Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammatory process in the pancreas resulting in the body’s inability to digest food, control the levels of blood sugar, and produce pancreatic hormones. As distinguished from acute pathologies, this condition doesn’t improve over time: it gets worse and often leads to serious sequelae.
The doctors of Tianjin hospital have a solid experience in diagnosis and treatment of chronic pancreatitis and its complications with patients of all ages. We implement the methods of integrative medicine, which includes both the achievements of modern science and the ancient Oriental wisdom.
Causes of chronic pancreatitis
In many cases, it is impossible to find the causes of the disorder. Nevertheless, doctors distinguish a number of factors that can trigger chronic pancreatitis:
- Alcohol abuse;
- Autoimmune disorders;
- Genetic mutations;
- Cystic fibrosis;
- Narrow pancreatic duct;
- Common bile duct;
- Family history of pancreatitis.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis
The first signs of chronic pancreatitis may be unnoticeable. Oftentimes, patients start feeling unwell only when the changes in their pancreas become quite advanced. The most common symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are as follows:
- Stomach ache;
- Butted stool;
- Nausea and\or vomiting;
- Unexplained loss of weight;
- Polydipsia and fatigue;
- Presence of pancreatic fluids in the abdomen;
Jaundice resulting in a yellowish discoloration of skin. As the disease progresses, the patient can feel constant pains, which become even stronger when he eats or drinks.
Diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis
Specialists note that in the early stages of chronic pancreatitis, it is very difficult to see any changes in the patient’s pancreas in blood tests. Therefore, the endocrinologists of the First Teaching Hospital of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine rarely apply to laboratory tests while diagnosing chronic pancreatitis. They use such methods only when they need to determine the number of pancreatic enzymes in the client’s blood or to check kidney and liver functioning.
Commonly, we diagnose these disorders by means of modern imaging tests, among which:
- Transabdominal ultrasound;
- Computed tomography scans;
- Gastrointestinal endoscopy;
- Endoscopic ultrasonography;
- Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), etc.
Treatment of chronic pancreatitis
In order to cure chronic pancreatitis the doctors of Tianjin hospital reduce the patients’ pain and improve their digestive functions. It is very difficult to make a full recovery of the damaged pancreas, though we manage successfully most of the symptoms of the disease. For every client of the hospital, our specialists work out an individual regimen of treatment, which can include the following therapies:
Medications. Undergoing treatment in our clinic, patients with chronic pancreatitis take in pain management medications. If their enzyme levels are too low to digest food normally, they are prescribed artificial digestive enzymes. For the people with diabetes we use insulin, and for the ones who suffer from autoimmune pancreatitis – steroids.
Endoscopy. This therapeutic method lets us get rid of blockages and reduce the patient’s pain. An endoscope is also used to remove pancreatic stones.
Surgery. It is used in cases of severe pain, which can not be removed by medications. Our specialists remove the part of the pancreas in order to provide the patient relief, unblock his pancreatic duct, or widen it when it’s too narrow.
Along with modern methods of treatment, the doctors of our hospital apply to the efficient techniques of Traditional Chinese Medicine. We treat the patients with chronic pancreatitis using acupuncture, massage, herbalism, vacuum therapy, and so on. Such a multisided therapeutic approach lets us obtain perfect results irrespective of the stage and severity of the disorder.