A: Because of where I trained, the vast majority of the chronic pancreatitis I have seen was due to chronic alcohol abuse (which may partially explain the stigma), but there are other causes. There is a hereditary form, which usually appears before the age of 20. Any condition that blocks the pancreatic ducts, such as stones or tumors, can lead to chronic pancreatitis. Cystic fibrosis commonly causes chronic pancreatitis, as do lupus, hyperparathyroidism and very elevated triglycerides. Smoking increases risk of chronic pancreatitis.
Symptoms of pancreatitis include abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhea and steatorrhea. (“Steat” means “fat,” so steatorrhea is fatty diarrhea. It is oily and floats on water.) The pancreas’ major job is to make digestive enzymes; in chronic pancreatitis, the pancreas cannot make adequate enzymes, especially lipase, which is necessary to break down fat. The fat then is passed undigested through the body. Sometimes fat-soluble vitamins are lost as well (especially vitamins A, D, E and K). The diagnosis is supported by CT or special MRI scan, which usually shows calcium deposits and duct obstruction. Elevated fat can be measured in the stool. However, it can be hard to be certain of the diagnosis early on. (I’m not excusing your gastroenterologist, who apparently missed the diagnosis entirely.)
First-line treatment includes alcohol abstinence (even in people who have other causes for pancreatitis besides alcohol), not smoking and making dietary changes, along with replacement of pancreatic enzymes. Creon is one brand name for pancreatic enzyme replacement.
For people who don’t respond, there are other options, including endoscopic and open surgery. Since pancreatic cancer can look like chronic pancreatitis, it’s important to look for this carefully.
(Dr Roach has done well to describe/differentiate this difficult and destructive disease. In the past, he has also indicated that approximately 90% of the pancreas has been incapacitated when it can no longer ‘create’ the needed enzymes for the body’s function, and 99% when diabetes is fully developed. Tragically sad isn’t it? A mind like mine asks — WHY?
As you rightly imagine, I’m gonna need to understand the how and why, or can’t get off the ground. W/O boarding the ole soapbox, lets assume we all KNOW that we can’t digest ‘food’ without enzymes! Thats why nuttos like me go on about #1 rule — food-combining (to ensure our body can handle and digest) the food we eat. and #2 — take enzymes when we know we’re going to cheat (like combining proteins with starch, like chicken and noodles or meatballs and spaghetti). Some simply will not give them up. Never give it a thought; body eventually weakens, breaks down and we wonder why. Ask a doctor and find its one of those mysteries – idiopathic (cause unknown). . .so here’s some meds that’ll help with those symptoms. While never wildly popular with the establishment, those unknown causes DID used to be known. Major books written about them. I’ve posted on it often and I’ve also droned on and on about enzymes — how life-saving they can be. As a matter of fact, another of my favorite doctors – Nicholas Gonzalez (a cancer specialist in New York, recently deceased, was very successful in curing all kinds of cancer using enzymes in his protocol. Especially, the pancreatic enzymes). He would have been my choice, had I ever developed cancer. There’s an interview on “smokinchoices” somewhere with him.
Also why there is the caution to use low (as possible) heat for the foods you MUST cook. And to eat as much raw, fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. . .because they come equipped with their own enzymes, so that our body doesn’t HAVE to work overtime making all those enzymes we keep destroying (thru heat) or won’t eat in the first place. Hopefully, people surely don’t believe that we were just born with faulty genes or poorly designed pancreases. In ignorance, we do these things to ourselves. A few generations ago, doctors felt obligated to instruct their patients on a multitude of issues and things non-medical ‘others’ needed to know to be healthy and live the ‘good life’. Before Medicine became such a Business and there was not time for such as this. (or money in it)
And one additional point needs to be addressed and that is the potential “fear-mongoring” of FAT. It was the “Low-Fat” everything which led to the greatest single cause of escalating HEART DISEASE our nation has ever known. Human bodies need fat. Cholesterol is good for us and NECESSARY for the HEART and BRAIN. Cardio deaths are the number one killer in our land, followed closely by-death-by-Medicine (errors, mistakes, wrong combinations, etc., etc.,.) Our bodies run more efficiently and over a greater length of time using fat as an energy source instead of carbohydrates. The body has two main sources to use for energy FAT or CARBS or some combination of the two. Decades ago, carbs were elevated to the preferred source when fat was determined to be detrimental to the body, claiming it caused heart disease. This was NOT true, but was accepted based on highly ‘selective,’ biased testing (later shown to be flawed). Low-Fat everything was the rule. What followed was the greatest increase in heart disease, obesity and diabetes the world has seen which has all but destroyed our health-care system and ruined lives. Sugar is a carb, and many looking for that sustaining satisfaction and energy lift, were turning more to sugared products. This was a natural, logical outcome. Fat lasts longer, stronger, lessens craving (eat less). Whereas carbs burn quicker for a lesser time and require more frequent time replacing food.
All this has been so beautifully explained by Donal O’Neill in his splendid “CEREAL KILLERS” and “RUN ON FAT” movies. And why did he undertake all this in the first place? He needed a way to overcome his so-called genetic inheritance of death by heart disease. And he did it. The athletic world has caught on to it too. . and the rest as they say. . .is history. Of course, GOOD FAT is important. The fat of grass-fed cattle; butter from grass-fed cows, genuine Olive oil, coconut oil and of course EGGS from free-range chickens. Don’t use any other oils which have been heat-treated as part of their process of manufacturing. Be as organic as you can afford to be. AND GIVE UP SUGAR! You should run your body — not your taste buds; they can be re-trained in a week or so.
