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Last month Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker had their incredible wedding in Italy and while the newlyweds have spent their time soaking in marital bliss, a recent health scare has brought the couple much closer.  On June 28th, outlets revealed that Travis Barker was rushed to the emergency room with no further details given at the time but on July 2nd, both Travis and Kourtney took to their Instagram to reveal the reason behind his hospitalization;

“I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great. But after dinner, I developed excruciating pain and have been hospitalised ever since.

During the endoscopy, I had a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube. This resulted in severe life-threatening pancreatitis….

I am so very very grateful that with intensive treatment, I am currently much better.”

What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, which is an organ in the body that assists with digestion by making enzymes before sending them to your small intestine, and it also produces hormones such as insulin. While Travis did not provide more details about his condition, there are three types of pancreatitis:

1. Acute pancreatitis

According to Healthline, this is the main cause of hospital admissions for gastrointestinal issues. Acute pancreatitis causes sudden inflammation, but it only lasts for a short period of time and your pancreas returns to normal afterward. However, if left untreated and if you smoke or drink alcohol heavily,  then acute pancreatitis can lead to chronic pancreatitis.

2. Chronic pancreatitis

This type of pancreatitis lasts longer than acute pancreatitis, and it comes and goes over time. As it’s chronic, it can cause permanent damage to the pancreas and other complications like damaging the cells that produce insulin, which in turn can increase the risk for diabetes. In fact, research has suggested that 25-80% of people with chronic pancreatitis will develop diabetes.

pancreatitis

magicmine/iStock

Additional complications include pancreatic cancer, chronic pain, and weight loss.

3. Necrotizing pancreatitis

This is when a part of your pancreas dies, and it occurs in about 10% of acute pancreatitis cases, usually when the pancreatitis is left untreated. The inflammation causes the digestive enzymes to leak into the pancreas, and this causes tissue damage and death.

What causes pancreatitis?

Acute and chronic pancreatitis have similar causes and these include:

  • alcohol abuse
  • gall stones
  • high levels of calcium or triglycerides in the blood
  • some medications
  • pancreatic cancer
  • abdominal surgery
  • Infections
  • cystic fibrosis
  • cigarette smoking
  • Injuries to your belly

What are the symptoms?

Depending on the condition, symptoms of pancreatitis vary, but the most common ones include:

  • Intense belly pain that may spread to the back
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Swollen or tender abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • High blood sugar

Could I get pancreatitis?

Factors that increase your risk of developing pancreatitis include heavy alcohol use, obesity, smoking cigarettes, having type 2 diabetes and or obesity as well as a family history of pancreatitis.

Diagnosing and treating pancreatitis

Diagnosing pancreatitis often involves a combination of blood tests, different types of scans like ultrasounds and MRI scans, as well as fecal tests.

travis barker

travis barker/instagram

Once your doctor has concluded that you have pancreatitis, then treatment will begin, and it will likely involve hospitalization. You may receive IV fluids and be given pain medication. However, if the issue persists, you may require surgery.

Can pancreatitis be prevented?

Yes, similar to other health conditions, the best way to reduce your risk for pancreatitis is by adopting lifestyle habits. These habits include getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol, and avoiding smoking.

Takeaway

Pancreatitis can be prevented with appropriate lifestyle habits. However, if you do end up developing the condition, the good news is that it is an easily manageable condition that requires appropriate lifestyle hacks and medical treatment when necessary.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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