Fibrosis (sclerosis) of the pancreas: symptoms and treatment
Fibrosis (sclerosis) of the pancreas is a complex process, characterized by the replacement of full and functional cells of this organ with a connective tissue. The gland itself consists of two types of tissues, which are different in type — they are parenchyma and stroma. Stroma is a kind of framework of this organ, and the parenchyma is formed, they produce hormones and pancreatic juice. If the iron for a long time is affected by adverse factors, it will lead to the irreversible death of its cells.
Affected cells gradually change to connective tissue. If the glandular tissue of the organ is replaced by scar tissue, fibrosis develops. If cells replace fatty tissue, then this pathological process in medicine is called lipomatosis.
Often a condition develops when the affected parts of the pancreatic parenchyma are simultaneously replaced by scar and fat tissue. In this situation, lipofibrosis develops. Its occurrence is more typical for patients suffering from diabetes mellitus. This is due to the fact that the development of lipofibrosis leads to a metabolic disorder.
Fibrosis is a dangerous condition, as its progression leads to a disruption in the functioning of the organ. The fact is that connective tissue does not have the ability to produce neither hormones nor enzymes. In addition, both fibrosis and lipomatosis are processes that can not be reversed. If they have a place to be, then the affected glandular tissue is not possible to restore. In some cases, connective tissue can grow rapidly, which leads to the formation of a tumor.
Fibrous changes in the gland can be triggered by the presence of the following diseases in the body:
- pancreatitis in acute or chronic form
- epidemic parotitis;
- Systemic scleroderma
- inaccuracies in the diet;
- long-term use of certain groups of synthetic medicines
- smoking and drinking alcohol
- pathology of the bile ducts
- blood supply disorders of the body
- Cystic fibrosis.
Separately it is necessary to distinguish cystic fibrosis or cystic fibrosis of the pancreas. Most often, it is this hereditary disease that causes the progression of fibrous changes in the gland in children. Pathology is manifested by hypersecretion of mucus in the pancreas. Its consistence is thick, which complicates the normal outflow. As a result, cysts of various sizes are formed in the parenchyma, inside are filled with dense exudate. Pancreatic fibrosis is a dangerous disease that requires adequate and timely treatment, because without it complications that are dangerous for the health and life of the patient can develop.
Fibrotic changes in the gland can have quite extensive symptoms and in many respects the symptoms depend on the ailment that provoked their development. It is important to notice the first signs of the development of pathology in time to begin treatment as early as possible and prevent the development of complications.
If fibrotic changes have developed against a background of exacerbation, then among the main symptoms can be identified as follows:
- vomiting after eating large amounts of fatty or fried foods
- Herpes zoster. In some cases, it can be localized in the left hypochondrium. It can be aching or paroxysmal;
- A person changes his chair. There are pieces of undigested food in it.
If fibrotic changes have occurred against a background of a chronic process, then often the manifestations of fibrosis can be erased. In some cases, the following symptoms are noted:
- losing weight;
- Impairment of appetite
- a person can feel a heaviness in the stomach, the appearance of which does not depend on the intake of food
- pain in the left hypochondrium. This symptom occurs in rare cases.
Fibrous changes can be detected using modern diagnostic methods. For an accurate diagnosis, use:
- Instrumental methods;
- laboratory research
- Functional tests
It is worth noting that in the early stages of development of changes in the tissues of the organ, clinical symptoms are not expressed or even completely absent. In this case, it is best to resort to laboratory analyzes. Thanks to them, it is possible to detect a decrease in the production of enzymes — amylase, lipase and lactase. But the most important and informative method is ultrasound. With its help, it is possible to detect diffuse changes in the gland tissues even in the early stages.
Fibrosis does not have its own specific treatment. There are no medical devices that could turn the connective tissue back into the parenchyma of the gland. All the methods of therapy are aimed only at improving the overall condition of the patient. Treatment is carried out both in a hospital and at home.
It is important to observe the right diet, because in this state of the gland function is disturbed and digestion is difficult. From the diet completely eliminated fatty foods, marinades, meat broths, pickles, smoked food, spicy seasonings. Take food is necessary in small and small portions. This will help reduce the burden on the pancreas. Diet is one of the most important therapies in the therapy of fibrosis.
Medication therapy includes the following groups of drugs:
- Digestive enzymes
Surgical intervention as a method of treatment is used only if the fibrous tissue has degenerated into a tumor. If it starts to grow intensively, then it is removed. But this method of treatment is used in extremely rare cases.