Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis

A Comprehensive Patient Guide to Symptoms, Treatment, Research, and Support
 

 
Updated: June 20, 2017
123 Pages

 
 

What is Chronic Pancreatitis?

The pancreas is a long, slender gland, between 12 to 20 centimeters in length that is situated in the upper part of the abdomen and is attached to the wall of the abdominal cavity. Shaped like a fish, the pancreas has five parts: head, uncinate process (a prolongation of the head), a short neck, body, and tail. The head of the pancreas (approximately aligned with the spinal cord), is surrounded by the upper portion of the small intestine, called the duodenum; the body is located behind the stomach; and the tail is located at the left upper portion of the abdomen below the rib cage touching the spleen.

The pancreas is a complex organ that has two major functions: the exocrine functions of the pancreas relate to its production of enzymes while the endocrine functions relate to its production of hormones.

An enzyme is a protein made by the body that facilitates a chemical reaction. The pancreas produces two enzymes, amylase and lipase, that facilitate digestion. The enzymes are produced by specialized pyramid-shaped cells called acinar cells, and are capable of breaking down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins during the digestion process.

The pancreas also produces two hormones called insulin and glucagon that are secreted directly into the bloodstream. The specialized cells that produce these hormones are often referred to as islet cells because they are found in small clusters or islets within the pancreas called the Islets of Langerhans. These hormones play a major role in controlling and regulating the levels of sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream.

Pancreatitis is defined as inflammation of the pancreas. There are two main categories of pancreatitis, namely acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis is characterized by painful episodic inflammation that may, in some patients, lead to damage or destruction of pancreatic tissue, a condition called chronic pancreatitis.

Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is an inflammatory condition affecting the pancreas and involves progressive, irreversible damage to the pancreatic tissue. Early chronic pancreatitis may begin with recurrent bouts of acute pancreatitis until later development (over several years) of permanent structural and/or functional impairment including:

  • Exocrine insufficiency - impairment in digestion because of dysfunction of pancreatic enzymes and
  • Endocrine insufficiency - impairment of insulin production resulting in elevated levels of blood sugar.

Additional characteristics of chronic pancreatitis may include:

  • Inflammation
  • Fibrotic tissue replacing normal tissue
  • Destruction of pancreatic tissue (necrosis)
  • Infiltration of inflammatory cells especially into the head of the pancreas
  • Acinar cell destruction
  • Injury or changes to the pancreatic duct, such as dilatation (widening)
  • Development of intraductal stones (calcifications)

The primary and most common symptom associated with chronic pancreatitis is severe pain (experienced by at least up to 75% of patients), either episodic or continuous, which significantly impacts quality of life. The pain may actually abate as the condition worsens and the pancreas ceases to function.

Knowledge is Critical when Dealing with a Life-Altering Condition such as Chronic Pancreatitis

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, it's critical to learn everything you possibly can about this condition so that you can make informed decisions about your treatment. That's why we created the Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis, a comprehensive 123 page patient Guidebook that contains vital information about chronic pancreatitis that you won't find anywhere in a single source.

The Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis starts out with a detailed overview of the condition and quickly imparts fundamentally important information about chronic pancreatitis, including:

  • The underlying causes of chronic pancreatitis.
  • The risk factors that increase a person's chances for developing chronic pancreatitis.
  • A detailed overview of the TIGAR-O classification system that is used by doctors to group patients with chronic pancreatitis into the following distinct categories based on the underlying cause of the disease:

    • Toxic (metabolic) pancreatitis
    • Hereditary pancreatitis
    • Autoimmune pancreatitis
    • Recurrent pancreatitis
    • Idiopathic pancreatitis
  • The secondary complications that can develop as a consequence of chronic pancreatitis.

  • The relationship between chronic pancreatitis and the development of pancreatic cancer.
  • The signs and symptoms of chronic pancreatitis.
  • How chronic pancreatitis is diagnosed based on factors such as signs/symptoms, patient history, physical examination, and imaging studies.
  • Special tests, known as pancreatic function tests, that may be performed by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis, which include:

    • Secretin-Stimulation Test
    • Lundh-Meal Test
    • Fecal Fat Determination Test
    • Bentiromide (Chymex) Test

Understanding the Standard Treatments... and the Treatment Options

The goals of treatment for patients with chronic pancreatitis include:

  • Alleviating pain associated with the condition.
  • Treating the underlying cause of chronic pancreatitis, in cases where the cause can be identified.
  • Restoring pancreatic function.
  • Improving the patient's nutritional status.
  • Managing complications associated with chronic pancreatitis.
  • Enabling patient's to lead a reasonably good quality of life.

Understanding the standard treatments - and the treatment options - is critical for successfully achieving the goals of treatment for chronic pancreatitis. As you read through the section of the Guidebook that focuses on the treatments for chronic pancreatitis, you will specifically learn about:

  • The medications that may be prescribed for pain management in patients with chronic pancreatitis.
  • The treatment optinons that are available for patients who no longer respond to pain medications and continue to experience severe, chronic pain.
  • The endoscopic treatments that may be used to relieve pain and significantly improve pancreatic function by mechanically decompressing the main pancreatic duct. These endoscopic techniques include:

    • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
    • Endoscopic pancreatic sphincterotomy (EPS)
  • The role of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy in the treatment of obstructive pancreatitis caused by calcified stones that block the opening of the main pancreatic duct.

  • A comprehensive overview of the surgical treatment options that are currently available for the management of patients with chronic pancreatitis, including:

    • Puestow procedure
    • Frey procedure
    • Beger procedure
    • Whipple procedure
    • Pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy
    • Distal pancreatectomy
    • Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation
  • The risks, benefits, and complications of the different surgical treatments for chronic pancreatitis.

