Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chronic Pancreatitis: The Steps to Pancreas Healing

The steps to healing Chronic Pancreatitis are the same as healing after Acute Pancreatitis however ...

I sorta dropped the ball by not posting the steps like I promised in this post Pancreas Healing: 5 Steps to Pancreas Healing After Acute Pancreatitis.

The thing is, like I said in my last sentence or paragraph of the above post, the protocol I use is almost EXACTLY the same.

The only difference for ME, since I have already done prep and a pancreatitis diet food diary YEARS ago, is that I don't have to do that step. Otherwise acute pancreatitis from damage caused (chronic pancreatitis) is the same as the original in regards to protocol. In fact, if I had pain or symptoms I would, depending upon severity of symptoms, follow what I outlined anyway because:

1) The pancreas needs rest to heal
2) Food has to be re-introduced slowly
3) The right solid food must be eaten when solid food is again able to be eaten
4) The supplements are important
5) Alcohol must be avoided

And if someone with chronic pancreatitis has NOT done a food diary the PREP and DIARY are essential to finding out exactly what does and does not cause problems. That way those who do NOT believe me about the two enemies (FAT and Alcohol) will find that what I say is true and that if they continue to eat foods that shouldn't be eaten they will continue to be sick.

In other words those who would rather eat steak (red meat), bacon (pork), and other extremely high trigger, fat-filled foods and drink alcohol will continue to be sick and progressively become worse while they blame their problems on grapes, peaches, brussel sprouts, cabbage, beans, lentils, spices or some other completely safe, anti-inflammatory, pancreas healing food.

So there ya go, in a nutshell, those with chronic pancreatitis need to do the exact same things in order to begin healing and IF ...

They have suffered enough damage (I do NOT know how much that might be) or have been butchered by a surgeon so their pancreas looks like a filleted fish (whipple procedure for example) they may never truly heal to where they feel decent ever again and that really sucks but it is truthful.

So if you currently suffer from chronic pancreatitis your steps to healing are the same as those found here especially if you are currently in constant pain.

I hope you are able to heal.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Statin Drugs Cause Acute Pancreatitis

I know that sometimes I post joyful news huh? This is probably especially joyful to those of you who may be on statin medication for really HIGH blood fat levels that were the cause of your problems to begin with but sorry - you should know everything don't ya think?

Statins and pancreatitis: a systematic review of observational studies and spontaneous case reports.

Drug-induced acute pancreatitis

The good news is that the benefits in the case of acute pancreatitis caused by severely high lipids is that the statins seem to help lower the lipid levels thus lowering the risk of recurrent AP and worsening CP which carries a risk of pancreatic cancer. Statin therapy when one has severely high lipids seem to actually be a good thing in this case. So actually the news isn't so bad after all huh?

Sometimes I can't help but stir the pot  :-)

If you happen to be on statin drug therapy for a supposed heart attack risk and have suffered acute pancreatitis you may want to re-think why you are on those drugs to begin with since cholesterol isn't THE major player in atherosclerotic heart disease. However ...

Statin drugs are a MAJOR revenue source for big pharma. In fact, Lipitor, before it went off patent, averaged over 5 BILLION in revenue each year. ONE drug, 5 BILLION in revenue. So who is blowing smoke at who?

By the way statins also deplete CoQ10, actually they inhibit the bodies production of CoQ10 and since CoQ10 is found in every cell of the body with the largest amounts found in the heart (it strengthens the heart wall muscle so it pumps good and strong) you should consider supplementing CoQ10 or eating a boat load of salmon each week. Supplements would probably be the best answer.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pancreas Healing: 5 Steps to Pancreas Healing After Acute Pancreatitis

There are certain steps you need to take in order to achieve pancreas healing once you have experienced either acute pancreatitis or you have unfortunately been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. However ...

Before we get into the steps necessary to achieve pancreas healing from chronic pancreatitis, which are very similar, I think it is best to cover pancreas healing for acute pancreatitis.

Hopefully you have only suffered a mild acute attack which with proper diet will heal and allow you to be one of those lucky few who heal completely and never have another episode of AP or even minimal change chronic pancreatitis.

