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The pancreas is one of the most important organs in our body. If you know when your pancreas isn’t properly doing its job it can help you prevent many potential health risks. The condition known as pancreatitis can interfere with the functioning of your digestive system and it’s often related to poor nutrition. We have some more information regarding this subject further down in this article.

The pancreas’ main duty is to produce enzymes like glucagon and insulin and it’s located behind the stomach. These enzymes facilitate digestion and go to the small intestine. When they get to the small intestine they stimulate the digestive functions. If the organ suffers some changes the consequences can be quite serious. If such changes were to happen, these enzymes can reverse their function and start affecting the pancreas negatively. Here’s what exactly happens in such situations.

How can I know if my pancreas isn’t working properly?

  1. Pain

If you experience pain in the upper abdomen and behind the stomach, but only on the left side of your body below the ribs, and it’s a burning-like sensation you could suffer from pancreatitis.

  • It’s possible for the pain to be more severe just after you’ve eaten or drank something, especially high-fat food
  • Maybe the pain will start one day after the meal and could even last for a few days and feel more severe as the days go by
  • You could feel a more intense pain when you lay on your back, because the stomach presses the pancreas and causes discomfort
  • The pain could pulsate from behind the back or left shoulder blade
  1. Fever

When the pancreas gets attacked by its own enzymes it gets inflamed and it’s quite normal to feel feverish. Be sure to check your temperature when you feel pain in these areas and if it’s slightly raised immediately visit your doctor. Only he can conclude if it’s a more serious condition or just a fever and provide you with further information on the subject because sometimes these symptoms can indicate a different condition

  1. Nausea

Nausea may cause vomiting but not always. When your digestive system suffers certain changes it affects your digestion negatively and this causes inflammation in the pancreas. It’s normal to feel uncomfortable.

  1. Headache

Among the other symptoms you may feel tired, agitated and unfocused, which may lead to abrupt headaches. This is happening because your immune system is fighting the inflammation and you feel immediate consequences.

  1. Weight loss

If you’re suffering from a pancreas-related problem you may start to notice some weight loss, even though you haven’t changed anything in your diet. This may happen on account on you food not being digested properly because the enzymes have started to destroy your pancreas. It could also be that it’s being obstructed by gallbladder stones.

  1. Tachycardia

You’re experiencing difficulties breathing, you get tired more often and your heart rhythm speeds up. It’s possible that your body is losing its strength, your immune system is under attack and doesn’t have the required energy and your heart starts accelerating your breathing. If you feel like you have an irregular pulse or you’re choking, you should monitor your condition carefully.

What can cause pancreatitis?

About 80% of all pancreas related conditions are linked to gallbladder stones and unhealthy lifestyle, according to numerous studies. Gallbladder stones can obstruct the pancreas’ pathways and affect his regular functions.

Regarding your eating habits, be aware that excessive amounts of alcohol and food rich in fat can damage the pancreas beyond repair. Other conditions which may cause pancreatitis are lupus, kidney failure or cystic fibrosis. Some medications can also cause damages to your pancreas.

How can you protect your pancreas?

  • You should reduce the refined sugars and flour intake;
  • Stop smoking if you’re a smoker. You have to drop this bad habit if you want to prevent pancreatic cancer;
  • You should steer clear of alcohol. It’s beneficial if you drink one glass of wine a day, but anything more on a regular basis can cause serious damage to your pancreas. You need to follow this advice if you want to stay healthy;
  • Fiber rich food and whole grains are extremely good for you, try including more in your diet;
  • Red meat consumption should be reduced to minimum;
  • Try eating more cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and watercress. They are extremely important for a healthy pancreas.
  • Try not to gain weight;
  • Try to not develop diabetes;
  • High amounts of healthy proteins are very important for a healthy pancreas. Increase your protein intake by eating more fish and legumes. And if you prefer meat, opt for turkey meat, it’s a much healthier option and contains less fat.