Severe acute pancreatitis is associated with an 8-10% mortality; in older patients, the mortality is as high as 20-25%.
The mortality rate ranges from less than 5 percent to over 30 percent , depending on how severe the condition is and if it has reached other organs beyond the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis is estimated to affect between 4.5 and 35 in every 100,000 individuals per year.
In severe cases where complications develop, there’s a high risk of the condition being fatal. In England, just over 1,000 people die from acute pancreatitis every year. If a person survives the effects of severe acute pancreatitis , it’s likely to be several weeks or months before they’re well enough to leave hospital.
Patients with chronic pancreatitis have a life expectancy that is roughly 8 years shorter than that of the general population.
Patients with severe acute pancreatitis have an average hospital stay of two months, followed by a lengthy recovery period.
In the elderly , AP is most commonly caused by gallstones and results in a higher incidence of organ failure and death. Factors associated with mortality in AP are advanced age, alcohol use, and diabetes, whereas female gender, employment, and co-living were associated with better survival.
During the course of AP, the disease is considered to be severe if 3 or more Ranson’s criteria are observed within 48 h of the onset of the attack, or if 9 or more APACHE II criteria are observed at any time during the course of the disease.
Pain may be relieved by bending over or lying on one side and is usually worsened by food intake. Mainly, acute pancreatitis is self-limiting and will resolve within a week. However, in rare cases mortality will occur in those patients with local complications and organ failure.
Acute pancreatitis usually clears up within one to two weeks. Solid foods are generally avoided for a while in order to reduce the strain on the pancreas . Supportive measures like an infusion (IV drip) to provide fluids and painkillers can help to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
Chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer , a blockage in the pancreatic duct, or cystic fibrosis can also turn your stool yellow. These conditions prevent your pancreas from providing enough of the enzymes your intestines need to digest food.
The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking too much alcohol, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Pancreatitis can also be genetic, or the symptom of an autoimmune reaction. In many cases of acute pancreatitis , the condition is triggered by a blocked bile duct or gallstones.
Drink more fluids. Pancreatitis can cause dehydration, so drink more fluids throughout the day. It may help to keep a water bottle or glass of water with you.
How can you care for yourself at home? Drink clear liquids and eat bland foods until you feel better. Eat a low-fat diet until your doctor says your pancreas is healed. Do not drink alcohol. Be safe with medicines. If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Get extra rest until you feel better.
A few patients with chronic pancreatitis never have pain. Lack of enzymes due to pancreatic damage results in poor digestion and absorption of food, especially fats. Thus, weight loss is characteristic of chronic pancreatitis . Patients may notice bulky smelly bowel movements due to too much fat (steatorrhea).
Summarizing this topic, chronic stress appears as a risk factor to develop pancreatitis by sensitizing the exocrine pancreas through TNF-α, which seems to exert its detrimental effects through different pathways (Figure 2).