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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What are the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis?

I think i may have pancreatitis. I have multiple symptoms -greasy, dark, foul smelling stool. Abdominal pain that can even wake me up in my sleep, kind of like my guts feel twisted. Nausea and vomiting daily. Often just dry heaving though- and have been drinking heavily for 7+ years. I read it can come on suddenly. I am 23, am i too young to have pancreatitis? Could these symptoms be something else? I read it can be caused by excessive alcohol use- and i do drink heavily and daily.
Tue, 6 Sep 2016
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Internal Medicine Specialist 's  Response
The most common symptoms of pancreatitis are:
-nausea
-vomiting
-abdominal pain, especially epigastric
-constipation

The most common causes are:
-Alcohol
-Gall stones
-trauma/surgery
-High triglycerides
-medications

It is very possible for you to have pancreatitis; however, your history of dark, foul, greasy stool sounds more like a gastrointestinal issue such as a peptic ulcer, gastritis, or perforation. Most people with pancreatitis will have some degree of constipation. Dark stools are usually an indication of bloody stools. Blood is a very powerful laxative, which will cause you to have foul, greasy stools because the fats are not being absorbed. However, you may have some degree of pancreatitis with you gastrointestinal issue which can worse the absorption of foods. Alcohol abuse can cause both: gastrointestinal issues and pancreatitis.

I would recommend:
-Avoid excess alcohol consumption
-tobacco cessation
-routine screening blood work for metabolic diseases and pancreatitis disease
-clear liquid diet that is low fat, low sugar
-CT scan abdomen or ultrasound
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