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Stones in the pancreas
Stones in the pancreas

Stones in the pancreas have been diagnosed quite often in recent years. A couple of decades ago, X-ray examination could reveal only large stones. Today, computed tomography allows you to see even small stones. Only an experienced doctor can identify calculi based on diagnostic procedures. But the symptoms of pancreatolithiasis (the medical name of the pathology) can be confused with signs of other diseases.

Causes of the formation of stones in the pancreas

To date, doctors have not yet been able to find all the reasons for the development of pathology. However, some risk factors have already been identified. These include:

  • cholecystitis, duodenitis;
  • improper nutrition;
  • metabolic disease;
  • cholelithiasis;
  • tumors, cysts, edema, inflammation in the abdominal organs;
  • disorders of the parathyroid glands;
  • smoking and frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages.

These factors lead to thickening of the pancreas, as a result of which calcium salts are formed in the pancreas.

Signs and symptoms

Specific symptoms depend on the location of the calculi and the degree of development of the inflammatory process.

At the place of localization, there are:

  • the formation of stones in the ducts of the pancreas;
  • diffuse arrangement of stones in the pancreatic parenchyma.

Most often, formations appear in large ducts and in the region of the head of the pancreas. At the beginning of the formation of stones, the symptoms of pancreatitis are manifested. Pain in the pancreas can be dull or colicky, short-term or long-term.

In the medical literature, the following symptoms of pancreatolithiasis are distinguished:

  • burning girdle pain in the abdomen, radiating to the back or under the scapula (constant or paroxysmal);
  • vomiting mixed with bile;
  • a large amount of fat in the stool;
  • increased salivation;
  • epigastric pain on palpation of the abdomen;
  • yellowness of the skin.

As the disease progresses, the patient may be diagnosed with diabetes. This condition is characterized by symptoms such as progressive weight loss, wasting, and general fatigue.

The symptoms of pancreatolithiasis are similar to those of gallstone disease and gastric ulcer.

If the pancreas contains calculi, complications such as chronic pancreatitis, abscesses, and pancreatic cysts can occur. To make the correct diagnosis, the patient needs to undergo a physical examination, which includes performing X-ray, tomography and ultrasound examination of the stomach.

Conservative treatment of pancreatic stones

Drug therapy is used if:

  • stones are small;
  • the patient does not have diabetes mellitus;
  • colicky abdominal pain is rare.

Such drugs are capable of dissolving stones in the pancreas:


It dilutes bile and promotes the destruction of calculi that are not detected by X-ray examination. Their diameter should be less than twenty millimeters.

Adults take one capsule in the morning and two capsules in the evening. If diarrhea occurs, the dose must be reduced.

The duration of treatment depends on the course of the disease, the size of the calculi and the tolerability of the drug.

Chenodiol should not be used in such cases:

  • high content of calcium salts in stones;
  • frequent biliary colic;
  • cirrhosis of the liver;
  • inflammation of the bile ducts;
  • chronic hepatitis;
  • pregnancy.


Adults take the drug at a dose of 10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, once in the evening. The duration of the process of dissolving stones during treatment with Ursodiol is from six months to two years.

If a year after the start of using the drug, the patient's condition has not improved, you need to stop taking it.

Contraindications to the use of Ursodiol are:

  • acute cholecystitis,
  • gastritis,
  • cirrhosis of the liver,
  • severe kidney disease
  • period of pregnancy.

Diet for pancreatolithiasis

Diet for calcifications in the pancreas is one of the aspects of treatment. You need to eat small meals six times a day. Foods that contribute to flatulence and constipation should be excluded from the diet. Food should be rich in essential vitamins and minerals. The daily requirement of proteins in pancreatolithiasis is one hundred and twenty grams, fat - eighty grams, and carbohydrates - three hundred grams. The daily dose of table salt is limited to ten grams. Fried, spicy and pickled foods should be excluded from the diet. You also need to forget about pastries, cakes and alcoholic beverages.

With pancreatolithiasis, nutritionists recommend using boiled buckwheat. It does not overload the diseased organ and saturates it with iron. You need to cook buckwheat porridge in water without adding salt. Pancreatolithiasis is treated with unrefined buckwheat, as it contains all the necessary beneficial properties.

It is also recommended to include in the diet:

  • vegetable puree soups;
  • cereal soups made from rice, oatmeal, semolina and buckwheat;
  • wheat bread of yesterday's baking;
  • lean meats (veal, rabbit, chicken, beef, turkey);
  • low-fat fish (perch, carp, pike, pike perch);
  • protein omelet;
  • fresh homemade cottage cheese, low-fat kefir;
  • butter (up to thirty grams per day);
  • boiled vegetables (pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, zucchini, young beans, green peas, beets, cauliflower);
  • compotes from dry fruits, jelly, jelly;
  • rosehip broth.

The list of prohibited foods for the presence of stones in the pancreas includes:

  • fat meat;
  • sausages;
  • canned food;
  • smoked meats;
  • fatty fish;
  • garlic, mustard, onion, mushrooms, vinegar;
  • coffee, chocolate, cocoa, black tea;
  • white cabbage, lettuce, sorrel, turnip, radish;
  • flour products;
  • carbonated and alcoholic drinks.

Treatment with a diet can help avoid bouts of pain in pancreatolithiasis and reduce the rate of stone growth. First of all, it is necessary to reduce the calorie content of the diet. Eating a lot of food can trigger an attack of pain.

Non-surgical treatment of pancreatolithiasis

The following non-surgical methods will help get rid of stones in the pancreas:

  • ESWL (extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy). It is the most gentle method of treating pancreatolithiasis. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. The stones are crushed to a powdery state using sound waves, after which they are removed from the pancreas with an endoscope. The procedure lasts no more than an hour. Stop taking blood thinners a few days before ESWL. You should also quit smoking.;
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography). The patient swallows a long flexible tube with a camera in order to detect stones in the pancreas. The small stones are then removed using an endoscope.

Treatment with folk remedies

Folk recipes will help to relieve severe symptoms in the chronic course of pancreatolithiasis and even dissolve calculi:

  • A tablespoon of chopped barberry bark is steamed with a glass of boiling water and kept at slow heating for a quarter of an hour. Filter the broth and take a tablespoon three times a day;
  • The burdock root is ground and steamed in half a liter of boiling water 2 tablespoons of powder. After 3 hours, it is filtered off and drunk during the day, half an hour before meals.
  • A teaspoon of chopped blueberry leaves is steamed in a glass of boiling water and infused for 45 minutes. It is necessary to drink the infusion during the day, taking a sip.
  • Mix 20 g of Icelandic moss and a glass of apple cider vinegar. Insist for 2 days, filter and take for two weeks a teaspoon of infusion, previously diluted in a glass of warm water.
  • A teaspoon of crushed dandelion roots are mixed with 3 teaspoons of mint. The mixture is boiled for 7 minutes in half a liter of water and insisted for 30 minutes. Take 50 ml before meals.

Disease prevention

Healthy people rarely think about stone prevention. But any disease is easier to prevent than to cure. Gastroenterologists advise adhering to these rules in everyday life:

  • eat right;
  • use rosehip, blueberry and lingonberry tea;
  • do not overeat;
  • give up bad habits.

There are no radical ways to prevent pancreatolithiasis. It is possible to reduce the likelihood of calculus in the pancreas by following a diet and timely elimination of inflammation in the abdominal organs. Remember that when the first symptoms appear, you need to consult a gastroenterologist.

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