Diet for Pancreatitis: A Comprehensive Guide

A diet for pancreatitis is just as important as medication. Proper nutrition helps patients avoid exacerbations of the pathology. A balanced diet also helps alleviate a range of unpleasant symptoms such as severe pain, nausea and vomiting, fever, and more.

Factors of pancreatitis and its symptoms

Pancreatitis is characterized by inflammatory relapses that disrupt the normal functioning of the pancreas and the production of sufficient amounts of enzymes and hormones. The disease is dangerous because it can progress. With pancreatitis, the tissues of the organ are destroyed, leading to irreversible consequences for the entire body.

Important! Inflammatory phenomena can be a result of the acute stage of the disease or an independent manifestation if the patient has suffered from jaundice, liver cirrhosis, arteriosclerosis, abuses alcohol or unhealthy, harmful food.

The main symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Weight in the stomach (mostly after eating)
  • Severe pain syndrome on the right side in the area of the navel
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Acute feeling of hunger
  • Sweet taste in the oral cavity
  • Unpleasant smell from the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Frequent fatty and liquid stools
  • Swelling of the face
  • Dryness of the lips
  • Redness of the skin

The accumulation of toxic substances in the body and disruption of insulin production are also characteristic of the disease.

Features of a special diet

The diet for pancreatitis should contain a large amount of protein but a minimal amount of fat. These components should be completely eliminated from the diet during exacerbations or reduced to a minimum. This will improve the condition of the pancreas and gallbladder. In some cases, a small amount of vegetable oil is allowed. The need for protein is due to the fact that it allows for the rapid regeneration of damaged areas of the pancreas. Patients can also consume carbohydrates, provided there is no predisposition to diabetes. If there is such a predisposition, it is necessary to refuse products containing sugar.

The diet for chronic pancreatitis (during exacerbations) also involves reducing salt intake. Excluding salty food for 2-3 weeks will help reduce swelling of the gland. If the patient suffers from severe symptoms of the disease during strong exacerbations, he is prescribed only liquid and pureed food. Any dishes should be consumed in a warm form. It is necessary to refuse too hot and cold drinks and food.

The food for the patient should be cooked without spices and seasonings. It is important to carefully monitor the freshness of the products used. If the patient is eating porridge, it should be cooked only on water. Vegetable puree, low-fat cottage cheese, tea (without sugar and weak), puree-like soups will be useful.

Gradually, eggs, lean meat, and fish can be introduced into the diet, along with slightly dried bread and jellies. The portions should be small, but the food should be eaten frequently enough to avoid feeling hungry, which many patients complain of discomfort in the abdominal area. It is best to switch to six meals a day.

When is a diet prescribed for pancreatitis?

Usually, the diet of patients is adjusted immediately after the diagnosis is made. It is especially important to pay attention to the diet during the exacerbation period. With severe pancreatitis symptoms, specialists recommend following the principle of ‘cold, hunger, and rest’. In the first 2-3 days after the attack, it is allowed to drink weak and unsweetened tea, mineral still water, and a decoction of yarrow. When coming out of starvation, gradually include dishes that are beneficial for the condition of the inflamed organ in the diet. These include oat broth and vegetable broths.

During exacerbations, specialized sparing fractional feeding is recommended for at least 6-12 months. In this time, the organ can fully recover. At the same time, the patient will have time to get used to healthy eating. The diet for pancreatitis will not be too strict and will not require a high level of self-control for him. At the same time, it will be a guarantee of recovery. Thanks to it, it is possible to avoid not only surgery, but also long and often tiring conservative therapy.

Important! Both treatment and diet for pancreatitis of the pancreas in men and women, regardless of symptoms, should be prescribed only by a doctor. Only a gastroenterologist has accurate information about the condition of the pancreas and has special professional skills and knowledge.

Products that are recommended and not recommended during illness

During pancreatitis, it is recommended to consume such products as:

  • Low-fat meat: lean pork, veal, chicken, rabbit, turkey
  • Low-fat fish: pike, salmon, cod, and haddock
  • Cereals: oats, millet, and rice
  • Noodles made from hard wheat
  • Fermented dairy products
  • Vegetables: potatoes, zucchini, beets, carrots

Milk is only allowed to be consumed as part of porridge, milk soups, and whey. As the condition improves, the diet can be supplemented with mild and low-fat varieties of cheese. When preparing omelets, eggs can be used. From fruits, it is better to prefer acidic apples. They can be baked and eaten as puree.

Absolutely prohibited:

  • Red Onion
  • Chard and Spinach
  • Radish, Radicchio, Horseradish, and Arugula
  • Bulgarian pepper
  • Seasonings and spicy spices
  • Alcoholic products
  • Coffee and cocoa
  • Carbonated drinks

During a diet for chronic pancreatitis, it is necessary to try to exclude goose and duck meat, lamb and bacon. Fried meat, shish kebabs, sausage products, and meat delicacies should not be eaten. All types of fish and meat canned goods, rich meat broths, and cold cuts are prohibited for the sick. From the diet should remove fatty cottage cheese and sour cream, spicy and smoked cheeses, beans, tomatoes, cakes and pastries, ice cream, and chocolate candies.

It is not recommended to use margarine when cooking dishes, as well as beef and pork fat. At least during flare-ups, it is necessary to give up oils in any form.

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