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How do I Choose the Best Chronic Pancreatitis Treatment?

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  • Written By: M. West
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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You should never choose a chronic pancreatitis treatment without first consulting with your physician, because this illness is severe in nature. Pain medication and enzyme supplements are commonly prescribed. Lifestyle changes involving diet, exercise and the avoidance of certain substances is important. Herbalists use certain plants to treat this disease, but in most cases, alternative medicine measures such as these haven't been studied. Those in the medical community contend that herbs can be used in conjunction with traditional medicine rather than as a standalone treatment.

Patients with high triglyceride levels should abstain from medications such as thiazide diuretics and beta blockers, because they can worsen this condition. Insulin can be used to regulate blood glucose levels. Antibiotics are sometimes needed to address infections.

In severe cases, hospitalization might be needed to administer nutrition through the veins or to remove the contents of the stomach. Surgery is sometimes required to alleviate a blockage. In some instances, chronic pancreatitis treatment might necessitate the removal of part or all of the pancreas.

Lifestyle guidelines include eating small, frequent meals and drinking six to eight glasses of filtered water per day. Eat foods that are high in antioxidants, B vitamins and iron, and avoid refined foods and those high in fat, especially trans fatty acids. Instead of eating red meat, get protein from coldwater fish, tofu and beans. Limit your caffeine intake, and abstain from smoking and alcohol even if your symptoms are mild.

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Doctors might recommend a nutritional supplement containing antioxidant vitamins and certain trace minerals to augment chronic pancreatitis treatment. Other supplements that might be helpful include probiotics, resveratrol, coenzyme Q10 and omega-3 fatty acids. Large doses of vitamin C might be beneficial, but they should be taken two hours apart from vitamin B-12.

The field of alternative medicine offers different treatments that can be used along with conventional therapy. Herbs such as green tea, Indian gooseberry or grape seed extract might help through antioxidant support. Some research has indicated that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) might be beneficial for pancreatitis. You must only take these herbs under supervision of a certified TCM practitioner, and keep your medical doctor apprised of every supplement that you add to your regimen. Acupuncture can be used, but studies regarding the efficacy of this modality in chronic pancreatitis treatment are mixed.

This is a serious disease, so you should be under the close watch and care of a physician. Take heed to comply with lifestyle and nutritional recommendations. Some studies indicate that oxidative stress might be a causative factor in pancreatitis, so the utilization of antioxidant supplements may be a valuable addition to traditional treatment.

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