Pancreatitis needs to be treated promptly. Untreated pancreatitis can lead to serious complications. Standard treatments for pancreatitis include fasting, which is done generally for few days to prevent pancreatic stimulation, and inflammation. Large volumes of intravenous fluids are usually the mainstay of therapy and pain analgesics are also commonly used. Once the inflammation starts to settle, a diet is gradually introduced. If there is any evidence of pancreatic infection or necrosis, then antibiotics may be warranted. In cases of biliary pancreatitis, where the cause is due to an obstructed gallstone, then another procedure known as an ERCP is required. This is where an instrument is introduced to the small intestine to dislodge or remove a stone. In cases of pancreatic necrosis, then debridement may be necessary to remove the dead tissue. In cases of symptomatic pseudocysts, drainage via endoscopy or a surgical approach may be warranted. In cases of chronic pancreatitis with diarrhea and malabsorption, then we generally give pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy to help with digestion and absorption. Sometimes malabsorption may also lead to vitamin deficiencies of the fat soluble vitamins, which include vitamin A, D, E and K.
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