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Pancreas disease

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

The pancreas is a glandular organ in the digestive system and endocrine system of vertebrates. It contains two types of cells:

  • The islets of Langerhans produce hormones that underlie the endocrine functions of the pancreas. These hormones circulate in the blood, they are
    • α (alpha) cells secrete glucagon (increase glucose in blood),
    • β (beta) cells secrete insulin (decrease glucose in blood)
    • Δ (delta) cells secrete somatostatin (regulates/stops α and β cells) and
    • PP cells, or gamma cells, secrete pancreatic polypeptide
  • Acinar cells belong to the exocrine pancreas and secrete digestive enzymes into the gut via a system of ducts. The pancreas as an exocrine gland helps out the digestive system. It secretes pancreatic fluid that contains digestive enzymes that pass to the small intestine. These enzymes help to further break down the carbohydrates, proteins and lipids (fats) in the chyme.

In humans, the secretory activity of the pancreas is regulated indirectly via the autonomic nervous system.

In effect, extreme emotion and stress can have a very direct effect upon the pancreas and how it works, as well as whether it becomes damaged.

Diseases and illnesses 

Computer genius Steve Jobs  died on October 5, 2011 aged 56 after a
long battle against pancreatic cancer.

 

Disease of the Pancreas can cover a number of complaints, some of which are described in a separate section for ease of explanation along with their observations.  This section enables me to cover all the other types of problem and provide a place-holder for any observations.

 

 

  • Pancreatitis  - is an inflammation of the pancreas. It occurs when pancreatic enzymes (especially trypsin) that digest food are activated in the pancreas instead of the small intestine. It is thus a problem with the exocrine system.  It may be
    • acute—beginning suddenly and lasting a few days, or
    • chronic—occurring over many years.  Chronic pancreatitis can lead to diabetes or pancreatic cancer.
  • Cancer - pancreatic cancer, particularly cancer of the exocrine pancreas, remain one of the most deadly cancers, and the mortality rate is very high. Pancreatic endocrine tumors are rare, if they occur they are known as Neuroendocrine pancreatic tumors.
  • Diabetes mellitus - is a disease of the endocrine system.  Often simply referred to as diabetes, it is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).
  • Cystic fibrosis - Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic disease which affects the entire body, causing progressive disability and often early death.  The name cystic fibrosis refers to the characteristic scarring (fibrosis) and cyst formation within the pancreas
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis - is a recently invented category which has  no meaning, although the doctors clearly think it does.  The immune system always attacks something, as such pancreatitis in which the immune system is desperately trying to destroy cells is an indicator that those cells have become infected with something - it is often a virus, but it can be fungi, bacteria or toxins
  • Pancreatic cysts - are nearly always a sign of invasion by parasites, but pharmaceuticals can also be implicated
  • Pancreas or Pancreatic divisum  - is a congenital anomaly in the anatomy of the ducts of the pancreas in which a single pancreatic duct is not formed, but rather remains as two distinct dorsal and ventral ducts.  The human embryo begins life with two ducts in the pancreas, the ventral duct and the dorsal duct. Normally, the two ducts will fuse together to form one main pancreatic duct; this occurs in more than 90% of embryos. In approximately 10% of embryos the ventral and dorsal ducts fail to fuse together, resulting in pancreas divisum. A majority of individuals born with pancreas divisum will not have symptoms. In some cases, pancreas divisum is only detected during autopsy.  A small group of individuals will develop symptoms which commonly include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and chronic pancreatitis.
  • Shwachman–Diamond syndrome (SDS) or Shwachman–Bodian–Diamond syndrome is a rare congenital disorder characterized by exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, bone marrow dysfunction, skeletal abnormalities, and short stature. After cystic fibrosis (CF), it is the second most common cause of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in children.  It is also known as Pancreas lipomatosis
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is the inability to properly digest food due to a lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas. EPI is found in humans afflicted with cystic fibrosis and Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome, and is common in dogs. EPI is caused by a progressive loss of the pancreatic cells that make digestive enzymes; loss of digestive enzymes leads to maldigestion and malabsorption of nutrients from normal digestive processes. Chronic pancreatitis is the most common cause of EPI in humans.  Also know as Pancreatic atrophy.
Phil Collins was forced to quit drinking after he was diagnosed with
a severe case of pancreatitis

Symptoms 

  • Pain - The most common symptoms of pancreatitis, for example, are severe upper abdominal burning pain radiating to the back, nausea, and vomiting that is worsened with eating.
  • Bleeding - there may be the presence of internal bleeding. Blood pressure may be elevated by pain or decreased by dehydration or bleeding.
  • Stress symptoms - Heart and respiratory rates are often elevated. 
  • Fever - Fever or jaundice may be present.
  • Weight loss - Unexplained weight loss may occur from a lack of pancreatic enzymes hindering digestion.

