Monday, March 7, 2011

Diagnosing Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a difficult disease to diagnose. Symptoms of many other diseases look like pancreatitis. For example, if you are bloated from an inflamed pancreas there is a very good chance a doctor will not consider the ailment to be pancreatitis. Or, if you have oil in your stool or a discolored stool, your doctor might not consider this to be a problem with your pancreas. Your doctor might not consider your 'gas' problem related to a pancreatic issue.Pancreatitis rears its often subtle head in many ways that seem to go unnoticed by physicians. It also seems that many physicians do not know as much about pancreatitis as they might an upset stomach. People - including doctors - tend to gravitate toward what they know.

I diagnosed my pancreatitis through reflexology. "Pancreatitis". It seemed like such a silly word. When I rubbed the bottom of my foot the chart indicated that the sore spot was my pancreas. I had never heard of my pancreas and for at least a couple years we laughed it off figuring that if it was that difficult to say it wasn't worth giving attention to. Well, a few years later with continual unresolved stomach pains and an on-again off-again checking of what the pancreas was and what symptoms were attached made me start seeing similarities between problems with the pancreas and what I was experiencing.

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Pancreatitis and reflexology

Eventually, I went to an emergency hospital and told the physician on duty that I thought I was having a pancreatic attack. He laughed at me. Took the tests and in the end (after much denial on his part even after reading the test score - 60 was normal, mine was over 200) he realized there really was a problem, that I was having a severe acute pancreatic attack, changed his tune and promptly admitted me into the hospital where I stayed for 16 days. Most of that time was spent hooked up to an IV without food or water which allowed my pancreas time to 'rest'.

For the layman like myself, I would recommend reflexology as a great at home option to see if the pancreas is tender. Foot charts can be Googled. On the foot chart in the middle of the foot will be the pancreas. Rub that area. Is it tender? If so, it might seem your pancreas is having issues.

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Reflexology and Pancreatitis

Doctors can run blood tests and perform ultrasounds to diagnosis the condition of the pancreas. If you run into an arrogant doctor who wants to blow off your symptoms or invalidate your concerns you can always go to another doctor. Pancreatitis is a serious problem. It will not help you to have an uncaring or uninterested doctor. Diagnosis is possible. If you don't feel your doctor did an adequate job you might consider a GI specialist.

The best thing to do is to take your concerns seriously and to act on it immediately. Damage to the pancreas can be life threatening. For a substantial portion of my hospitalization the process consisted of the nurses freaking out because my heart rate was so low and me walking back and forth along the hospital corridors to keep my heart beat up high enough so that it wouldn't stop altogether.

It is possible to be an accurate diagnosis. This is not a commonly known or understood disease. Chances are you will have to be very pro-active in receiving any diagnosis and certainly an accurate one.

If you think you might have pancreatitis then it is important to stop drinking alcohol. Most often
No alcohol for pancreas
pancreatitis is caused by alcohol consumption. It is not possible to recover from pancreatitis and drink heavily. If you have contracted pancreatitis from alcohol then you are not only a daily drinker but you drink quite heavily and have for a long time. Not all cases of pancreatitis are caused by alcoholism... but most are. It's time to stop drinking. If this is a problem for you then you probably have a problem with alcohol and might want to look into a recovery program. Pancreatitis can and does kill. You're worth more than that. Get it checked out and take it from there. 1. Reflexology 2. Blood Work. 3. Ultrasound Just do it. You're worth it!

The sooner you diagnose the problem the better chance you will have of living a normal life and eating like other people. The longer you wait the more chance there is that damage will be caused to the pancreas if the pain you feel is pancreatic. There is no known cure for pancreatitis. There is no known way to fix it or to heal it. Get diagnosed. It's worth it!

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