Chronic pancreatitis causes the pancreas to become inflamed. The symptoms are similar to those of a stomach virus, such as nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. The majority of the time, pancreatitis gets better without any treatment. In this article on kidsrush.com, we will tell you about pancreatitis in children, its types, causes, diagnosis, and treatment. Let’s Start!
Table Of Contents
Pancreatitis has various types, so what are they?
Pancreatitis can be:
- Symptoms are brief and acute. Most kids only have one episode of this, and it is more common among kids.
- The symptoms are long-term and chronic. Permanent damage to the pancreas can result from this ongoing inflammation.
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Signs & Symptoms of Pancreatitis In Children
Pain in the upper belly is usually experienced by children with pancreatitis. Other symptoms include back, chest, and side pain.
Children with chronic pancreatitis may also experience:
Pancreatitis in children may also lead to:
- Having a hard time flushing greasy poop
- Poor growth and sudden weight loss
- Low or high blood sugar (poor blood sugar control)
- Acute pancreatitis in children can lead to chronic pancreatitis in some cases.
What Does the Pancreas Do?
The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach in the abdomen. To aid in digestion, it releases digestive enzymes into the small intestines. The pancreas is also a source of glucose and insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
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Causes of Pancreatitis In Children
Children may be affected by pancreatitis from the following causes:
- Pancreas or liver ducts (tubes) can be blocked by gallstones or other problems
- A few medicines
- Abdominal trauma
- Extremely high triglycerides
- Disorders resulting from genetics or inheritance
Children with certain medical conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease, can be at more risk for developing pancreatitis. There are times when you will not be able to determine the causes of pancreatitis.
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What Is the Diagnosis of Pancreatitis?
Tests to measure the enzymes inside the pancreas that are amylase and lipase can help diagnose pancreatitis. Doctors can check the liver and pancreas and look for gallstones through abdominal ultrasound in patients with high levels of these enzymes.
In addition to CAT scans and MRIs, pancreatic inflammation and damage can be detected with other tests.
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What Is the Treatment for Pancreatitis?
It usually gets better by itself approximately a week after the start of the illness. In addition to providing medicine to control pain and treat nausea, the pancreas can also be treated with treatment for vomiting.
It is possible to care for children at home if they consume enough fluids and whose pain is eased by oral pain medication. Hospitalization is usually needed for more severe cases of pancreatitis in children. Fluids will be given to the patients intravenously (IV) and pain medication will also be given. Infection, breathing problems, or kidney problems will be watched by the care team.
With mild pancreatitis, doctors recommend children start eating as soon as possible. The tube feeds formula directly to the stomach or small intestine of children with more severe cases. Depending upon the symptoms, certain patients may need intravenous nutrition (TPN).
Some children with pancreatitis may need ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). An ERCP allows doctors to examine the pancreatic and hepatic ducts. In the course of the procedure, doctors can remove gallstones or diagnose and treat pancreatitis caused by other causes.
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What Else Should I Know?
Acute pancreatitis is generally not life-threatening for children. Pancreatic fluids can affect patients but usually get better on their own. Sometimes need to drain the fluids.
Pancreatic enzyme supplements are usually recommended for kids with chronic pancreatitis who have difficulty digesting food. Diabetes can occur as a result of chronic pancreatitis, but typically not until many years later.
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