Pancreas Disease Specialists

Illinois Gastroenterology Group -  - Gastroenterology

Illinois Gastroenterology Group

Gastroenterology located in Elgin, IL, South Elgin, IL & Lake In The Hills, IL

Several diseases can affect the health and function of your pancreas and most can lead to severe upper abdominal pain that makes it hard to sit still. The board-certified specialists at the Illinois Gastroenterology Group in Elgin, Illinois, have the skills necessary to discover what’s affecting your pancreas and to design a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs. Call today for an appointment or try their online scheduling tool to book your visit.

Pancreas Disease Q & A

What Does the Pancreas Do?

The pancreas is a gland that’s about six inches long and sits behind your stomach and under your liver. Its job includes secreting enzymes into the small intestine that aid in digestion. It’s also responsible for producing hormones, including insulin which helps your body regulate blood sugar levels.

What Diseases Can Affect the Pancreas?

Several pancreatic diseases can affect the health and function of your pancreas, including:

  • Acute Pancreatitis: Acute pancreatitis comes on suddenly, causes inflammation of the pancreas, and is usually associated with severe upper abdominal pain. Acute pancreatitis can also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and fever. The most common cause of acute pancreatitis in the United States is gallstones. However, other issues that can cause acute pancreatitis include: 
    • Chronic, excessive alcohol use
    • Certain medications
    • Injury suffered during an accident or other trauma
    • Electrolyte abnormalities

Treatment is typically supportive and usually includes withholding food for 24-48 hours to give your pancreas and bowels time to rest and recover.

  • Chronic Pancreatitis: Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive disease that can eventually destroy the pancreas. It’s more common in men and usually develops between 30 and 40 years old. Common symptoms include upper abdominal pain and diarrhea, followed by malnutrition and weight loss as the disease progresses. The providers at Illinois Gastroenterology Group are well equipped to treat this complex and often painful disorder.
  • Pancreatic Cancer: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in men and the fifth in women in the United States. It can be cured with surgical excision when caught early. Other therapies can greatly improve the quality of life and reduce the risks of complications for those experiencing pancreatic cancer.

Can I Prevent Pancreatitis?

Certain lifestyle changes might reduce your risk of developing acute or chronic pancreatitis. The No. 1 cause of chronic pancreatitis in the United States is excessive alcohol consumption. Limiting your intake or avoiding alcohol entirely can prevent alcohol-induced pancreatitis.

Controlling your weight with a healthy diet and lifestyle might prevent gallstones, which could decrease your risk of developing acute pancreatitis related to gallstones.

Schedule a visit to the Illinois Gastroenterology Group for expert treatment of pancreas disease. Call or book your appointment online.