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Pancreatic Disease Specialist

North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC

Gastroenterologists located in Sherman, Anna, & Across North Texas

If you regularly experience upper abdominal pain, nausea, or a rapid pulse, consider getting screened for pancreatic disease. Early diagnosis and intervention significantly increase the likelihood of a positive treatment outcome. At North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC, Joseph Kim, MD, Jermaine Clarke, DO, MBA, and their team provide comprehensive care for several kinds of pancreatic disease. To schedule an appointment at the Sherman or Anna, Texas, office, call the nearest location or book online today.

Pancreatic Disease

What is pancreatic disease?

Pancreatic disease is an umbrella term that covers several conditions affecting the pancreas. This organ plays a critical role in digestion and controlling your blood sugar levels.

Your pancreas sits between your stomach and spine. Its unique location makes it difficult to detect tumors or other abnormalities. As a result, you might be at risk of pancreatic disease and not realize it.

What are the symptoms of pancreatic disease?

Common symptoms of pancreatic disease include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive gas
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain

If you have a pancreatic disease, you might also notice your bowel movements are light-colored and/or foul-smelling.

What are the types of pancreatic disease?

North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC treats several kinds of pancreatic disease, including:

Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis causes sudden inflammation of the pancreas. It usually lasts a few days, causing upper abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. Anyone can experience acute pancreatitis, but it’s more likely if you have a history of gallstones or regularly drink alcohol.

Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis causes long-term inflammation of your pancreas. Over time, it irreversibly damages the organ, affecting its function. Common causes of chronic pancreatitis include alcoholism, hereditary disorders of the pancreas, and cystic fibrosis.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) occurs when your body stops producing pancreatic enzymes, resulting in malnutrition. Without prompt treatment, EPI can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and fecal incontinence.

Pancreatic cancer

Each year, about 37,000 Americans receive a pancreatic cancer diagnosis. The disease causes the cells in your pancreas to divide and multiply uncontrollably and often resists standard treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. To successfully treat pancreatic cancer, early detection is critical.

How is pancreatic disease diagnosed and treated?

To diagnose pancreatic disease, North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC reviews your health history, asks you about your symptoms, and does a physical exam. They then order various diagnostic tests, including blood panels, urinalysis, and stool samples. They might also order X-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, or an MRI.

The treatment for pancreatic disease depends on what kind you have and how severe your symptoms are. After making a diagnosis, North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC will recommend some combination of the following:

  • Fasting
  • Pain medication
  • Intravenous fluids
  • Procedures to remove bile duct obstructions
  • Gallbladder surgery
  • Pancreas surgery
  • Treatment for alcohol dependence

The goal of treatment is to ease your uncomfortable symptoms, prevent further complications, and restore your normal quality of life.

To learn more about treating pancreatic disease, request a consultation at North Texas Gastroenterology Associates PLLC. Call to speak with a team member, or book online today.