Pancreatitis

I recently was hospitalized for severe acute pancreatitis. I was hospitalized for close to three weeks, on the ventilator for two weeks in an induced medical coma. I lost over ten pounds. This morning I weighed 96 pounds (I am 5'5''). I am told to eat low fat and high protein and lots of fruit and veggies. The problem is, I can't eat much without my stomach getting bloated and hurting (aftermath of the pancreatitis) that will last for a while. It is frustrating because the foods that don't take up a lot of room in my stomach, are high in protein and satiate me...are typically healthy fats like peanut butter, nuts, avocado, etc...which I can't eat. Anyway, just wondering if anyone has gone through anything similar. Thank you.

Replies

  • ronjsteele1
    ronjsteele1 Posts: 1,064 Member
    I had severe acute pancreatitis when I was 13 weeks pregnant with my last child. I had significant pancreas damage and became an instant gestational diabetic. Once I was out of danger and out of the hospital there were no restrictions put on me dietarily other then those given for gestational diabetes in general. I would question your doctor about this reasoning. Fat does not cause pancreatitis. Fat can be a problem for those that have their gallbladder removed. I would push back and discuss this with your doctor because the restrictions they are suggesting make no sense if this was truly acute pancreatitis.
  • GretaGirl8
    GretaGirl8 Posts: 274 Member
    I had severe acute pancreatitis when I was 13 weeks pregnant with my last child. I had significant pancreas damage and became an instant gestational diabetic. Once I was out of danger and out of the hospital there were no restrictions put on me dietarily other then those given for gestational diabetes in general. I would question your doctor about this reasoning. Fat does not cause pancreatitis. Fat can be a problem for those that have their gallbladder removed. I would push back and discuss this with your doctor because the restrictions they are suggesting make no sense if this was truly acute pancreatitis.

    Ummmm, actually what you're say is inaccurate. The pancreas has TWO functions: To assist in regulating blood glucose levels AND it releases digestive enzymes to help with food digestion. Two causes of pancreatitis (and there are others) can be excessive alcohol consumption and eating foods high in fat, which can trigger an event. The reason her provider is telling her to decrease her fatty food/fat intake is because fat can, and does, cause an excessive increase in enzyme production (from the pancreas), causing inflammation and may eventually lead to the pancreas basically starting to attack and breakdown itself. Her system needs a break to heal and settle. At this point, eating a fatty diet (or unfortunately maybe even a normal diet under other circumstances) is like throwing gas on a fire you want to put out.

    Trying to keep it basic physiology here, but true none the less. What the OP was told by her healthcare team is the same recommendations my patients would get. While I'm an RN (working on my DNP in Family Medicine), I've seen many patients through the years given the same advice as the OP. And she should follow it...AND have this conversation with her doctor to determine if another option is more appropriate or sustainable if she is struggling.

    Your experience may be more unique and is your own. I do agree with you to always question your providers if you don't understand something. It is important to advocate for yourself. But please be mindful that what I'm hearing you say in your post regarding "push back" and "doesn't make sense...not a true acute pancreatitis", may also be misinterpreted by the OP (and others for that matter) as medical advice. This could potentially put her at further risk as Acute Pancreatitis is a very serious medical condition. When in reality, it is your opinion. Many medical professionals would say this is textbook acute pancreatitis...and their treatment or recommendations would be the same low fat, bland diet.

    OP, please discuss this with your doctor. Acute Pancreatitis is not something to mess around with as I'm sure you are very aware of. Ask about low fat nutritional supplement/shake options as a way to supplement your nutrition until you are able to take in more. Good luck to you. <3

    Thank you JustKeepSwimming for your response and thank you to everyone who responded. Yes, the concern is that fat causes the increase in enzyme production which may trigger an attack. I have an MRI this weekend to check the status of my healing. After which I will hear back from my doctor and will ask him a few more questions on my nutrition. At this point, it is unclear what caused the severe attack. The MRI will help determine if gallstones are the issue. The ER did CT scans and didn't see any gallstones, but apparently CT scans are not as detailed as an MRI. There is also some concern my medication (Wellbutrin) may be linked. Needless to say, my doctor took me off of it. Regardless, it looks like whatever the cause (though important to discover) the advice post-attack is the same for the most part: high protein, low fat, no alcohol and if you have high blood sugar--watch that.

  • Dancingrrl
    Dancingrrl Posts: 3 Member
    Hi there! I was hospitalized in February with my first ever case of acute pancreatitis. I have been searching for the same answers as you!. I have completely changed my diet and am doing small meals throughout the day but I often find myself with the hungry but cant eat much conundrum. There seems to be allot of info out there on how to eat after pancreatitis but not as much about what life is like after. For example, are you having fatigue issues? I downloaded this app to help track everything I am eating and found I was at a calorie deficit which could explain some of the fatigue but I am not sure what is normal anymore lol. Anyhow, I hope you area feeling better. It was certainly a strong motivator to make changes because I never want to feel that kind of pain again.
  • GretaGirl8
    GretaGirl8 Posts: 274 Member
    Dancingrrl wrote: »
    Hi there! I was hospitalized in February with my first ever case of acute pancreatitis. I have been searching for the same answers as you!. I have completely changed my diet and am doing small meals throughout the day but I often find myself with the hungry but cant eat much conundrum. There seems to be allot of info out there on how to eat after pancreatitis but not as much about what life is like after. For example, are you having fatigue issues? I downloaded this app to help track everything I am eating and found I was at a calorie deficit which could explain some of the fatigue but I am not sure what is normal anymore lol. Anyhow, I hope you area feeling better. It was certainly a strong motivator to make changes because I never want to feel that kind of pain again.

    yes, lots of fatigue. Partly due to the three weeks bedridden. partly due to having lost 10 pounds in the hospital putting me under 100 pounds. partly due to some depression over it all.