Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, and it may be chronic or acute. An acute attack is characterized by severe pains in the abdominal region, whereas chronic pancreatitis is a condition that progressively results in permanently damaging the pancreatic tissues. Constant acute attacks often lead to chronic ones.
Diet for Pancreatitis
Doctors always suggest patients to consume a low fat diet, which also controls the blood sugar. Alcohol addiction also needs to be treated if it is the cause. Moreover, patients with pancreatitis due to increased levels of triglyceride should exercise to reduce weight.
Pancreatitis patients should consume a bland diet, which means that the food consumed must be low in dietary fibers, soft, should be properly cooked, and must not be spicy. Fatty and fried foods must be avoided. Diet for pancreatitis must also comprise of foods that have digestive enzymes. For example, pineapples, papayas, etc.
Foods to Include
Foods for pancreatitis must include sprouts, raw vegetables, seeds, and nuts. Simple sugars must be avoided. Instead, complex carbohydrates can be consumed in place of them. Some of the foods to include for adequate nutrition are as follows:
- Consume vitamin B and iron rich foods like whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, and sea vegetables.
- Antioxidant foods that include fruits like cherries, berries, and tomatoes and vegetables like bell pepper and squash.
- Olive oil or healthy cooking oil must be used.
- Increase consumption of lean meat, tofu, beans, etc.
- Include wheat flour, wheat pasta and brown bread or other whole grains in your diet.
Some of the herbs that must be included in foods for pancreatitis are
- Green tea, approximately 500 mg per day, as it is a great antioxidant.
- Holy basil, around 400 mg per day, as it is an antioxidant protector.
- Rhodiola, 300 mg thrice a day, as it is good for the immune system.
- Reishi mushroom, around 300 mg thrice a day, as it is good for immunity and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Acupuncture a possible treatment for pancreatitis as it helps in relieving pain. Early diagnosis of pancreatitis is very essential and can improve the chances of saving the patient’s life.
Foods to Avoid
Some foods are the causes of pancreatitis or may worsen an existing condition. Below is a list of such foods that must be avoided.
- Avoid food allergens (dairy products, wheat, corn, chemical food additives, preservatives, etc.)
- Reduce consumption of red meat
- Eliminate trans-fatty acids, which are usually found in baked foods like cookies and cakes
- Avoid white flour, white pasta, and white rice
- Refrain from consuming oily and fatty foods
- Avoid spicy foods
Diet after Pancreatitis
The post pancreatitis foods must also be low in fat content, so that the same condition does not recur. Some of the recommendations are listed as follows:
- Restrict poultry and fish to around 6 oz. a day. Skin and excess fat must be eliminated from the meat before consuming it. Lean beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, shellfish can be eaten.
- Dairy products must be avoided; however, skim milk should be consumed. Low fat or no fat cheese, buttermilk, and milk powder can be consumed.
- Restrict consumption of starches and bread. Baked foods should be preferred over fried ones.
- Limit to 1 teaspoon of oil or butter in a day. Make use of lemon juice, paprika, and salt to season foods.
Pancreatitis diet Chart
A pancreatitis diet chart must be prepared by consulting an experienced medical practitioner or a specialist. Effective pancreatitis diets include low fat and low carb diets. The daily intake of fat must be less than thirty percent of the total calorie intake in a day. Eat yogurt along with fruits as it is a good probiotic. Probiotics help in reducing the pancreatic inflammation by improving the immune system. The Atkins diet and Hollywood diet are the best low carb diets. Green vegetables and salads must be consumed in plenty. The Hollywood diet includes only liquid foods like drinks made of fruits and vegetables.
Pancreatitis Health Tips
Here are a few health tips that you can follow to reduce the symptoms of pancreatitis
- Quit smoking and avoid drinking
- Consume low fat food and strive to maintain healthy weight
- Drink a lot of fluids and avoid consuming milk and milk products
- Ensure that you take adequate rest to avoid any kind of exhaustion
- Biliary tract disease
- Recent surgery
- Chain smoking
- Chronic alcoholism
- High triglycerides
- Increased heart rate and breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Oily stools
- Weight loss, sweating and fever
- Mild to severe pain in the abdominal area
Diagnosis and Treatment
Pancreatitis is diagnosis would involve an analysis of digestive enzymes, a glucose tolerance test, an ultrasound or a CT scan, and advanced procedures like endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography and endoscopic ultrasounds. Treatment options include:
- Intravenous fluids and nutrition
- Gallstone surgery
- Antibiotics and enzyme supplements
- Antioxidant supplements
- Low fat food
- Healthy body weight