Biliary Pancreatitis: Pancreatitis is a problem where the pancreas becomes inflamed but with biliary pancreatitis, the pancreatic duct is obstructed with gallstones causing the juices that would normally be released into the small intestine to attack the tissue of the pancreas.
Symptoms or signs of pancreatitis consist of severe abdominal pain in upper abdomen, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, fatty stool production, diarrhea and weight loss. Drinking bouts as well as heavy meals may cause this pain.
Since the juices are blocked and are “digesting” the tissues of the pancreas, it is important to remove the blockage and this normally involves surgery. The surgeon may remove part of the pancreas as well as clear the blockage in the duct. The ducts may also be widened with stents in order to keep this problem from occurring again.
Often medications will be tried first and the physician might recommend a number of various drugs especially to help treat symptoms that are painful. Over-the-counter as well as prescription analgesic drugs can help reduce the inflammation and decrease pain. Also supplements of pancreatic enzyme can help by replacing the enzyme that is being blocked. But the stones are still blocking the duct with the natural enzymes still in some cases attacking the pancreas tissues.
Changes in diet can also help with digestive symptoms. Consuming alcohol must be totally stopped. The fat in the daily diet needs to be decreased to help digestion and lessen levels of fat in the stools. The physician will also advise in some cases eating a number of slight meals during the day, rather than 1 or 2 large meals. Your physician also might recommend a fast for several days in the hospital being monitored and receiving adequate levels of nutrients by IV.
But the blockage of the ducts with the gallstones still needs to be accomplished.