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Diagnosis - the pancreas is enlarged
Diagnosis - the pancreas is enlarged

One of the most important organs of the digestive and endocrine systems of the human body is the pancreas. It is located behind the stomach on the back of the abdominal wall, and when a person lies, the organ is directly under the stomach (hence the name - pancreas).

The pancreas is conventionally divided into the head, body and tail.

This organ performs a number of vital functions:

  • Participates in the digestion of protein, carbohydrate and fatty foods;
  • Produces glucagon and insulin;
  • Regulates carbohydrate metabolism;
  • Produces pancreatic juice necessary for normal digestion.

One of the common medical problems faced by both adults and children is an enlarged pancreas. What are the reasons for the enlargement of the organ?

Why is the pancreas enlarged?

An enlarged organ can indicate serious diseases in the body of an adult or a child.

The main danger is that it is impossible to independently identify this pathological process, since it will not be possible to determine the increase during palpation, because the organ is located deep inside the body, and the symptoms are sometimes poorly expressed and the person simply does not pay attention to them.

The pancreas can be enlarged totally when all its parts (head, tail and body) change in size, or locally, when only one part of it is enlarged.

Symptoms of the disease differ depending on which part of the organ is affected. So, if the pancreas enlarges in the head, then the duodenum adjacent to it causes constipation or intestinal obstruction.

The disease also manifests itself with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, pain in the upper abdomen - from a slight burning sensation to excruciating aching. Sometimes pains radiate to the left arm and lower back on the left side. Symptoms of the disease are often expressed by an increase in body temperature, fever. If the disease entails liver damage, the patient is worried about a bitter taste in the mouth, belching, heartburn, diarrhea without impurities.

Acute pancreatitis or exacerbation of chronic pancreatitis can provoke a total enlargement of the organ.

The reasons for this are the following factors:

  • Cystic fibrosis is a genetic systemic hereditary disease;
  • Various injuries of the abdominal region;
  • Heredity;
  • Inflammation of the duodenum, ulcer;
  • Autoimmune diseases;
  • Blood flow disorders;
  • Intoxication due to drug or alcohol intake (liver enlargement);
  • Infectious diseases such as influenza, hepatitis C, sepsis.

The causes of local enlargement of the pancreas can be intestinal diseases or pancreatitis, if the inflammation spreads in a specific area of the organ.

The following reasons can cause an increase in the tail of an organ:

  • An abscess is an accumulation of purulent contents in a capsule;
  • Stones in the ducts;
  • Bulky malignant tumors;
  • Cancer tumor, adenoma;
  • The formation of a tumor (pseudocyst) - a cavity with fluid formed by adjacent tissues;
  • Benign tumors.

The reasons why the head of the organ grows are most often the following problems:

  • A scar or swelling of the duodenal papilla;
  • Stone in the channel;
  • The presence of cancer cells;
  • Inflammatory processes in the duodenum;
  • Pseudocyst.

In a child, the disease can occur at any age, but, as a rule, it manifests itself in young patients at critical periods of life.

Susceptible to pancreatitis, which entails an enlargement of the pancreas, children in such life periods:

  • Complementary feeding in infancy;
  • Teething;
  • Admission to kindergarten and school;
  • Transitional adolescence.

The causes of the onset of an ailment in a child may lie in excessive physical exertion, trunk injuries, food poisoning, the consequences of taking antibiotics, and congenital pathologies.

In both a child and an adult, the cause of the disease is often poor-quality nutrition: significant intervals between meals, the use of a large amount of fatty, smoked, fried, flour products, and the abuse of fast food.


You can find out that the pancreas is enlarged only by a deep examination of the body. If a disease is suspected, the doctor directs the patient for an ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity, prescribes a urine test, a biochemical blood test, and only then prescribes treatment. It is very important to find out the causes of the disease in time.

If a patient complains of symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, fever, he is immediately hospitalized.

Treatment of the disease directly depends on what causes it provoked. For example, if there are stones in the ducts, surgery is indicated. If a tumor is suspected, the patient is referred for a consultation with an oncologist.

Treatment for an enlarged pancreas in a child or adult includes the following methods:

  • Reception of artificial enzymes to improve the functioning of the digestive tract;
  • Taking hormonal drugs and histamine receptor blockers to reduce the secretory activity of the pancreas.

Without fail, in the treatment of the disease, the patient is assigned a special strict diet.

If among the symptoms of the underlying disease there are no disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, the patient is prescribed diet No. 5 (also called the Pevzner diet).

The main principles of the Pevzner diet are:

  • Fractional food. The number of meals should vary from five to six - three main meals and one or two snacks (not dry food);
  • Foods containing pectin and fiber (vegetable stews, low-fat soups, cereals, low-fat dairy products, baked fruits) should dominate the diet;
  • All food should be at the optimum warm temperature. It is strictly forbidden to eat cold and hot dishes;
  • Consumption of solid foods should be kept to a minimum. It is recommended to eat pureed soups, meat in the form of pâté (necessarily - homemade, without spices), slimy porridge, jelly;
  • It is important to strictly limit the amount of fat in the daily menu in favor of protein and carbohydrate foods.

Also, the diet involves a complete rejection of alcohol (including beer), soda, fried, pickled, smoked, spicy foods, fast food. The choice of vegetables and fruits must also be approached selectively - onions, sorrel, garlic, legumes, mushrooms, radishes must be deleted from the diet altogether, since they can cause an increase in the symptoms of the disease. It is also undesirable to consume large amounts of citrus, sour fruits.

The basis of the daily menu should be broths and pureed soups on dietary meat (for example, chicken breast) or vegetables. It is also allowed to eat stewed or boiled fish of low-fat varieties. The amount of dairy products should not exceed 200 ml per day.

Bread is recommended to be eaten a little dried, and flour products should be chosen unpalatable.

Those with a sweet tooth during the treatment period will have to give up factory sweets - sweets, cakes, pastries and eclairs. It is permissible to feast on only healthy sweets - jam, marmalade, marshmallow, honey and marshmallow. However, even such delicacies should not be carried away.

It is necessary to treat the disease only under the strict supervision of a competent doctor, exactly following all his recommendations. It is impossible to use folk remedies for treatment or follow the advice of people who are not specialists, since this can negatively affect the further condition of the patient.

Prevention of an enlarged pancreas

To minimize the likelihood of a disease, it is necessary to give up bad habits - smoking, frequent consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is important to exclude fatty and spicy foods, instant food, dry food from the diet. It is necessary to start treatment of the main causes of an enlarged pancreas on time in order to prevent the appearance of complications.

When the first symptoms occur, you should seek the advice of a therapist as soon as possible, who will diagnose, find out the causes of the disease and prescribe the correct treatment.

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