Friday, November 19, 2010

Pancreatitis: Calcification & Rhubarb

calcification of the pancreas A few days ago, I read a depressing study (all chronic pancreatitis studies are depressing) about the calcification of the pancreas which inevitably leads to the demise of the person due to the pancreas inability to continue to function at the point.

I had never heard of calcification. What did it mean? I envision it to be similar to the petrification of wood. Yikes! That doesn't sound good.

So immediately I wanted to know how I could prevent the calcification of my pancreas. The study seemed to indicate that over time calcification was inevitable in chronic pancreatic patients (I believe the study came out of a Scandinavian country - Norway?). The hope is to live longer (obviously). So, the idea is to find out if there is a way to slow down or stop the calcification of my sweet, little overused pancreas.

Today, while finding a pancreas diagram to add to my Hot Flashes: Chronic Pancreatitis or Menopause post I came across GrannyHerb's website which stated that Rubaherb (Rhubarb Root/Rhizome) could help with the effects of pancreatitis. I don't know about you but I'm fairly cynical about hokey herbal websites and don't believe everything I read. That being said, I am always willing to check into things a little further if it is related to my pancreas and the potential longevity of it... and therefore the longevity of me!

I found a couple more sites that talked about the benefits of rhubarb. The Zhion website states, "Researchers found that a rhubarb extract prevented calcium phosphate precipitation in a in vitro study. Thus, they suggested that supplementation of rhubarb extract may have benefit of preventing calculus formation." [Source: Hidaka S, et al, Effects of a rhubarb (Rhei rhizoma) solution and its fractions on the formation of calcium phosphate precipitates.J Periodontal Res. 1996 Aug;31(6):408-13)]

Oh wow! I just Googled 'pancreatic calcification treatment' and there are websites addressing this issue! Whoopie! I'm a happy camper with my reading cut out for me!

I love progress. :-)

If anyone has any experience, strength, hope or information to share on this matter please share it! If you have answers, great! If you don't, no problem. I don't have answers either at this point... just looking around for longevity options. :-)

PS. If you're new to this whole 'I've got pancreatitis. What do I do? thing' I'd like to remind you (as your doctor most likely has) that we can't drink anymore... not at all. Not on holidays. Not on special occasions. Not ever. No exceptions. You may never have another drink for the rest of your life. Now go have fun living your life! It's beautiful out there and now you get to be sober enough to enjoy and remember it!

PPS. I just read on the Zhion site, " It is unclear if rhubarb is anti-cancer or carcinogenic. There are reports that it may cause cancer; there are also reports that its ingredients have anti-cancer activities."

PPPS. I found a couple more rhubard/pancreatitis studies on here. One study shows hints of potential value in test tube studies but also states that most test tube studies don't pan out. The other study states that the consumption of rhubarb probably does not impair calcium absorption. The sources for the studies are mentioned in the link above.

1 comment:

  1. I ate rhubarb (boiled, unsweetened) during a mild pancreas pain and soon the pain and rigidity of my abdomen was abated.