One of the things I think that the medical teams do wrong is to introduce to much of the wrong foods to those who have just come out of an acute pancreatitis attack. Even though the majority of the pain may have subsided and your nausea has been controlled chances are very strong that your pancreas is still inflamed and has likely sustained some damage that if addressed properly may completely heal yet I read story after story of patients being given solid, high fat content foods to early and foods that most likely will make the person sick again. So ...

Step # 1 - The Introduction of Foods After Acute Pancreatitis
If you have been hospitalized with mild acute pancreatitis and have been ordered NPO (Nothing By Mouth) in order to rest the pancreas and allow the inflammation to subside food should be re-introduced in 'baby steps." For example:

I have read where acute pancreatitis patients are immediately re-introduced to food with a sandwich, salmon or something similar and that is just asking for trouble. If it were me and it has been me to many times, I'd start really slow with food in liquid form such as pure vegetable juice in enough quantity to allow for decent nutrition. Fresh, organic vegetable juice made from tomatos, beets, carrots, celery, green pepper, spinach, broccoli, red onion and fresh garlic if possible (you'll need a juicer and the veggies) but low sodium V8 juice which is high in potassium will work almost as well.

I'd also drink white unsweetened grapefruit juice (Ocean Spray is a good brand). Grapefruit juice has been shown to offer protection against acute pancreatitis so it could protect you against future episodes even stop them from happening, like it did with me in 1981-82.

Step # 2 - Will Someone Please Get Me Some Supplements!
If it were me I'd have someone run to the nearest health food store for vitamin C, grape seed extract and curcumin (those with gallstones or SOD should not take curcumin) and I'd be swallowing 200 milligrams of grape seed extract 4 times per day, 500 milligrams of vitamin C 4 times per day and 500 miligrams of curcumin 4 times per day to fight the pancreas inflammation and begin the pancreas healing. In fact, I'd do this BEFORE I began re-introducing food to my pancreas. See the Product Regimen page for information on supplements.

Step # 3 - Start a Food Diary.
When you begin solid food you should keep a record of what you eat. A food diary is important because the way you introduce a new food and how you keep track will tell you exactly what your pancreas will and will not tolerate. Read my post on how to prep for and start a food diary.

Step # 4 - The RIGHT Solid Food
After 72 - 96 hours (3 or 4 days) with no symptoms from the pure vegetable juice you can be slowly, in small amounts, introduced to solid VEGAN type food such as rice, beans, peas, lentils, egg whites (NO yolk, just egg whites for protein and vit B12) and vegetables that have NO oil or FAT (butter, margarine) either in content or preperation. TRUE vegans allow no animal products of any kind; NO meat, NO Dairy, NO Broths or soups made with meat or dairy, No fish. They do eat things that contain fat and you will not. This means NO nuts, NO Avocado, No Coconut, or anything else that VEGANS may use as ingredients or in preparation that contains fat. Then ...

After several months of a pure modified vegan diet (no oil or foods such as avocado, flax seed, sunflower seeds, nuts, coconut all of which have HIGH FAT content) you can try introducing different foods, one at a time to see how you do. Eat that food several times over the next week, along with your newly acquired modified VEGAN diet and WAIT at least ONE WEEK more after the last serving before introducing another food type. This gives the body time to completely digest the new food to see if it causes pancreas inflammation. IF you notice pain or nausea upon introduction of a new food you'll know that food should be eliminated from your list, at least for now and maybe forever depending on how well you heal.

Step # 5 - NO Alcohol
If you have been diagnosed with alcoholic pancreatitis you'll need to bite the big, bad bullet and stop drinking. Alcohol is an absolute no-no after acute pancreatitis, no matter what caused it, especially if you have enough damage to cause chronic pancreatitis because alcohol is extremely toxic to a pancreas, especially and inflamed, damaged one so ...

If you don't stop drinking make sure you grab yourself a permanent vacation home at the cemetary of your choice because you'll end up there, probably sooner than you expect.

By following the above 5 steps you may be one of the lucky few who have one acute pancreatitis attack and never have a problem after. I hope you are that lucky! However ...

IF your CT, EUS, MRI, MRCP or ERCP have shown you have damage then the damage is most likely enough to cause chronic pancreatitis and we'll cover the necessary steps to achieve pancreas healing with chronic pancreatitis in the next post even though they are very similar.