Alcoholic pancreatitis detrimental to health

Prolonged hazardous drinking can lead to irreversible and progressive damage to various parts of the body. When someone drinks alcohol, it gets readily absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in adverse long-term impacts on the physical and mental health. Its effect on the critical organs like liver and pancreas result in the production of toxic substances that hamper the proper functioning of the body.

The pancreas is one of the most important glands in the human body. It is responsible for the secretion of the hormones and enzymes that aid in the process of metabolism. It also secretes insulin which is helpful in controlling the blood sugar levels.  A person who has been drinking heavily over a prolonged period is prone to suffer from irreversible damage to the pancreas, known as alcoholic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a chronic condition and requires immediate medical intervention. When the pancreas fails to function to its optimum capacity, there is a subsequent weight loss and malnutrition. Alcohol-related chronic pancreatitis is a serious health issue, which can harm other vital organs such as the lungs, heart and kidneys, if left untreated.

Types of pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is characterized by inflammation and pain. The condition is usually triggered by an excessive consumption of alcohol, various infections and autoimmune conditions such as lupus. In case the disorder is associated with alcohol abuse, it takes some time before the actual symptoms of the disease become apparent.

A patient with chronic pancreatitis generally experiences a severe abdominal pain that is difficult to handle. As there is an imbalance in the enzymes, the patient will find it hard to digest food. In case the pancreas is unable to secrete enzymes, the patient is likely to suffer from diabetes mellitus, a disorder associated with insulin resistance.

The chances of chronic pancreatitis transforming into pancreatic cancer are high if certain lifestyle changes are not made at the right time. A long-term inflammation in the pancreas, coupled with repeated incidents of pancreatitis, causes physiological changes that further increase the chances of developing pancreatic cancer. Smoking and alcohol cessation are important steps toward preventing the occurrence of the deadly disease, however, switching to a healthier lifestyle goes a long way in keeping someone away from the common triggers.

Motivational interventions may reduce attack of alcoholic pancreatitis

The current treatment approach for alcoholic pancreatitis is largely symptomatic. Evidently, abstinence is likely to decrease the severity of the illness, however, doctors do not incorporate methods to prevent people from indulging in excessive drinking, which increases their risk of developing a subsequent attack of pancreatitis.

An old study carried out by researchers from Finland, on 120 patients with alcoholic pancreatitis, showed that the group receiving repeated 30 minutes of motivational intervention had fewer re-admittance for alcoholic pancreatitis, as opposed to the group that received the intervention at six-month intervals for two years. The researches also noticed a trend toward decreased alcohol consumption and dependency in the group that received interventions, thereby proving that counseling can be one of the potential ways to curb attacks of alcoholic pancreatitis in chronic patients.

Road to recovery

Overconsumption of alcohol for a long period of time spurs dependency. Though the current line of treatment only focuses on the removal of symptoms, instead of tackling the problem at its root, certain self-help strategies can help long-term alcohol abusers to abstain from it. However, in most cases, the withdrawal process involves a lot of problems, which necessitates a medical intervention.

It is not easy to get rid of drinking habits. While the addictive properties cause people to consume alcohol with increased frequency, it is imperative that they seek timely treatment before drinking habits become unmanageable and sobriety a mere dream.

If you or your loved one is addicted to alcohol, contact the Alcohol Addiction Helpline of California to know more about the alcohol treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-980-1715 or chat online to connect to the best alcohol treatment centers in California.

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