Causes

The following are the principal causes:

Alcohol

Some cases of pancreatitis are caused by alcohol [in excess]. Alcohol is a common cause of chronic pancreatitis [in this sense alcohol is acting as a toxin, see below]

Pharmaceuticals

Patrick Swayze died of Pancreatic Cancer

The eHealthme site now has a list of the pharmaceuticals that can cause the various forms of pancreatic disease. 

The lists are broken down by type, thus I will provide you with a link taking you to the pharmaceuticals causing pancreas disease for that symptom.  There is a very long list of types, as such I have not provided them all - you can go to eHealthme and look under symptoms, if the one you have is not on the list. 

The reason that there are more symptoms on the list than illnesses above, is because pharmaceuticals have the rather unique ability to create symptoms all of their own  making.  Note that these lists are compiled from the Adverse Drug reports submitted to the FDA and SEDA as such they are not anecdotal.

  • Pancreas divisum - follow this LINK
  • Pancreas infection - follow this LINK
  • Pancreas lipomatosis - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic abcess - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic atrophy - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic calcification - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic cancer - follow this LINK, there are very many subcategories of the cancer, to many to list here- see ehealthme for more details
  • Pancreatic cysts - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic disorder - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic duct dilatation - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic duct obstruction - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic duct stenosis - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic enlargement - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic enzyme abnormality - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic fistula - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic haemorrhage - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic insufficiency - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic necrosis - follow this LINK
  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour - follow this LINK

As we can see from the lists, a whole host of pharmaceuticals can cause the various forms of pancreas disease, most commonly, for example:

  • News anchor, Leon Harris, 52, made a 'a miraculous recovery  after almost
    dying twice after being diagnosed with acute necrotizing pancreatitis
    statins - high figures, most are implicated
  • ACE inhibitors - high figures
  • beta blockers
  • proton pump inhibitors
  • immunosuppressants
  • corticosteroids such as prednisolone
  • HIV drugs didanosine and pentamidine
  • diuretics
  • thyroid disease treatments
  • epilepsy drugs such as valproic acid
  • chemotherapy drugs such as L-asparaginase and azathioprine
  • estrogen by way of increased blood triglycerides
  • diabetes drugs - the antihyperglycemic agents like metformin, vildagliptin, sitagliptin
  • pancreatitis drugs - "It may be noted here that the drugs which are used to treat conditions which are themselves associated with increased events of pancreatitis may also be incidentally linked to pancreatitis. Examples include statins in dyslipidemia and gliptins in diabetes"
  • anti-psychotics and antidepressants - according to the Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch Surveillance System and Published Reports, antipsychotics such as clozapine, risperidone, and olanzapine can also be responsible for causing pancreatitis.

Gene mutations

Multiple National Award winning Bengali filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh
died, aged only 49, from pancreatitis

According to researchers, there is an inherited form of pancreatic disease that results in the activation of trypsinogen within the pancreas, leading to autodigestion.  There are also a number of gene mutations that can lead to other forms of malformation of the pancreas.  At this point the researchers - because they are geneticists - fold their arms and say - there you go solved.  But of course it isn't, because we want to know what has caused the mutation and it would seem that all the causes in this list can cause a malformation of the pancreas in the womb and the corresponding gene mutations. 

And indeed the genes of some babies are severely damaged in the womb by all the things in this list - fungi, parasites, viruses, bacteria, toxins, heavy metals, and pharmaceuticals.  But there is one truly nasty toxin which appears to be particularly key to genetic damage -  the nanoparticle - invented by scientists and being released into the environment by scientists in the belief that they do no harm, except that yet other researchers have realised they do a lot of harm......

....DNA damage occurs chemically or physically by nanomaterials. Chemical and physical damage are associated with point mutation by free radicals and double strand brake, respectively. The failure of DNA repair and accumulation of mutations might occur when inflammation is prolonged, and finally normal cells could become malignant. These free radicals can not only damage cells but also induce signaling molecules containing immunoreaction. Nanoparticles and asbestos also induce the production of free radicals. .... Taken together,... a variety of diseases [may be] induced by nanomaterials. PMID: 25097864

Genetic engineering of humans on a vast scale.

Hypoxia 

Factors that can damage or destroy beta-cells can be divided into the following groups:
Metabolic factors: for example hyperglycemia and glucotoxicity, lipotoxicity, hypoxia, reactive oxygen species;
Pharmacological factors: for example antimicrobial medication pentamidine, SSRI antidepressants;
Environmental toxic factors: for example rat poison Vacor, streptozotocin, polychlorinated and polybrominated hydrocarbons;
Infections, inflammation, - viral factors: for example Coxsackie viruses, H1N1 influenza, enteroviruses.
We are currently working on finding other factors leading to beta-cell damage, studying their effect on apoptosis and necrosis and looking for possible protective factors to prevent this damage. PMID:  25294754

see also Hypoxia side-effects

Toxins

Rough on rats, rough on humans...

