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Pancreatitis Diet


Pancreatitis diet is recommended for individuals with pancreatitis or inflammation of pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that is seen to be present behind the stomach. Digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas help in digestion of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Based on the severity of the condition, pancreatitis is classified into acute and chronic pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis and diet are an important consideration for treatment.

Acute pancreatitis affects the upper abdomen and is a result of alcohol intake or gall stones. Vomiting, fever, swollen abdomen and rapid pulse are the typical symptoms of acute pancreatitis. Acute attack lasts for a few days and intravenous feeding is recommended for about three to six weeks. Large meals are avoided. Alcohol is completely abstained from.

Chronic pancreatitis is a result of injury to the pancreas. Destruction of the pancreas by the digestive enzymes resulting in scars and pain in the pancreas is referred to as chronic pancreatitis. Certain drugs, hyperlipidemia, pancreas divisum, hypercalcemia and so on are some of the contributing factors of pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis diet includes high carbohydrate and low fat. Pancreatic enzymes are supplemented with the meal to enable, easy digestion and weight gain. Regular exercise of about thirty minutes proves beneficial and effective.

Pancreatic diets recommend low fat foods. About thirty to forty percent of calories are derived from fat. This helps in prevention of staetorrhoea or fatty stools. High fat diet increases the risk of gall stones. It also increases the blood lipid levels, thereby raising the probability of pancreatitis attack. A healthy and balanced diet with regular exercise is vital, as a part of pancreatitis treatment. The need for digestive enzymes is reduced by a healthy diet. Complete abstinence from alcohol and smoking is recommended. Small and frequent meals prove beneficial. Complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and cereals are helpful. Lean cuts of meat, such as sirloin and loin are preferred to red meat. Saturated and Trans fats are restricted and replaced by limited intake of poly unsaturated fats.

Adherence to pancreas diet helps in hastening the recovery process. Dehydration is prevented by the intake of adequate amount of liquids. Diet for pancreatitis includes foods rich in carbohydrates which help in overcoming fatigue. Simple carbohydrates are less preferred. Reduction in fat prevents fatty stools, which is common as a result of deficiency of pancreatic enzymes. Abstinence from alcohol fails to provide pain relief, though aggravation of the problem is not seen.

Submitted on March 31, 2010