The pancreas is an important organ of the digestive system. It secretes digestive enzymes and produces hormones that help in controlling the amount of sugar in a person’s bloodstream. An imbalance of the hormones produced by the pancreas leads to diabetes.
Most of us are quite unaware of the alcohol effect on the pancreas and how dangerous it can be if left untreated. This article talks in detail about how does alcohol affect your pancreas, about pancreatitis, whether it is linked to pancreatic cancer, and how a person can prevent it.
Alcohol Affect On Pancreas
There are various ways in which alcohol can damage the pancreas by causing diseases like pancreatic which may over time turn into pancreatic cancer.
- Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to Pancreatitis, a condition where the pancreas gets inflamed.
- Alcohol abuse can damage the cells which make up the pancreas which causes swelling and leads to malfunctioning of the pancreas.
- There is also an overproduction of enzymes which then attack the pancreas itself and lead to scarring of the pancreas.
- In such a situation the pancreas stops producing insulin causing blood sugar levels to rise.
- High blood sugar levels can lead to conditions such as heart disease, stroke and kidney problems.
Symptoms of Alcoholic Pancreatitis
- The first symptom is pain near the stomach area.
- Sudden abdominal pain may indicate that you have pancreatitis.
- Feeling thirsty all the time is also one of the symptoms.
- Changes in bowel movement, loose motion.
- Nausea, vomiting and fever are also some symptoms.
If you suspect that you may have pancreatitis, you should get a check-up ASAP. They will take your urine sample and test it to confirm whether you have pancreatitis or not.
Treatment For Pancreatitis
Sadly, there is no cure for pancreatitis but it can only be managed with treatment.
- Doctors ask the patient to reduce their alcohol consumption so reduce the swelling
- They recommend reducing the number of glasses per day/week or stopping it altogether depending on the severity of the swelling.
- If these measures fail to work, the doctors prescribe medicines to help ease the symptoms.
- If the problem still persists then surgery can be the last option.
Link Between Pancreatitis And Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer and over 40,000 people die each year due to it. Pancreatic cancer has a poor prognosis because it is typically detected at a later stage when it is already too late to treat it effectively. There is a link between pancreatic cancer and pancreatitis. In pancreatitis, the cells lining the ducts of the pancreas are more susceptible to damage and when this happens the chances of developing pancreatic cancer are higher.
We are quite unaware of the alcohol effect on the pancreas and so excessive alcohol consumption is bad for health. It is harmful to various organs of our body such as the liver, pancreas, etc. pancreatitis is one such disease that can be quite harmful to the human body, if left untreated. Uncured or severe pancreatitis can lead to pancreatic cancer which can be life-threatening so one should always remember to take care of themselves and drink alcohol moderately to avoid getting this type of life-threatening disease.