Which lifestyle changes are indicated for the treatments of chronic pancreatitis?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019
  • Author: Jason L Huffman, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Cessation of alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking are important. In early stage alcohol-induced chronic pancreatitis, lasting pain relief can occur after abstinence from alcohol, but in advanced stages, abstinence does not always lead to symptomatic improvement. Patients continuing to abuse alcohol develop either marked physical impairment or have a death rate 3 times higher than do patients who abstain.

Recommending abstinence from alcohol usually is not sufficient; the physician must use available resources for evaluation and treatment of alcohol and chemical dependency. Successful treatment requires a team approach, including the involvement and expertise of a chemical dependency counselor and a psychologist trained in cognitive therapy.

Tobacco smoking is a strong and independent risk factor for chronic alcoholic pancreatitis. Because much of the reported excess morbidity and mortality in these patients is related to smoking tobacco, patients also need to overcome their tobacco addiction.

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