I'm the guy who created www.MyHealthStruggles.com because I wanted to help people who get pancreatitis and other illnesses. The name of the site actually stems from my own health struggles. My sole purpose was to share my personal knowledge with the world of how I recovered from a life tormented by flare-ups, to a life where I hardly have to worry about the problem anymore!
I had my first pancreatitis episode in 2004, and during my 8+ years with pancreatitis, I have seen tons of doctors, specialists, and even surgeons. None of them have helped me more than I helped myself!
I have experimented with alternative medicine, chiropractic care, Reiki, supplements, pancreatic enzymes, and of course various diets including two months of being a vegetarian. From all this experimentation, I can honestly tell you that diet is an important factor and that it is a trigger for pancreatitis, but it surely is not the only trigger there is!
Many who are suffering with idiopathic pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreatitis because they were born with a pancreas divisum have been warned about alcohol. I can honestly confirm that alcohol consumption can trigger pancreatitis, so no matter what type of pancreatitis you have, even if you were born with a pancreas divisum like I was, you have to stay away from alcohol for your own good.
Why does alcohol consumption trigger pancreatitis? The answer lies in how the pancreas works in digestion and that alcohol causes the pancreas to work up to 3 X harder than it does when it digests other food and beverages.
So if I drink one glass of wine, I will trigger pancreatitis?
No, but please read this entire paragraph very carefully if your skeptical about alcohol consumption and pancreatitis. Drinking one glass of wine or a beer will cause your pancreas to work overtime. This puts extra stress on an organ that is already known to be a little weaker in you and me, than other people. So by drinking just one glass of wine or beer, you are basically cocking a gun back. The second you introduce another trigger into the picture within a three day time frame, such as eating fatty food or getting into an argument, BOOM! The trigger goes off and you are riddled with pain from pancreatitis.
It's not the one glass of wine, the one beer, the one cheeseburger that's going to put you over the edge. It's the combination that causes the problem. If you drank one glass of wine and ate rice cakes for the next 3 days, you'll probably be alright. But if you had one glass of wine, eat rice cakes for 3 days, and had a stressful day, 9 times out of 10 you'll be suffering from a pancreatitis flare-up.
One controversial and often overlooked trigger of pancreatitis is stress
Stress is a key factor in my recovery from frequent pancreatitis flare-ups. It took me 6 years of pain, endurance, and making the wrong choices until I got a grip on the stress in my life. One of my stress reducers was the closure of my extremely stressful remodeling business. My company used to super size people's homes in CT by building home additions. We were the absolute best in Connecticut, but the economy was too much for a young company of this nature to handle. While my business was suffering I was suffering as well, except instead of bad sales, I had bad pancreatitis! Long story short I closed the doors to my business at the end of 2009 and began slowly recovering. The good news is that I made it! I rarely get pancreatitis! The bad news is that I had to let go of a business that I poured my blood, sweat, tears, and my soul into to make my customers really happy. We made people happy by taking care of all the stress involved in building a home addition for them, unfortunately for me, it almost killed me!
So in my early 30's I had to scrap the company I've been building for 6 years and start from scratch. I also began documenting all of my episodes and soon I had a very clear idea of what was triggering my pancreatitis flare-ups. Nine times out of ten, a stressful moment was the leading factor within a three day window of a flare-up. There were other factors such as diet, but none of them alone seemed to have triggered a flare-up. However you add any one of the known triggers, such as fatty food plus stress and sure enough I would get a flare-up. Or in another case, wine and stress within a three day window and I would suffer from a flare-up.
So how do you live life and not let stress cause you to have health problems? The answer is in the way you handle stress. In the past I would hold in a lot of stress and practically never vent it. I realized that my stress holding method was one of my biggest mistakes. I started a new method in 2010, where I would force myself to vent (talk about) my stressful situation to someone who would listen. The end result was that I stopped getting frequent flare-ups! This was big, so I started very slowly to introduce foods that I eliminated from my diet, such as pizza. And soon I was able to eat the foods I wanted and not have to suffer because of it.
Now fast forward two years later and I have mastered this technique. I hardly get pancreatitis flare-ups and I also do get to eat the foods I eliminated due to my pancreatitis diet. However, I would not recommend that people should eat what they want if they have not mastered reducing their flare-ups significantly. In the beginning while you are learning about your triggers and documenting each flare-up, you should be very cautious with your diet. It's only when you make significant progress such as doubling or tripling the elapsed time between flare-ups, is when you can start experimenting by slowly adding your favorite foods back into the picture.
I have written tons of very useful information on pancreatitis on this website. Simply scroll up to the top of the screen and click on the LexV Profile link to continue your pancreatitis prevention education. You will not find anything else like this anywhere else in the world!That's why I went through all the trouble of creating this website.
Thank you for reading, please spread the word about this website so that it can help thousands, if not millions of people suffering with pancreatitis and Take Care!
Best Wishes to All,