recommend I ask my Dr. when I go in? What about pain meds? They gave me a couple from the hospital but I’m saving them for when I am really in pain, and Ibuprofen has been helping but I’m beginning to take too much I think.
The hospital said that they use three types of symptoms to diagnose Pancreatitis. Stomach pain, blood tests, and abdominal CT scans. My CT scans were okay, but I had the other two. If I have been having this much pain does it mean I will have it always? And will it get worse if I keep a strict diet, or stay the same and I can live to old age with it? I know I have a higher chance of developing Diabetes 1, Pancreatic cancer (read 1 out of 500 somewhere), or having to undergo surgery.
Lastly, I read somewhere that tomato juice can be bad for us (something to do with acidity or heartburn?). I want to drink low sodium V8, also you mentioned almond milk is still bad because of the high fat content? I thought it was okay…
Thanks so much!
Hi Anthony – you’re welcome. Yes, I have pancreatitis too but I am well healed and usually do not have problems. Sorry to hear you are ill. Were you diagnosed with acute pancreatitis (sounds like it) and is this the first attack or second or what? If this is your first attack you could heal up and never have another problem if you do things right. You could definitely see old age. 🙂 Stop worrying about diabetes, cancer and so on. Just focus on your diet, proper supplements (grape seed extract, curcumin and vit C) that help resolve inflammation, abstain from alcohol and take Ibuprofen as needed to resolve the inflammation.
How much Ibuprofen do you take in one dose and how often?
V8 juice is good. I never suggest things that have not worked. Almond milk has too much fat. Fat and alcohol are the enemies.
I was diagnosed with CP about a month ago. I’ve been a heavy drinker for years, I started getting pains about 6-7 years ago, mostly around my liver area. I took several blood tests and gallbladder function tests, but all came back healthy. My Dr at the time said sometimes we just have pains we can’t account for. I started feeling really nauseous about 2 years ago, even when I wasn’t drinking. Then about a month ago the pain was too much to ignore. Since then I’ve been to the ER a total of two times. Now I’m much more informed of my diagnosis, and will follow the diet strictly. I’m pretty sure my last trip to the ER was two slices of pizza, and a couple of drinks on the 18th during my GFs birthday.
I just wish I knew how far it’s progressed. But you are right, I’m a hypochondriac, and need to stop worrying about stuff, be grateful for life, and stick to the diet, no alcohol/cigarettes, and your antiinflammatory coctail. As of today I feel much better. Yesterday I had just vegetable juice, plenty of water, plain oatmeal, and a couple hanfuls of whole grain no fat cereal.
I had been taking 600mg of ibuprofen for pain, especially at night when laying down. This morning I upped it to 800. I’ll probably take another 6-800mg tonughtbefore bed. Problem is that after 6 hours the pain comes back and wakes me up from sleep.
Thank you for your helpful advice.
Anthony – It sounds like you are on the right track. Ibuprofen to handle the inflammation which also resolves symptoms, diet, no booze, and you might consider getting supplements (grape seed extract, curcumin and vit C) which are also highly anti inflammatory and will help resolve the inflammation and even help healing. If you have questions feel free to ask. It does take time to heal. It won’t be an overnight thing but you may see substantial relief within a short period if things are done right.
As far as the fast goes. Can I take the supplements in that time. Im in day 4 and I’ve had minor pain in that time, however last night I started getting new left sided pain. Am I doing something wrong??
Hi Rob – If you are fasting (no food, just water, supplements and Ibuprofen when needed) I don’t know what you could be doing wrong. Sometimes it simply takes times and several tries before things click and the more damage you have (shown on scans etc) the longer it will take to heal and some people don’t heal totally. But don’t do a total fast for too long. This isn’t a 40 day fast deal. This is like 3-5-7 days and then you should be trying to get some nutrition which would be veggie juice first and then to light, safe solid foods.
Wow, this website is a wealth of information. I learned a few things such as grape seed extract for pancreatitis. You mention vitamin C in high doses. Vitamin C sets off my pancreas into a bad attack. I am able to ingest about 2,000 mg with moderate pain. Also, grapefruit is an absolute no-no for me. Citrus fruits are some of the worst offenders for causing pancreas pain for me.
I was extremely sick 10 years ago. I was on TPN because I could not eat. I very slowly started trialing one food a week to see if I could tolerate it. It took a while, but eventually I could eat enough to get off the TPN.
There are many foods you suggest which my pancreas cannot handle–grains (wheat, rice, oats, etc.), legumes (beans, peas, lentils), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.). I have low tolerance to fruits. Berries are ok in small amounts, but even three bites of an apple can send me into a bad pancreas attack.
One thing I have been able to tolerate is full fat milk in small quantities (1-2 ounces at a meal). I have been told how bad cow’s milk is, but without grains and legumes, my protein and fat levels were too low. I was losing my hair, had horrible skin flaking, swelling in my body, my finger nails were ripping off, etc. About 4 ounces of whole milk has tremendously helped with my fat and protein levels.
Another thing which you may want to investigate is chemicals in food. I cannot eat non-organic food because it causes severe pancreas pain for me. Even organic food, I have to be careful with. I get most of my food from my mom’s garden and from a few local farms which use very strict organic farming techniques (integrated pest management, heirloom seeds, worm castings, etc.). Organic food from the store can be rough on my pancreas.
Thank you so much for all the time you put in to your website. I really appreciate it. I was hoping there was something which would help my current pancreas issues. Maybe I will try taking more ibuprofen, but I have been strictly warned to not take this because it is hard on my stomach (I have chronic gastritis). I have only been able to eat 300-400 calories a day and have cut out almost all food except tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and kohlrabi. These don’t cause too much pain–only about a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale.