Your pancreas is a vital yet often overlooked organ. It does not get the same recognition as your liver, kidneys, or even bladder, yet it serves functions that are just as important. Without the enzymes produced by your pancreas, digesting food would be difficult or even impossible. Without the insulin created by the pancreas, you would not be able to control your blood sugar.

Because of the pancreas’ importance, any reduction in function can be detrimental to your health. Pancreatitis is one such condition, and it can be both painful and debilitating. If left untreated, it can be deadly.


What Is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is defined as an inflammation of the pancreas. It usually begins suddenly, with little to no warning. This is called acute pancreatitis, or short-term pancreatitis. The condition can be very painful and may include a wide range of conditions that reduce your quality of life, including fever and vomiting. In some cases, acute pancreatitis will resolve itself (with or without treatment). However, in other cases, it will slowly progress, becoming what’s called chronic pancreatitis.

In this situation, your health situation becomes more tenuous. The enzymes that your pancreas produces for digestion stop flowing. Not only does that lead to digestive trouble, but it causes a backup within the pancreas itself. The enzymes cause pain and the build-up leads to scarring. If the build-up lasts too long, the enzymes will eventually destroy the pancreas.

Not infrequently narcotic (opioid) medications are used to control pain caused by pancreatitis. This is an unfortunate treatment as chronic use of opioids causes spasm and dryness of the pancreatic ducts which, in turn, compromises pancreatic drainage and increases inflammation, promoting more pain. Giving more pain medication for the increased pain causes more damage to the pancreas creating a vicious cycle of the disease.


What Are the Symptoms of Pancreatitis?

While all patients with pancreatitis will suffer from a number of different symptoms, those will vary depending on the severity of the condition and whether you have acute or chronic pancreatitis. For instance, acute pancreatitis usually presents with pain in the upper abdomen that sometimes radiates to your back, as well as feeling worse after you eat. You may have a fever, and you may feel that your pulse is racing. You may vomit, and the abdomen may feel tender to the touch.

In contrast, those suffering from chronic pancreatitis may notice upper abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss. Oily stools that smell very bad are another sign that you have chronic pancreatitis.

Even with treatment, pancreatitis can lead to a number of complications. Infection is one of the most common, as is malnutrition as your body is unable to absorb the nutrients it needs from food. Diabetes can result, as can kidney failure, breathing problems, and even pancreatic cancer.


What Causes Pancreatitis?

The actual cause of pancreatitis is activation of digestive enzymes while they are still in the pancreas. This causes irritation, damage, and then scarring. Repeated instances of acute pancreatitis usually lead to chronic pancreatitis due to the formation of scar tissue and a corresponding reduction in pancreas function.

There are numerous reasons for the premature activation of digestive enzymes. One of the most common causes is the presence of gallstones in the gallbladder. However, alcoholism is another common cause. Some medications can cause this, as can smoking cigarettes. Those with a family history of pancreatitis are at a higher risk, as are those with cystic fibrosis. Pancreatic cancer can also cause these symptoms, as can high blood calcium levels or high triglyceride levels.


What Are the Current Treatment Methods for Pancreatitis?

For most patients, the first step toward treatment is a trip to the hospital to deal with the abdominal pain and other symptoms. Your doctor will likely provide you with pain medication and fluids via an IV drip. You will also be required to stop eating for a couple of days. This gives your pancreas a chance to rest and begin healing.

After your symptoms are under control, your doctor may recommend a number of different treatments depending on your specific situation. You may need bile duct obstructions removed, or you could require gallbladder surgery. If you struggle with alcoholism, you may need treatment for dependence. In some situations, pancreas surgery may be necessary to drain fluid and to remove dying or scar tissue.

Pain management will be necessary for those with chronic pancreatitis, and it may be necessary to take digestive enzyme supplements and make changes to your diet.


Who Is at Risk for Pancreatitis?

