Where Is the Pain of Pancreatitis Felt?

Reviewed on 4/23/2021

The pain of pancreatitis is felt in the upper left side of the abdomen, just under the ribs. Sometimes, it may be felt in the middle of the abdomen. The pain most often
The pain of pancreatitis is felt in the upper left side of the abdomen, just under the ribs. Sometimes, it may be felt in the middle of the abdomen. The pain most often

The pain of pancreatitis is felt in the upper left side of the abdomen, just under the ribs. Sometimes, it may be felt in the middle of the abdomen. The pain most often

  • Radiates to your back or below the left shoulder blade
  • Feels worse after eating, especially after having fatty foods
  • Worsens on lying flat on the back
  • Gets more severe and constant with time

Other signs and symptoms of pancreatitis include

What causes pancreatitis?

Normally, your pancreas secretes enzymes, but these enzymes get activated when they reach the stomach. When the enzymes get activated in the pancreas, they cause inflammation of the organ, and the condition is known as acute pancreatitis. If these enzymes keep getting activated frequently, it causes scarring of the pancreas in the long term. This results in chronic pancreatitis that causes frequent attacks of abdominal pain. Because of the scar tissues, the pancreas loses its functions and causes troubles with digestion.

The causes of pancreatitis include

Sometimes, doctors do not know what causes pancreatitis.

Certain risk factors may increase your risk of pancreatitis. These include

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How is pancreatitis diagnosed

The doctor will take your complete medical history and perform a complete physical examination. To confirm the diagnosis of pancreatitis, they will order additional tests such as

How is pancreatitis treated

Acute pancreatitis or an acute attack of chronic pancreatitis is treated in the hospital in the following ways:

  • Fasting for a few days: The doctor will ask you to avoid eating completely for a few days to allow your pancreas to recover. Later, they will initiate liquids and bland food.
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids: These will ensure proper nutrition.
  • Painkillers: The doctor will give you strong medications to control pancreatitis-related abdominal pain.

After you get stabilized, the doctor may recommend surgeries depending on the cause of your pancreatitis

  • Surgery to remove obstructions in the bile duct (such as a calculus or stone)
  • Cholecystectomy (surgery to remove the gallbladder)
  • Surgery to remove the damaged tissue from the pancreas
  • Surgery to block the nerves that cause pain from pancreatitis

Other treatments include

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References
Pancreatitis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pancreatitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20360233

Acute Pancreatitis. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/181364-overview

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