If you have had acute pancreatitis symptoms off and on for over a year, chances are you have chronic pancreatitis. The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis compared to acute pancreatitis are the same, with the only difference being that chronic pancreatitis keeps reoccurring.
I have been originally diagnosed with idiopathic acute pancreatitis back in 2004. Idiopathic basically means that doctors (gastroenterologists) have no idea why I was getting acute pancreatitis attacks.
I was never a heavy habitual drinker, but I did go out with my friends on the weekend and partied it up every now and then. I was very open with my doctors and told them my whole life story in hopes that they would identify why I was getting acute pancreatitis symptoms.
Acute Pancreatitis causes severe abdominal and back pain when
it comes on, and if you have never had it before, consider yourself extremely lucky. The first time that I had an acute pancreatitis attack, I thought that I was going to die and my stomach was going to burst open in the process. The pain was more agonizing then the aftermath of car accident or getting jumped by a drunk and angry high school wrestling team.
So after years of dealing with acute pancreatitis symptoms doctors (gastroenterologists) diagnosed me with chronic pancreatitis, because it kept reoccurring; year after year. I did my best ot listen to the doctors but what ultimately helped me was my own research into what causes pancreatitis and my journals of chronic – acute pancreatitis attacks.
The Two Major Factors for Me are Diet and Stress
If you get pancreatitis symptoms, chronic or acute, the first thing you need to do is make a journal of your diet prior to experiencing
the painful pancreatitis symptoms. I usually log this information into the calendar in Microsoft Outlook. I write down everything I ate for the past two to three days prior to the attack. What I have found is that on those days, I ate more fatty foods during that time period. Your pancreas is very sensitive to fat intake once your are diagnosed with acute or chronic pancreatitis, so if you want to minimize your outbreaks, you will absolutely have to learn about the foods you eat and change your diet accordingly.
Pancreatitis and Diet
Below is a list of foods that I documented that have caused me pancreatitis symptoms. I do think that this list applies to everyone, but I am not a doctor, I am only certain that it applies to me 100%.
Food to avoid if you have Acute or Chronic Pancreatitis
- French Fries
- Ice Cream Shakes
- Tuna fish salad with mayo
- Fried foods
- Nuts – does not matter what type
- Whey Protein
- Casein Protein
- Hot dogs
- Hot Chocolate
- Sweet cheese pierogi (fried in butter)
- Famous Daves Ribs
- Chicken wings with the skin on (fried or baked)
- I will update this page everytime I learn somthing new!
- Turkey Meatloaf and Turkey Burgers (Update 2/28/2012)
The majority of fast food options available from almost any fast food joint like: McDonalds, Arby's Burger King, Pizza Hut, and any other place that offers loads of fat with anything you order.
That is the reality of the situation; you will have to give up most of the foods that you really like to follow a proper diet for your pancreas that will reduce the majority of your pancreatitis symptoms whether you have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis or acute.
Changing my diet for pancreatitis was a slow process, because for some reason my doctors (gastroenterologists) did not believe that food was the major factor contributing to my pancreatitis symptoms. I can tell you unequivocally that they were wrong. Diet was a huge factor in preventing or reducing the pain of my attacks. After years of documenting and studying my own symptoms, I connected the dots and found the foods above or ones like it to be a major factor to reoccurrences of pancreatitis.
I plan to write more about pancreatitis here, so come back and please comment too. I aim to open a discussion between actual people dealing with chronic diseases and illnesses so that we can learn from each other and not have to rely so much on doctors. Doctors are great but if you put your trust in the wrong one, it can seriously affect your life!
Please read the comments and also the effects of Pancreatitis and Stress, because I have found that stress was the biggest factor in causing my flare ups. Yes, even more than food.