Health and MedicineDiseasesThe main diseases of the pancreas and their symptoms

The main diseases of the pancreas and their symptoms

Do you know what the main pancreatic diseases are? Pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer is some of the most common, but not the only ones. Know which are the most common.

The pancreas stands out precisely for being a fundamental organ and not only for the very important functions it performs and that it carries out, but it is simply essential for life. In fact, without it we could practically not survive, in the same way that happens with the liver or with the heart (something different happens for example with the gallbladder).

The truth is that the pancreas can present a wide variety of diseases, conditions and disorders. Medically they can be known as pancreatic diseases or as diseases of the pancreas, and we can mention both benign and malignant conditions, which can affect their normal function directly or indirectly.

Pancreatitis

Medically pancreatitis consists  of inflammation of the pancreas, which occurs mainly when the various digestive enzymes begin to digest the pancreas. Depending on its cause, acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis may occur.

As you might imagine, acute pancreatitis is that inflammation of the pancreas that happens and occurs suddenly, causing intense pain that is located in the upper part of the abdomen, in addition to vomiting and nausea.

These symptoms tend to disappear in a few hours or days, provided proper medical treatment is administered. The most common cause is the presence of gallstones, which can obstruct the flow of bile through the bile ducts.

However, chronic pancreatitis is one that does not improve or that does not heal, in which there is permanent damage to the pancreas and which tends to get worse over time.

The most common cause is excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, although it is also common that it is related to autoimmune diseases, high amounts of fat or calcium in the blood and cystic fibrosis. Its most common symptoms range from weight loss to greasy stools, vomiting and nausea.

Diabetes

It is another of the diseases that very commonly affects the pancreas, since we must not forget that diabetes occurs when the pancreas loses its proper endocrine function.

It is necessary to differentiate between type 1 diabetes, which is the one that usually appears in children and adolescents and is an autoimmune disease (the immune system selectively attacks the cells that produce insulin), and type 2 diabetes, which is the one that it appears mainly in adults and its origin is rather multifactorial.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, this tends to occur when there is an abnormal secretion of insulin by the pancreas, producing  insulin resistance.

Pancreatic cancer

The most common malignant tumor that affects the pancreas is medically known as   pancreatic adenocarcinoma , which occurs from cells that participate in the digestive function of this gland (exocrine function).

Pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive disease, so an early diagnosis, rapid surgery and effective cancer treatment are essential to have a greater chance of success.

However, since this type of tumor does not usually produce symptoms until the disease is advanced, it is rare for it to be diagnosed early.

Another malignant tumor that affects the pancreas is the neuroendocrine tumor, which tends to produce hormones in greater quantities, causing clearer symptoms than in previous cancer, so its diagnosis is usually made earlier. In addition, it is the pancreatic cancer with the best long-term prognosis.

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