  • The role of oral pancreatic enzyme supplmentation and dietary modification in improving digestive tract function in people with chronic pancreatitis.
  • The management of secondary complications that may develop in patients with chronic pancreatitis, including:

    • Formation of pseudocysts
    • Constriction of the pancreatic and bile ducts
    • Formation of pancreatic fistulae
    • Infection of the pancreas
    • Formation of pancreatic abcesses
  • The prognosis (outlook) for people with chronic pancreatitis and the important factors that have a significant impact in predicting the overall chances of recovery.

  • Quality of life issues that often confront people with chronic pancreatitis and how to minimize their impact and cope better with these issues.
  • Important questions to ask your doctor about chronic pancreatitis.

A "One-of-a-Kind" Reference Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis that Goes Way Beyond the Fundamentals

Since 1996, when Medifocus was founded, we've learned that many people with Chronic Pancreatitis are seeking more specific information that goes beyond the fundamentals, such as the causes, diagnosis, standard treatments, and treatment options. That's why we developed a "one-of-a-kind" reference Guidebook that goes way beyond the basics and also includes the following sections:

  • A Guide to Recent Medical Literature on Chronic Pancreatitis - This section of the Guidebook contains an extensive bibliography of over 100 references to recently published articles about Chronic Pancreatitis in authoritative, peer-reviewed medical journals with links to the absracts (summaries) of the articles. These articles represent the latest advances in the field and focus on cutting-edge research, new developments, and the lessons learned from recently published clinical trials involving patients with Chronic Pancreatitis. This is the same level of that is used by doctors who treat people with Chronic Pancreatitis to keep abreast of the latest developments and breakthroughs in this specialized field of medicine.

  • Centers of Research for Chronic Pancreatitis - We've compiled a unique directory of doctors, hospitals, medical centers, and research institutions with special interest and, in many cases, clinical expertise in managing people with Chronic Pancreatitis. The "Centers of Research" directory is a valuable resource for quickly identifying and locating leading medical authorities and medical institutions both within the United States and other countries who are considered to be at the forefront in clinical research and treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis. You'd have to spend days - or even weeks - attempting to compile your own list of doctors and medical centers but, with the "Centers of Research" directory, the information is already right at your fingertips. All you have to do is act on the information by selecting and contacting the experts or medical institutions listed in the directory by state and country.

  • Organizations and Support Groups for Chronic Pancreatitis - The Guidebook also includes a directory of organizations and support groups whose goal is to help people with Chronic Pancreatitis by providing access to information, resources, and services. Many of these organizations can answer your specific questions, enable you to "network" with other patients, and provide guidance in areas such as financial, social, or medical-legal issues. This valuable directory of organizations and support groups includes complete contact information, including phone numbers and E-mail addresses.

Look Inside the Guidebook

The Guidebook is a Value-Added Proposition that Comes with a Risk-Free Satisfaction Guarantee so that...You have Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain

Still not sure if you'll benefit from the Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis? Still not convinced that the information included in the Guidebook is worth the minimal cost? If that's the case, then please consider the following value-added proposition that comes standard with your purchase of the Guidebook:

  • Free Updates for One Year - With your initial purchase of the Guidebook, you also receive access to free updates for one-full year. The Guidebook is updated with new information every 4 to 6 months, so that you will be able to access the updated information several times during the course of a year for up to one full year after the date of your initial purchase.

  • Free Digest E-Mail Alerts - When you purchase the Guidebook, you will also automatically receive a free subscription to our monthly newsletter - the Medifocus Digest Alert for Chronic Pancreatitis. This is an expertly selected listing of the latest articles published in the medical literature about Chronic Pancreatitis with convenient links to the abstracts of the articles that focus on cutting-edge research, clinical trials, and the latest treatment advances. The Medifocus Digest Alert for Chronic Pancreatitis is automatically delivered straight to your "inbox" monthly and is a valuable resource for keeping up with the latest developments in Chronic Pancreatitis almost as soon as the new information is published in the medical literature.

  • 20% Discount - For a limited time, you can purchase the Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis at a special 20% discount off the regular list price. Your 20% discount will automatically be applied when you go to "Checkout".

  • Risk-Free Satisfaction Guarantee - Your purchase comes with our RISK-FREE satisfaction guarantee. If, for whatever reason, you are not totally satisfied with the content of your Guidebook, simply contact us within 30-days of your purchase for a prompt, full refund. We are so confident that you will be satisfied with your Guidebook that we offer this RISK-FREE satisfaction guarantee unconditionally - no questions and no hassles.

Order Your Copy of the Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis Today!

The Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis (123 pages; last updated June 20, 2017) is available in the following two convenient formats:

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Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis


Updated: June 20, 2017
123 Pages

This one of a kind Guidebook offers:

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What Our Customers Are Saying...

"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I am a 37-year old man with chronic pancreatitis. I didn't know where to start looking for information about this condition on the Internet. Medifocus gave me a great start. The explanations of my illness were very comprehensive and now I can talk better with my doctor about my treatment options."
J.M.W.
Utrecht, Netherlands


"The Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis helped to give me a better understanding of the condition. More than that, my doctor is open-minded and we were better able to converse on the subject. Thank you for providing this valuable information"
W.P.S.
Rubinsonia, Pennsylvania


"I was recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and this book was a lifeline to my family and me. We really did not know what my disease was or what to expect with it. Your Guidebook taught us all of that and more. Thank you so much Medifocus."
D.P.
Mountain Grove, Missouri


 
Medifocus Guidebook on Chronic Pancreatitis

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