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Chronic Pancreatitis Diet Plan, Restrictions

Pancreatitis is a condition wherein the patient’s pancreas is inflamed. The various enzymes released by this organ are responsible for digestion of food. When the release of these enzymes is restricted, the patient experiences severe or constant pain in the abdomen as well as nausea, fever, and vomiting. Some other symptoms include oily stool, rapid breathing, low blood pressure, dehydration, rapid pulse, and internal bleeding. Chronic pancreatitis causes include alcohol abuse, diseases such as lupus, hereditary pancreatitis, cystic mutations or fibrosis, and blockage of your pancreatic duct from stones, tumor and trauma.
A chronic pancreatitis diet plan to manage the disease constitutes consuming nothing but healthy and natural ingredients. It is important to follow a chronic pancreatitis diet menu and change your lifestyle, because if not treated in time, pancreatitis can turn into a long-lasting illness. As part of the chronic pancreatitis therapy diet, most dieticians recommend vegetables and fruits. You could eat fresh vegetable or have vegetable juice instead. Vegetables have a high content of enzymes, minerals, and vitamins that help cure pancreatitis. Spinach, for example, has high levels of iron that is good for pancreatitis. If you want to benefit from the chronic pancreatitis therapy diet, make sure you include rice in your daily meals. Salads are also good for inflamed pancreas. You can also eat oatmeal, cereals, and bread at breakfast or while snacking in between meals. Soy based foods are a great antioxidant source, which help prevent further damage to your pancreas. To avoid pancreatitis from a high-protein diet plan make sure you add probiotics in your daily meals. This could include foods such as yoghurt that help regulate digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost your immunity.

Chronic pancreatitis diet restrictions include spicy foods, carbonated drinks, and drinks that contain caffeine such as coffee and tea. It is also advisable that you reduce your consumption of foods with high fat content. This is because the pancreas has to work harder to break down the fat molecules. If you are suffering acute pancreatitis, your diet plan should not be high in carbohydrates, fat and protein, instead eat large helpings of vegetables and fruits for the optimal health of your pancreas.

Chronic Pancreatitis Foods

Here are some foods you should include in you chronic pancreatitis food list.
  • Yogurt is an important food for chronic pancreatitis. The live bacteria present in the yoghurt help keep your digestive system well-balanced and also helps maintain the immunity levels of your body.
  • Vegetable soup is also another great option. A tomato-based soup is recommended as it is high in antioxidants.
  • Spinach makes for an excellent choice as it contains high iron levels. You could either have it as a side dish or a salad base.
  • Blueberries contain antioxidants that help your body fight the free radicals, which worsen your condition.
  • Red wine or red grapes contain an antioxidant called resveratrol and are good for pancreatitis.
  • Eat foods that are high in antioxidants, such as cherries, blueberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, and squash.
  • Include foods high in B-vitamins such as whole grains, sea vegetables, and dark leafy greens.   
  • If you need to have meat, opt for lean cuts. Tofu is a good substitute for meat.
  • Increase your intake of fluids. Drink plenty of water and juices. Drink vegetable soup or light chicken soup regularly.
For those suffering from chronic pancreatitis, foods to avoid include:
  • Avoid refined foods such as pastas, sugar, and white bread.
  • Avoid red meats, if possible.
  • Make sure you avoid margarine and also cut out foods that contain trans fats, such as commercially made cakes, cookies, and doughnuts.
  • There is a connection between chronic pancreatitis and drinking alcohol as well. If you are susceptible to pancreatitis avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid stimulants such as tea and coffee.
  • Other foods that you should avoid are pizza, beans, cheeses, fried foods, butter, and eggs.
  • You should also avoid stimulants such as cigarettes.  
  • In addition to eating the right food for chronic pancreatitis, drink lots of water and have a number of small meals during the day instead of three large meals. If you are suffering from pancreatitis, it is advisable to talk to your health care provider or nutritionist and draw a chronic pancreatitis diet plan.

Chronic Pancreatitis Nutrition

A proper chronic pancreatitis nutrition therapy plan needs to be followed if you want to get relief from pancreatitis. Here are a few chronic pancreatitis nutrition guidelines that you can keep in mind.
  • Eliminate suspected food allergens such as wheat (gluten), dairy (cheese, ice cream, and eggs), soy, corn, chemical food additives, and preservatives.
  • Use healthy oils such as vegetable oil or olive oil for cooking.
  • Reduce significantly or totally cut out foods that contain trans-fatty acids such as crackers, cakes, French fries, doughnuts and onion rings.
  • Check with your day care provider and add multivitamins containing vitamins C, A, E, and B-complex and trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium in your diet.
  • You could also consume omega-3 fatty acids to help improve immunity and decrease inflammation.
  • After doing a chronic pancreatitis nutritional assessment, you can also take vitamin C, 1 to 6 gm daily. You can also take a probiotic and alpha-lipoic supplement.
  • If you have a problem with digestion, try using a vegetable juice extractor and drink vegetable juice instead. Juices are easier to digest than whole vegetables and also allow you to get the required vitamins and nutrients in liquid form.  
  • To sum up, people suffering from pancreatitis should (1) abstain from alcohol, cigarettes, and refined and fatty products including red meat, (2) consume a low fat diet that is replete with vegetables and fruits, and (3) avoid abdominal trauma. Those who have high levels of triglyceride should exercise, lose weight, and avoid medications that increase the levels of triglyceride in the body. Check with your health care provider and take some antioxidant supplementation that is extremely beneficial for patients suffering from pancreatitis. If the pain is continuous and extreme, it is best that you go and see your doctor.
Submitted on January 16, 2014