If you notice pain in your upper abdomen that gets worse when you eat or drink, you may have a disease of your pancreas. The board-certified specialists at Illinois Gastroenterology Group have identified and diagnosed pancreatic disease for countless patients in Gurnee, Evanston, Skokie, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, Highland Park, & Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois, and can recommend the right course of treatment for your condition. Start your treatment before your pancreas disease becomes serious. Call or use the online booking tool to make an appointment at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.
Pancreas disease is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases that affect your pancreas. The pancreas is a gland that produces enzymes that aid in digestion and hormones like insulin, that regulate your blood sugar levels.
It’s important to start treatment early as severe cases of pancreas disease can result in life-threatening complications.
The symptoms you experience depend on the type of pancreatic disease you have. If you have pancreatitis, you may notice signs like:
Patients with pancreatic cancer may notice the above symptoms along with new-onset diabetes, blood clots, fatigue, and yellowing of their skin.
If you notice weight loss, persistent fatigue, abdominal pain, or other signs, get your pancreas checked at Illinois Gastroenterology Group.
Illinois Gastroenterology Group conducts a comprehensive physical exam and runs diagnostic tests to determine what type of pancreas disease you have.
Your doctor may suggest an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) or endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS).
An ERCP is an endoscopic procedure during which your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube with a fiberoptic camera and light on the end of it into your mouth and down through your stomach.
This allows them to visualize the inside of your pancreatic duct and small intestine and find the cause of your symptoms. Your specialist can also treat your pancreatitis and make repairs during the ERCP.
An endoscopic ultrasonography uses ultrasound technology to guide the endoscope as your doctor examines your esophageal, stomach lining, the walls of your gastrointestinal tract, and organs surrounding it.
An EUS allows your doctor to assess lumps and lesions in visual detail and determine the right course of treatment.
Once your doctor determines the type of pancreatic disease you have, they can suggest an appropriate treatment.
If you have pancreatitis, your specialist prescribes medication to reduce the pain and inflammation and may suggest a period of fasting to give your pancreas a chance to recover.
Once your symptoms are under control, they can suggest various types of surgery to repair or remove damaged tissue.
Treatments for pancreatic cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of the three. For advanced cases, Illinois Gastroenterology Group also offers palliative care to make you as comfortable as possible.
For patients with pancreatic insufficiency, your specialist can guide you to make various dietary and lifestyle changes, like lowering your alcohol consumption, to ease your symptoms.
Your doctor may also recommend enzyme replacement therapy and vitamin supplements to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs while you receive treatment for the underlying condition.
To learn more about the various diagnostic tools and treatments available to patients with pancreas disease, call Illinois Gastroenterology Group or use the online scheduler to book an appointment.