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The pancreas is a tiny gland, located in the abdomen, that performs the vital role of converting food into energy. Surprisingly it performs both, endocrine, as well as exocrine functions and is about 6 inches long. Experts specializing in pancreas transplants in Mumbai suggest that just like any other organ in our body, the pancreas, too, can get affected by a variety of conditions. The most common of these are pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Want to know more about these conditions? This blog can help you.

Pancreatitis - The condition is marked by severe inflammation in the pancreas, which may be acute, chronic or hereditary. It is caused by the activation of digestive enzymes while they are still inside the pancreas. These react with the cells and result in their inflammation. Experts from the best hospital in India suggest that if a person is experiencing frequent bouts of acute appendicitis, it can induce serious damage to their pancreas in the long run. In such a case. The pancreas eventually becomes dysfunctional leading to problems with digestion. Some of the common causes of acute pancreatitis include gallstones, excessive drinking, certain medications, elevated triglyceride levels, hypercalcemia, hyperparathyroidism, and pancreatic cancer. Cystic fibrosis, abdominal trauma and obesity.

Pancreatitis is characterized by a variety of symptoms like:

  • Pain in the upper part of the abdomen
  • Pain that radiates towards the back
  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Elevated body temperature
  • High pulse rate
  • Feeling nauseated
  • Steatorrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Unintended weight loss

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to see a doctor and get yourself evaluated. These do not necessarily mean that you have pancreatitis, but it is always a good idea to get yourself diagnosed. This is done with the help of blood analysis, urine test, stool test, CT scan, MRI and endoscopic ultrasound.

Pancreatic cancer - It happens to be the leading cause of pancreas transplant in Mumbai, and is marked by the uncontrollable multiplication of the pancreatic cells that accumulate over time. These eventually result in the development of masses or lumps commonly referred to as tumours. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are not evident in the initial stage and these develop slowly. It is due to this very reason that pancreatic cancer is detected at a very late stage.

The exact cause of pancreatic cancer cannot be determined in most cases, however, it is clear that the cancer is triggered by certain changes in the genetics of the cells. These are commonly referred to as DNA mutations and are responsible for compelling the cells to grow at a very fast pace. The abnormal cells have a longer life span as compared to the healthy ones and stay in the body for a significantly longer time. There are a number of factors that can trigger such changes. These include excessive smoking, diabetes, pancreatitis, family history of pancreatic cancer and obesity.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer vary from one patient to another, primarily depending upon the stage of cancer, its grade, size of the tumour, patient’s age and overall health. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Severe abdominal pain, that aggravates with time
  • Jaundice, which is marked by yellowing of skin and stools
  • New onset of diabetes
  • Clotting of blood
  • General body weakness and fatigue

Following a healthy lifestyle and staying away from some unhealthy practices can help to alleviate the risks of such conditions. It is important to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. You should cut down on your alcohol intake and refrain from smoking. Regular health checkups can also help to assess and diagnose the problems in the early stages making it possible to treat them efficiently.