The pancreas is an important part of the digestive system. Johns Hopkins Medicine explains the organ is responsible for controlling blood sugar, digesting fats, and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. It's located in a somewhat awkward position between the stomach and spine. Because it is so deep in the abdomen, pancreatic problems often go undetected.
Here are the important signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer and other pancreatic diseases, according to Prevention:
1. Abdominal pain. Pain that begins in the middle and radiates to the mid- or lower back is a sign of pancreatic cancer, whereas intensely sharp pain in the middle that comes on suddenly is a sign of acute pancreatitis. If abdominal pain persists for several weeks, it's important to call your doctor.
2. Nausea after burgers. If you feel ill after eating fatty foods like hamburgers, pizza, nuts, and avocado, your pancreas may be having difficulty breaking down fats.
3. Weight loss. If you're celebrating sudden weight loss, think for a minute. Has your weight loss been accompanied by radiating pain? You may be experiencing digestive issues related to pancreatic disease.
4. Diabetes. Have you recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes even though you have a healthy weight and maintain a good diet? If so, ask your doctor if there's something wrong with your pancreas. If your diabetes suddenly becomes too difficult to manage, you should also speak to your doctor.
5. Floating, light-colored stool. Funny-looking poo is a sign of something funky happening in your body. If you have floating, light-colored stool, your body is signaling poor nutrient absorption. Yet another red flag for pancreatic problems is oily or greasy stool. This comes from the pancreas' inability to break down fat.
To keep your pancreas healthy and to relieve pancreatitis symptoms, try these home remedies:
1. Lightly steamed vegetables. A plant-based diet is best for people with chronic pancreatitis. While raw vegetables contain the most vitamins and minerals, if raw veggies are irritating to your digestive track, try them lightly steamed, as recommended by Alive.
2. Hydrotherapy. To treat painful pancreatitis symptoms, lie on your back. Ask a loved one or assistant to cover your bare chest and abdomen with two towels wrung in warm water. Make sure the towels are not too hot as to burn the skin. Cover the warm towels with a dry towel and blanket. Rest for 5 minutes before removing the hot towels and replacing them with a thin towel wrung in cold water. Place the cold towel on your bare chest and abdomen, cover with a dry towel and blanket, and rest for 10 minutes. Remove the towels, flip over to lie on your stomach, and repeat with the hot and cold towels, as recommended by Alive.
3. Power breakfast. Step to Health recommends a detox regimen beginning your day with a glass of warm water and lemon juice, a kiwi and cup of oatmeal. Maintain your healthy start each day by drinking two liters of water and eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and leafy green vegetables.
4. Dandelion root. This herbal remedy cleanses the blood and liver, stimulates bile production, and makes it easier for the pancreas to do its work, reports Livestrong. The best way to ingest dandelion root is with a dandelion tea.
5. Licorice root. Licorice is another herb that does wonders for the digestive system, particularly the pancreas. It helps produce bile and makes it easier to digest food, says The Science of Eating.
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