Eating a low-fat diet, drinking large amounts of water, quitting smoking if applicable and avoiding alcohol entirely help manage chronic pancreatitis, according to Mayo Clinic. Doctors may prescribe pancreatic enzymes and insulin, and in some cases, they may perform surgery, adds WebMD.
Chronic pancreatitis is challenging to treat, but pancreatic surgery can help reduce the frequency of the flares by removing blockages in the pancreatic duct, facilitating drainage of the enzymes, and alleviating the associated abdominal pain, states WebMD. If gallstones are the causative factor, physicians may recommend surgery to remove the gallbladder, adds Mayo Clinic. Limiting dietary fat and emphasizing high-fiber grains, lean proteins and fresh produce are often helpful as well as taking pancreatic enzyme tablets with each meal to help the body digest foods and metabolize nutrients.
During severe pancreatitis attacks, patients may require hospitalization and a period of fasting, reports Mayo Clinic. If pain occurs while transitioning back to a normal diet, use of a feeding tube ensures nutritional needs are met. Pancreatitis causes dehydration, thus patients often receive intravenous fluids during a hospital stay to replenish fluids. While alternative therapies are not treatments for pancreatitis, modalities such as meditation, massage, deep breathing and yoga can help pancreatitis sufferers manage pain levels.