You were in the hospital because you have pancreatitis, or swelling of the pancreas
You may have had blood tests and imaging exams, such as a CT scan or ultrasound. You may have been given drugs to help your pain or fight and prevent infections. You likely were given fluids through an intravenous (IV) tube in your vein and nutrition through a feeding tube or IV. You may have had a tube inserted through your nose that helped remove the contents of your stomach.
If your pancreatitis was caused by gallstones or a blocked duct, you may have had surgery. Your doctor may also have drained a cyst (collection of fluid) in your pancreas.
After an episode of pain from pancreatitis, you should start off with drinking only clear liquids, such as soup broth or gelatin. Your doctor will ask you to follow this diet until your symptoms get better. Slowly add other foods back to your diet when you are better.
Talk with your doctor about:
Always talk to your doctor before taking any medicines or herbs.
Do NOT drink any alcohol.
If your body can no longer absorb fats that you eat, your doctor may ask you to take extra capsules, called pancreatic enzymes. These will help your body absorb fats in your food better.
If your pancreas has a lot of damage, you may also develop diabetes. Your doctor will check for this problem.
Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and foods that make your symptoms worse is the first step to controlling pain.
Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), at first to try and control your pain.
Your doctor will also give you a prescription for pain medicines. Get it filled when you go home so you have it available. If the pain is getting worse, take your pain medicine to help before the pain becomes very bad.
Call your doctor or nurse if you have:
Chronic pancreatitis - discharge; Pancreatitis - chronic - discharge; Pancreatic insufficiency - discharge
Banks PA, Freeman ML; Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Practice guidelines in acute pancreatitis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct;101(10):2379-400.
Frossard JL, Steer ML, Pastor CM. Acute pancreatitis. Lancet. 2008;371:143-152
Tenner S. Steinberg WM. Acute pancreatitis. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 58.
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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