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EllAmster (@ellamster)

Pancreatitis, now what?

Digestive Health | Last Active: May 25 10:45am | Replies (7)

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I'm so sorry you are going through such a stressful situation, but I'm glad you've reached out for help and answers.
I'm going to try and answer most of your questions.
1. Regarding your diet, I strongly suggest that you Google/internet search "Pancreatic Diet" as it's not just about keeping to a low fat diet. We are also to avoid sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol and can only have nuts in small quantities. I bought several cookbooks/
nutritional guides and they have helped immensely. I taped most of the "Do's and Dont's" on a cabinet to help me and the family remember.
2. Diagnosing Pancreatic Cancer can be done with imaging such as a CT or MRI but the definitive test is a Biopsy and alot of cancers can be caught early. Finding the right Gastroenterologist is crucial, reporting your symptoms and requesting testing is the key. Be proactive.
3. New ways to diagnose? Specific Cancer Blood Tests can be done as well as fecal tests to determine if the likihood for cancer is present. Labs are a good starting point.
4. How to avoid another attack?
Staying within the Pancreatic Diet guidelines and avoiding Stress.
5. Does preventing another attack lower your cancer risk? Unfortunately no. It does keep you from experiencing an Acute episode of Pancreatitis which is almost unbearably painful however, but it doesn't change what is happening at the cellular level.
6. Grams of fat in the diet? Ask your GI Doctor what they recommend for you as the amount can be based on your current weight and will be different for everyone. I try to avoid all saturated and Trans fat on a side note.
I hope this helps to ease your mind and I'm happy to answer any further questions you may have. Take care.

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Replies to "@ellamster I'm so sorry you are going through such a stressful situation, but I'm glad you've..."

Thank you so much for your answers! ❤
I did search for pancreas diets, yes, which is how I knew about the fat. But I wasn't sure about the amount. I try to keep this down and could go lower, but as a vegetarian I find that so many replacements have fat in them, more than in lean meat or fish. It's so disappointing.

Nuts – I eat about 30 grams per day. I will tone that down; I only just started with this about 2 months ago, after the attacks.

Fat – I don't eat anything with trans-fat, don't deep-fry et cetera, and don't even use oil to cook; I steam and so on.

My diet is vegetables and fruit, no bread and so on, no added sugar (no 'agave syrup' and all those fancy sugar 'replacements' either). The only fruit I eat is some melon or a bit of apple, or berries. It's about 200 grams per day. Vegetables > about 500/600 grams per day. I season with vinegar and spices, not oil.

I bought fish oil capsules to boost my diet a bit; is this safe? It's saturated since it's from fish 🙁
I was very low in vitamin D, so low that it was almost not present. I got hyper-booster doses and should take the normal dose every day now, but I forget. I will now remember taking it. It's oil-based though, sigh.

Avoiding stress…
This is tricky. I am a survivor of trauma and am still struggling after getting rid of an abusive ex. I have had an accident and something very bad (with a man) happened, after which I decided I'd rather stay alone. I have therapy. But the stress, well, the stress… Being alone also means that I think with 'only my own head' and have to solve everything. I am often nervous, especially since I am the only one 'who can provide'. Financial stress is heavy at the moment.

Thank you for the tips on the blood test and fecal tests. Since I have had diarrhoea since early last year, which was strangely yellow, I was concerned. The GP did nothing with it, each time I told him he said 'Oh well'. Could this be related?
Thank you too for the CT and MRI, and the biopsy tip. I don't know if my GP will allow me to have those. If I explain, well; they are trying to save money. I am not sure what I could tell them to make them understand I need this.