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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Posted by: Keith
Date: July 9, 2002 2:52 AM

I recently survived gall bladder surgery with endoscopy to clear out the "sludge" from my pancreatic duct (agony in hospital one week until they figured it out). Since surgery I lost ten pounds then gained twenty. I discovered your article on the pancreas. I am a 48 year old male and bloated, passing gas, and not digesting as well as I used to. It takes longer. I drank for a long time. I have now quit because I am truly frightened. I Just had a CAT scan of my abdomen because of a vague pain there. I am lathargic and tired all the time, never sick a day in my life until now, always ate what I pleased. Now I know I need to take a proper nutrition regimen or I feel I will die a slow painful death. Lets assume pancreatic damage with a psuedo cyst (CAT scan verified). To what extent will the pancreas regenerate itself assuming no further insult to it, and will a psuedo cyst cause further harm, what to do, what to do.........

RE: pancreatitis
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: July 9, 2002 5:36 AM

Alcoholic pancreatitis in the acute phase is a very dangerous disease, particularly in the acute phase which can and often is fatal. It is a blessing that you have sworn off alcohol as this is the most common agent which provokes acute pancreatitis. Stasis of the bile duct is the other major cause. Chronic pancreatitis is also a dangerous disease in that it can result in the obvious digestive disorder and also diabetes. The pancreas is made up of both endocrine and exocrine cells. The endocrine cells are contained in the "Islets of Langerhans" which produce insulin to maintain control of blood sugar. The exocrine glands produce enzymes which are injected into the small intestine in response to a gastric hormone (secretin) which is released in response to food in the stomach. Remission of chronic pancreatitis is possible and is something you should work for. While autologous grafting of the Islet cells after pancreatectomy is possible and has been done successfully at the Univ. of Maryland, it is better to keep your pancreas intact if possible. Oral digestive enzymes with every meal can essentially replace the exocrine function of the pancreas, but the endocrine function is harder to handle. Insulin injections require a lot of attention and intention to replace pancreatic function in that area. Whatever you can do to improve your overall health will probably pay off at the site of your pancreas. Good diet (high in raw food), low stress, no coffee (even decaf), alcohol, tobacco, and plenty of supplementary vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are the heart of your treatment/prevention program. I suggest you be under the care of a doctor who is very expert in nutritional medicine.

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