The pancreas, located behind the stomach, secretes insulin and several digestive enzymes. This important organ of the human body might swell due to several reasons.
Inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis develops from certain viral infections such as rubella, mumps and hepatitis. High levels of triglyceride, abdominal injury and intake of certain medications could lead to this condition.
Chronic pancreatitis usually occurs due to heavy drinking. Gallstones are often associated with acute pancreatitis.
Acute pancreatitis might subside naturally with sufficient rest and pain relief medications. However, people prone to pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis patients should modify their diet to prevent recurrence of this painful pancreatic disorder.
Cutting the fat and sugar content in the daily diet and avoiding alcohol could cure this disease naturally. High triglyceride level in the blood worsens the symptoms of the pancreatitis.
By eliminating saturated fats, such as butter, high fat dairy products and red meat, people with pancreatitis could lower the triglyceride level in the blood.
Foods containing hydrogenated fats and trans fats are also unsafe for pancreatitis patients. Foods served in the fast food joints are the richest sources of unhealthy fats. However, polyunsaturated fats found in fish oil, walnuts and flaxseed oil could be included in the pancreatitis diet.
Fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids supplements are often prescribed for treating inflammation of the pancreas. Healthy vegetable oils could be used for cooking.
Pancreatitis patients are encouraged to add antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. Studies have shown that low levels of antioxidants in the body might lead to chronic pancreatitis.
The harmful effect of the free radicals on the health of the pancreas could be halted by eating blueberries, tomatoes, cherries, bell pepper and red grapes. Leafy green vegetables are essential for preventing deficiency of key nutrients.
Chronic pancreatitis increases the risk of deficiency of vitamins A, B12, C and E. These vitamins are present in adequate quantities in dark leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, whole grains and fruits.
Unsweetened low fat yogurt and probiotic supplements could improve the gastrointestinal health of pancreatitis sufferers. Multivitamin, alpha-lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q10 and resveratrol supplements could treat nutritional deficiency and improve the antioxidant level in the blood.