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Old 08-31-2007, 08:48 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Inflamed Pancreas

Anyone experience this in their drinking days?

I'm 35, have been drinking for about 16 years and suddenly got an acute case of this following a 26 hour bender.. The doc told me to avoid alcohol for a week and change my diet. Obviously this is a bit of a wake up call for me, but I am not ready to quit drinking all together. My liver enzymes are normal. My question is: what kind of an indication is this? A one time ****-up, or the beginning of internal organ failure?. I really don't know. Anyone have an experience like this?


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Old 08-31-2007, 10:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had several acute pancreatitis episodes while I was drinking. Here is a site with some more information on it that should help answer your questions. I have quoted some of it below the web link. Be sure to follow your doctors advice as he is the most qualified to help you.
"Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum. The duodenum is the upper part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine through a tube called the pancreatic duct. These enzymes help digest fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body use the glucose it takes from food for energy.

Normally, digestive enzymes do not become active until they reach the small intestine, where they begin digesting food. But if these enzymes become active inside the pancreas, they start "digesting" the pancreas itself.

Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and lasts for a short period of time and usually resolves. Chronic pancreatitis does not resolve itself and results in a slow destruction of the pancreas. Either form can cause serious complications. In severe cases, bleeding, tissue damage, and infection may occur. Pseudocysts, accumulations of fluid and tissue debris, may also develop. And enzymes and toxins may enter the bloodstream, injuring the heart, lungs, and kidneys, or other organs.

Acute Pancreatitis
Some people have more than one attack and recover completely after each, but acute pancreatitis can be a severe, life-threatening illness with many complications. About 80,000 cases occur in the United States each year; some 20 percent of them are severe. Acute pancreatitis occurs more often in men than women.

Acute pancreatitis is usually caused by gallstones or by drinking too much alcohol, but these aren't the only causes. If alcohol use and gallstones are ruled out, other possible causes of pancreatitis should be carefully examined so that appropriate treatment—if available—can begin."
NOTE: All BB quotes are from the 1st Edition of the Big Book
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Old 09-02-2007, 07:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Bricklayer72,

During my active alcoholism (30 yrs) I often had bouts of pancreatitis. Toward the end it was one big bout of acute pancreatitis...I did alot of research on the pancreas and what I was doing to it....OUCH.....The liver can heal itself to a degree, but when the pancreas fails ....thats it!!!!!!
I have new appreciation for the old pancreas now.....Just my .02 worth..

Work Hard and Enjoy Life....Ned
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