Pancreatitis Diet: What to Eat and What Not to Eat
Pancreatitis is a disease that occurs when problems with the functioning of the pancreas occur. Although there are many causes of pancreatitis, it usually occurs as a result of malnutrition or problems in general health triggering this disease. Inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis, can occur as a result of conditions such as injury or surgery.
Those who consume excessive cigarettes and alcohol, those with gallbladder stones, those who have undergone gallbladder operation or surgery for any reason in the abdomen, those with higher than normal levels of calcium in their blood, hyperparathyroid patients, those with pancreatic cancer, those who have an excessive fat diet, those with type 2 diabetes and genetics. Those who are prone to pancreatic problems are in the risk group for pancreatitis.
Those who experience pancreatic inflammation should first consult a doctor and follow a pancreatitis diet. Serious problems may occur in patients who do not follow a diet.
What is pancreatitis?
In order to answer the question of what is pancreatitis, first of all, it is necessary to briefly talk about what the pancreas is, which is one of our important internal organs:
- The pancreas is an organ that secretes digestive enzymes and supports the conversion of sugar into a form that the body can use, and helps the body to balance sugar, fat and protein.
- When there is a problem in the functioning of the pancreas, the enzymes produced by the organ are activated before they spread from the pancreas to the body. This causes inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis.
- Pancreatitis can be acute (sudden onset, exacerbated) or chronic (lasting 3 months or more). While acute pancreatitis can be cured with necessary treatments and pancreatitis nutrition, chronic pancreatitis may permanently damage the pancreas and serious problems may occur.
- Pancreatitis patients should take medication, if necessary, under the control of a doctor, and should establish a diet in line with the pancreatitis diet list given. Low-fat foods should be consumed in small portions. Alcohol and cigarettes should be avoided.
What Should People on a Pancreatitis Diet Eat?
What should patients with acute pancreatitis eat and how should they be fed? In addition to an abundant fluid-focused diet, the following foods can support the healing process.
1) Whole Grains
- In response to the question of what acute pancreatitis patients should eat, whole grain foods come at the top of the diet list.
- Since whole grain foods are digestive system friendly, they do not cause the pancreas to work too much and thus pancreatic inflammation can be suppressed.
- As the fiber content increases in the body, the fat content decreases. This is also soothing for the pancreas.
2) Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
- Thanks to the antioxidants they contain, fruits and vegetables help reduce inflammation in the pancreas.
- Among the fruits and vegetables, especially those with high fiber content, facilitate digestion and relax the pancreas.
- In order not to raise blood sugar more than once, fruits that are not very high in sugar should be preferred.
3) Boiled Lean Meat
- Lean meat is a good option for those suffering from acute pancreatitis to meet their protein needs.
- Meat should be boiled, not fried.
- Pancreatitis patients should avoid fat as much as possible.
4) Beans and Lentils
- Beans and lentils, which are rich in protein, can also be consumed to meet the protein need.
- In order not to force the body, the preparation of beans and lentils by taking gas makes digestion easier.
5) Herbal Teas
- Herbal remedies for pancreatitis can also be tried after consulting a specialist.
- Green tea, licorice tea, sage and basil tea are said to relax the pancreas.
What Should Those Who Follow Pancreatitis Diet Not Eat?
Patients with acute pancreatitis should avoid the food groups listed below as much as possible. Including these foods in your diet will complicate and prolong the healing process. Here is the list of prohibited foods for patients with acute pancreatitis:
1) Alcohol and Smoking
- Excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption can directly lead to pancreatic inflammation.
- Alcohol can also trigger pancreatitis by causing high triglycerides.
2) Fried Foods
- Fried foods are also a serious danger in the list of foods that should not be eaten in pancreatitis.
- In case of pancreatic inflammation, it is necessary to avoid fatty foods anyway. Fried foods are also among the foods that should be avoided because they contain a lot of oil.
- Fried foods can cause many health problems when consumed normally.
- Since sugary foods directly increase triglycerides, they can have negative consequences for pancreatitis.
- When the need for sweet is felt, fruit can be consumed in small portions.
4) Refined Flour Foods
- Those with pancreatitis should avoid refined foods such as white bread and pasta.
- Refined carbohydrates cause the pancreas to pump extra insulin and worsen pancreatitis.
What Are the Symptoms of Pancreatitis?
- Regional Pains: Pain in the upper abdomen, shoulder and lower back may occur in pancreatic disease. The pain increases especially after eating. The intensity of the pain may increase when the abdomen is touched.
- Digestive Problems: Since the pancreas helps digestion, direct digestive problems may occur when there is a problem in its functioning. Pancreatitis patients may experience nausea and sometimes vomiting. Severe weight loss can also be experienced in chronic pancreatitis.
- Fever and Pulse Increase: As with many types of inflammation, fever can be seen in pancreatic inflammation. The disorder in the general balance of the body can also cause an increase in heart rate.