Keeping Your Pancreas Healthy

Your pancreas is a very important organ that you cannot live without. Your pancreas is located deep inside your abdomen and is responsible for dispensing insulin to break down sugar and other enzymes needed in digestion. Issues with your pancreas can lead to diabetes, pancreatitis, gallstones, and other painful and potentially life threatening issues.

By taking care of your pancreas, you can work to prevent these types of issues. You may also avoid procedures like ERCP that are used to treat them and the potential ERCP errors that often accompany the procedures. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to keep your pancreas healthy.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

High alcohol intake has been associated with increased risks for pancreatitis. Heavy alcohol consumption causes damage to the pancreas that may progressively worsen over time. While the damage may be done over a prolonged period, symptoms may come on suddenly. By the time symptoms appear, the damage is often great. To avoid these issues, drink moderately or not at all.

Don’t Smoke Cigarettes

A study done in Sweden found that participants that had smoked one pack of cigarettes per day for 20 years had about twice the risk of developing pancreatitis. When smokers quit, the risks of developing pancreatitis quickly decreased until they were about the same as non-smokers. By avoiding cigarettes in the first place, you reduce your risks of pancreatitis and the hassles and cravings that come with quitting.

Eat Certain Foods

Some foods have been found to help keep the pancreas healthy, including:

  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt
  • Spinach

Avoid Certain Foods

Gallstones occur when cholesterol accumulates in the bile, so avoiding foods that are high in fat can help to decrease your risk of developing gallstones and other pancreas issues. Simple sugars can raise your triglyceride levels, so limiting these can also help to keep your pancreas healthy and issue free. Limiting these foods in your diet will make more room for foods that are high in nutrients and antioxidants, which can help to support pancreas health as well as overall health.

Exercise Regularly

Exercising keeps the digestive system and other body systems running smoothly and functioning optimally. Exercising regularly can also help you to maintain a healthy weight, which can in turn keep your pancreas healthy. Obesity increases the risks for gallstones and other pancreas related issues.

By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and adhering to certain guidelines, you can keep your pancreas healthy and avoid many health problems and procedures.

 

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