Specific treatment for pancreatitis will be determined by your doctor based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history.
- Extent of the disease.
- Your tolerance of specific medicines, procedures, or therapies.
- Expectations for the course of the disease.
- Your opinion or preference.
The overall goal for treatment of pancreatitis is to rest the pancreas and allow it to recover from the inflammation.
Treatment may include:
- Hospitalization for observation and intravenous (IV) feeding.
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
- Avoiding alcohol (if the pancreatitis is caused by alcohol abuse).
- Pain management.
- Frequent blood tests (to monitor electrolytes and kidney function).
- No food by mouth for several days.
- Bed rest or light activity only.
- Placement of a nasogastric tube (tube inserted into the nose that ends in the stomach).
Individuals with chronic pancreatitis may also require:
- Enzyme supplements to aid in food digestion.
- Insulin (if diabetes develops).
- Small high-protein meals.
- Medications (for example, H2-blockers) to decrease gastric acid production in the stomach.
Acute pancreatitis is self-limiting, meaning it usually resolves on its own over time. Up to 90 percent of individuals recover from acute pancreatitis without any complications. Chronic pancreatitis may also be self-limiting, but may resolve after several attacks and with a greater risk of developing long-term problems, such as diabetes, chronic pain, diarrhea, ascites, biliary cirrhosis, bile duct obstruction, or pancreatic cancer.