Those most at risk for developing pancreatitis – either acute or (eventually) chronic – are smokers and heavy drinkers. If you have uncontrolled triglyceride levels, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, high blood calcium levels or take specific medications, you may also be at an increased risk for this disease.


How Might Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy Help Treat Pancreatitis?

Stem cells are the building blocks of all types of body tissues, from blood vessels to bones to organs. They are present in the body from initial formation in the womb until death, although they do suffer from reduced function as the body ages. These cells are being heavily studied for their healing and regenerative capabilities, including for patients with chronic pancreatitis.

Mesenchymal stem cells used to treat induced acute and chronic pancreatitis by reducing necrosis, inflammation, oedema and pain.

Regenerative Stem cell therapy shows immense promise for treating both acute and chronic pancreatitis.

What are the top Benefits of Non-surgical Regenerative Treatments?

With so many options out there, you may be wondering what benefits choosing Non-surgical Regenerative Treatments provides.  Over all Regenerative treatments are minimally invasive, non-surgical same day procedures with no risk of rejection, minimal recovery time and minimal worry. You are fully awake and ready to go home within a few hours after injections in the affected area.


Here are the top benefits to be aware of:

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Avoid surgery and its risks and many complications

Regenerative Therapy is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure, which gives patients an alternative to painful surgery and lengthy recovery. The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting and only takes a few hours. No general anaesthesia is required and most patients don’t need post-operative pain medication. Also, patients typically return to work within a week or two (unless told otherwise by the doctor) and they resume physical activity much faster than after invasive hip surgery.


Minimal post-procedural recovery time

One of the most time consuming factors of any injury is not always the treatment itself, but actually the recovery time. With Regenerative therapies, there is far less risk involved than surgery and recovery time is much shorter compared to surgery.


No use of general anaesthesia

Do you not like the way general anaesthesia makes your feel? Or do you simply get anxious at the thought of being put under? Regenerative therapy may be just what you need as it does not require the use of general anaesthesia. It provides a safe increasingly effective non-surgical alternative to treating medical conditions using the body’s own natural ability to repair itself without the use of medication.


Same day procedure

The best part, after comprehensive examination and review of your case, blood tests & radio-imaging scans are done to establish a baseline for your pre-existing condition, is that our Regenerative Therapies are a non-invasive treatment and an outpatient same day procedure, where the Consultant will decide which line of Regenerative Therapy is most suited to your case. In certain cases it may be a combination of more than one treatment protocol. For some patients however, the complete protocol is a series of injections in several treatment sessions.


Safe procedures with No risk of rejection and No communicable disease transmission

Your immune system has no reason to attack your cells and there is no risk of contracting a transmittable infectious disease from a donor patient also. In fact, studies thus far have indicated no safety issues with fat-derived autologous (from self) cells. Because they are your own cells, the risk of rejection is eliminated.

The increased risk of heart attack, as found to be associated with hip replacement surgery, is not present with Regenerative therapies, either. Like any procedure, there is a minute risk of infection at the sample collection and at the hip injection site. To minimize that risk the procedure is carried out under strict sterile conditions.

Am I a candidate for the Medica Institute Regenerative therapies?

In general, Regenerative Medica Institute Regenerative Therapies can be utilised by anyone, regardless of the age, race, or gender. However, in order to determine if you are a good candidate and will benefit the most from Regenerative treatment, you will need to schedule an appointment with our Clinic to have an assessment done by our Consultant, who will review your medical records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for our therapy. The choice of treatment is then at the discretion of the Consultant and is based on your unique case.


Regenerative Therapy may help patients who don’t respond to typical drug treatment, want to reduce their reliance on medication, or are looking for safe treatment alternatives. Regenerative treatments are not suitable for all conditions and all patients. The consultant will be able to advise if you are a suitable candidate.

Your first step to exploring your treatment options is scheduling a consultation with our Consultant. To do so call us on 020 8168 2000 or alternatively book a consultation online or request a call back today!