Q #2) Dear Dr. Roach: I recently saw on the evening news that some over-the-counter medications have been highly correlated with dementia. I have allergies and have been taking Allegra for several years now. I called my allergy specialist and was told that they haven’t heard anything about it. Do you have any information about this study? I was thinking maybe I should cut back or possibly discontinue taking it. J.L.
A: I think you might be referring to a recent study on anticholinergic drugs, which suggested that some older antihistamines, including diphenhydramine (Benadryl), might be associated with dementia risk. This is a similar study to previous studies on benzodiazepines (like Valium or Ativan) and proton pump inhibitors (like Prilosec), which also are associated with dementia risk. It’s possible that taking these drugs long term really does increase risk of dementia. However, it’s also possible that people with early dementia are more likely to have health issues treated with these commonly used drugs. The studies support either hypothesis.
In this instance, fexofenadine (Allegra) is considered a safer alternative to the older drugs. I think you should take it when you need to, which for many people is during certain seasons or with exposure to a particular allergic substance.
Dr. Keith Roach writes for North America Syndicate. Send letters to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 or email: ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.
(Yes, all these health issues, yet,so many of these issues are actually the result of what we’re eating. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it too many times to count. . . “You are what you eat”! Organic, fresh wholesome foods rarely do this to us — it is generally the manufactured stuff in a bag, box or can which may be adding the toxic additives, colorants, flavors and preservatives which hurt our body and over-burden it. But for many, it can be product known to be healthy and nutritious to which our body is sensitive or even allergic. Simple stuff like peanuts and other known wholesome foods. Could be anything. Don’t want to enter this deeply as I’ve already done it to distraction — (elimination diets, then adding back one item every few days or week is the safest and cheapest way to know for sure).
Tho little known healthy, nourishing foods like DAIRY can be a big offender, but seldom suspected or under stood. Its a shame we’re all mostly brought up believing dairy to be not only healthy, but necessary. Authorities have told us so. Our parents believed it. An aside — humans are the only animal which continues to ingest milk beyond the weaning stage. And while dairy has excellent components quite agreeable to our organism (like say – calcium), we are much better off deriving our calcium from the plants of the field rather than from cattle (which also gets calcium for those huge, strong frames from only the plants of the field if allowed to eat the diet nature intended for them). Another aside, my nearly 87 year old frame has perhaps as strong a bony structure as any other human around. Never taken a calcium supplement, nor broken any bone even with all the falling I’ve done over the years; the most recent just a few years back as I circled around an opening car door with intensions to enter the car. . .but instead went flying down this embankment of 10 – 12 feet to the hard Macadam parking surface below. Was all shook up, for sure and hurt – terrible bruising. Doctor advised that at my age, that coloration would never go away – – but it did, eventually. Teeth and nails are strong too.
Women especially are singled out to take more and more calcium to prevent breaking bones as they age. The more they take, it seems the bones keep breaking anyway. Something wrong there. (want to understand this better? – read a prior post, maybe 2010 or so on Paleo on Dairy; nobody ‘splains it better than Loren Cordain.)
I am also an adorer of Dr Jonathan Wright – he is one of my hero’s and he has an enormous library of his talks on Youtube on so many subjects (aught to check it out). Was after something else and came across his discussion on how to never have Strep-throat again – period. Just give up the dairy! He is a brilliant man with a down-to-earth manner of speaking big ideas in easy to understand, simple terms. His wealth of knowledge is there for the listening to – FREE. . good deal or what?
Sorry, I do get carried away, so let me get back to the point at hand. Q #2 had to do with OTC meds being discussed as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. This is a big deal — right? You betcha. Because AD is no picnic — both parents and now me. Of course, I’m hanging in there. . . but everything in my life is harder for me to do, stay focused . . . takes much longer. And have less time to play around with my blog, which I still love. Plus am making the Liposomal-Encapsulated Vitamin C as well as the LIPO-Glutathione. Very pleased with the results on both. Not going to make me young again, but the future I am facing has a better chance for maximum enjoyment of time allotted to me. For me, its a good thing.
In November 2015, I did a post on Dr Walter Last and praised him highly. All his stuff is online somewhere. I downloaded most everything I could find. I was excited about the Borax Conspiracy thing. Was still having Arthritis pains here and there – hands, left knee, sometimes a hip. It was worth a go, so I did it. Within days, I began to notice an improvement, small, but there. Dr. Last had fully explained how, what, and when and how much so I started with 3 X a day for about 4 to 6 weeks, dropped back to 2 X daily for another month or two and now just once in the morning pretty much has my pain under control. If that isn’t a blessing, I don’t know what a blessing is. I used only 1 teaspoon of 20 Mule Team in a liter of distilled water on my counter top in the kitchen and still have about 2 inches left to go. Nothing but air could be cheaper or do more to improve life. Don’t think anyone believed me. You doubting Thomases don’t know what you’re missing.
Anyway, one of the most worrisome stories he told was about the link to Alzheimer’s disease from over-the-counter analgesic PARACETAMOL, called acetaminophen and sold as TYLENOL. This is not the same as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory called (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen which reduce pain and inflammation mostly by local action. Paracetamol affects the brain blocking the reuptake of analgesic cannabis chemicals or endocannabinoids, reducing pain without helping inflammation, indicating being more likely associated with degenerative brain disease than NSAIDs. Far from harmless, paracetamol can cause kidney and liver damage and is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the USA. With a very narrow therapeutic index (ratio of toxic to therapeutic dose), it is easy to overdose and most liver damage resulted form unintentional overdoses.
The maximum recommended daily intake was 4 grams, but this amount tends to cause liver damage, causing the FDA to set about reducing the maximum dosage. Untreated overdosing can lead to death within days .
(This is a 9 page story, free online at http://www.the-heal-yourself-series.com/TheWalterLastStory.html) Jan