The pancreas is a large gland which is situated behind our stomach. It the pancreas which secretes insulin and glucagon in our bloodstream. These hormones are secreted through islets of Langerhans. Pancreatitis is the condition where the pancreas suffers from inflammation. The severity of pancreatitis can differ from low to high. If the pancreatitis is high, surgery is performed. If you are diagnosed with pancreatitis, you need to change your diet. There are foods to eat and avoid and lifestyle to follow.
Understand the importance of pancreas, it secretes insulin, the hormone which is responsible for carrying glucose to our organs through our bloodstream. If there is a disturbance in the process, it will disrupt our body and our blood sugar level will rise. Pancreatitis can occur due to a bad lifestyle, alcohol abuse, smoking, and bad genes. In pancreatitis, our digestive system becomes incapable of properly absorbing nutrients and digesting food.
Pancreatitis is divided into two major types, acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is very painful, the patient will feel sudden surges of abdominal pain. When the patient eats meals, the pain increases right after. If acute pancreatitis persists after many days, surgery is needed. The symptoms of acute pancreatitis are nausea, inability to digest, fever, should and back pain, vomiting, and pain after meals.
Chronic pancreatitis damages the pancreas in a different way than acute pancreatitis, the pain is not as dark as acute pancreatitis, but you suffer from ductal inflammation, calcification, and fibrosis. These conditions imply that your pancreas has stopped doing its job. It makes us vulnerable to liver problems, diabetes, malnutrition, and anaemia. The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are nausea, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, sudden and drastic weight loss, and dehydration. The pain is less than of acute pancreatitis.
How to follow the Pancreatitis diet?
The first step you need to take is to quit alcohol and smoking. Drinking should be done when your body can take it, pancreatitis is not one of these situations. Switch to a low-fat diet, fat is difficult to digest, you need to eat food which is easily digested. Also, a fat-rich diet promotes inflammation. Add medium-chain triglycerides, coconut is one such food. Do not eat three full meals a day, instead take six small meals per day. Eat boiled vegetables, mashing them is preferable. Eat calcium and iron-rich diet, spinach is the best food for this. You will need to take supplements of Vitamin A, D, E, and B12. Do consult your doctor before taking supplements, they know which ones are the best.
What to eat?
If you are eating vegetables try cauliflower, carrots, cucumber, sweet potato, spinach and beetroots. I talked about consuming medium-chain triglycerides, coconut, yoghurt, coconut oil, and milk are the items you need to eat. If you are eating fruits eat apples, pineapples, cherries, and blueberries. For consuming protein only eat lentils, beans, and lean meats. If you are in the mood for some whole grains you can have white rice, barley, or oats. In terms of beverages, coconut water, water, buttermilk, and strained fruit juice are the best. Do consult once with your doctor before taking on this diet, if something is to be eliminated or added they will let you know.
What not to eat?
Fat-rich foods like avocado, lard, dried coconut, butter, and cheese. Do not eat fruits with peels. Even if you are eating an apple, peel it before you eat. Cut back on sodium-rich food like chips, and processed meat. If you eat beef or pork, avoid them. You should also not eat mayonnaise, packaged fruit juices, soda drinks, and energy drinks. Pizza, fried chicken, and french fries are also a big no. Doughnut, cake, pastries, and ice cream should also be avoided as they promote inflammation.
I am repeating it again but is important to mention quit drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Walk thirty minutes a day and drink at least three litres of water per day. Eat only home-cooked food, and avoid any food items that promote inflammation. Meditation is an excellent option for you to try. Combination of all these foods and lifestyle changes will help you defeat pancreatitis.