Pancreatitis Specialist

Houston Regional Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology & Hepatology located in Sugar Land, TX & Humble, TX

Your pancreas is an essential organ that helps produce enzymes for digestion and hormones, namely insulin, that processes sugar. When this organ becomes inflamed, it can cause serious complications. Houston Regional Gastroenterology, with locations in Sugar Land and Humble, Texas, has expertise in treating acute and chronic pancreatitis. Call the nearest office or schedule an appointment online for evaluation and treatment if you suspect pancreatitis or have a diagnosis.

Pancreatitis Q & A

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. This organ releases digestive enzymes to assist in food digestion and the hormones glucagon and insulin to help you control how your body uses food for energy. 

Inflammation to your pancreas occurs when the digestive enzymes produced by your pancreas start working before releasing into your bloodstream.

What are the types of pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis lasts a short time. It can be mild or severe. With the right treatment, though, most people recover without any lasting effects. In severe cases that do not receive management, you may experience tissue damage, infection, and harm to vital organs, including the heart and lungs. 

Chronic pancreatitis usually develops after an episode of acute pancreatitis. Heavy use of alcohol can also cause the condition. 

What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis causes uncomfortable symptoms. In acute cases, you might notice:

  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Pain in the upper part of your belly, extending into your back
  • Swollen and tender belly

You may find your abdominal pain is worse when you eat, especially food high in fat. 

Chronic pancreatitis causes many of the same symptoms. In addition, you may experience:

  • Diarrhea and weight loss due to the lack of digestive enzymes
  • Upset stomach and vomiting
  • Constant, disabling pain in your upper abdomen and into your lower back

If you’re suffering any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to have an evaluation at Houston Regional Gastroenterology. 

How is pancreatitis treated?

Treatment depends on whether your condition is acute or chronic and also depends on the severity. You may require hospitalization for pancreatitis and may need to fast for a few days to help your pancreas recover. You return to food with a special diet consisting of clear liquids and bland food. Only over time will you return to your normal diet. 

Pain medications help control severe pain, and IV fluids prevent dehydration as your body diverts fluids to repairing your pancreas. 

These measures control your pancreatitis enough so your doctor can address any underlying conditions causing your pancreatitis. Surgery and treatment for alcohol dependence are common solutions. 

If you have symptoms that suggest pancreatitis, you need immediate care. Call Houston Regional Gastroenterology or book an appointment using the online tool.