The abstract from the Pubmed paper above lists some of the toxins that are known to cause Pancreatic diseases - for example rat poison Vacor, streptozotocin, polychlorinated and polybrominated hydrocarbons, but there are a very large number of other toxins implicated including the heavy metals such as lead and mercury.

There appears to be a link between people working in the iron and steel industry and pancreatitis, which may indicate that long exposure to the dust and metals used in the manufacturing process may in the long term cause diseases of the pancreas. 

There is a similar link between Parkinson's disease and people working in the heavy metals industries, one assumes that it may have something to do with whether the dust is inhaled or ingested. [Note that it is possible to chelate heavy metals from your system].

As an alternative heavy metal poisoning we have the following example

Three men with severe arsenic poisoning were hospitalized with working diagnoses, respectively, of peptic ulcer, pancreatitis, and viral gastroenteritis. In the first two patients, correct diagnosis was delayed until the return of heavy-metal screening tests ordered because of painful peripheral neuropathy in one and sudden flaccid paralysis, resembling Guillain-Barré syndrome, in the other. Both patients had coarsely stippled red blood cells with markedly abnormal nuclei in their peripheral blood smears. ….. Scrutiny of the peripheral blood and/or buffy coat smear in patients with perplexing gastrointestinal or neurologic symptoms may enable earlier diagnosis and better therapy of arsenic poisoning.  PMID:  6702757

I could find no links to dental amalgam fillings in PubMed, but as it recurs as a theme over and over again in  other papers for other organs, these too may be implicated.

Environmental stressors

causing, for example 


Physical injury and surgery

 

Injury as a result of some form of physical trauma or surgery which affects the pancreas or liver may result in damage to the insulin producing cells.  Note that damage may be a by-product of surgery to other organs - a form of friendly fire.  Gastric by-pass surgery, even heart surgery, which involves the removal of the rib cage,  has been known to result in damage to the pancreas.

Removal of the gall bladder, which itself is risky, and results in the compromising of the immune system, can cause damage.  I have not put 'unnecessary removal' of the gall bladder, because removal of the gall bladder is nearly always unnecessary.

Peter O'Toole underwent surgery in 1976 to have his

pancreas and a large portion of his stomach removed,

which resulted in insulin-dependent diabetes

The gall bladder is where bile is stored, before it is released into the small intestine. Without bile the intestinal flora and protective defences of the intestine are compromised.  Wikipedia that fount of all human knowledge says "Humans can live without a gallbladder", what they have not added is the key phrase "but not for long".

Hurt/emotional problems

Stress and high emotion is known to compromise the immune system, as a consequence, the body is unable to remove the causes of the disease.

Viruses

More and more viruses are being implicated in the various diseases of the pancreas.  Viruses such as the Coxsackie virus, Cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis B virus, Herpes simplex virus,  Varicella-zoster virus [the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles],the influenxa virus described  and  EBV.

 viral factors: for example Coxsackie viruses, H1N1 influenza, enteroviruses.
PMID:  25294754

The mumps virus is known to cause pancreatitis in some patients and may be the cause of pancreatitis in the longer term if it has managed to reach the pancreas and lie dormant for a while until the immune system is compromised.

We analyzed data from hospital admissions and enhanced mumps surveillance to assess mumps complications during the largest mumps outbreak in England and Wales, 2004-2005, and their association with mumps vaccination. When compared with nonoutbreak periods, the outbreak was associated with a clear increase in hospitalized patients with orchitis, meningitis, and pancreatitis. Routine mumps surveillance and hospital data showed that 6.1% of estimated mumps patients were hospitalized, 4.4% had orchitis, 0.35% meningitis, and 0.33% pancreatitis. PMID:  21470456

There are many more papers like this on PubMed implicating numerous viruses, as such we may find in the long term that it will be easier to list the viruses that don't cause pancreatic illnesses than those that do.

For the viruses to have entered the immune system must have been compromised.

Vaccines

 There are two main ways in which vaccines may cause pancreatic diseases.

Luciano Pavarotti died of pancreatic cancer
 in 6 September 2007

1.  Live viruses and bacteria

Where the vaccine used in the injection is a live virus or bacteria, there are instances where it, although apparently vanquished by the immune system, lays low and continues to attack, albeit at a much reduced rate.  One example is the herpes virus, read on:

Herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are human neurotropic viruses that establish latent infection in dorsal root ganglia (DRG) for the entire life of the host. From the DRG they can reactivate to cause human morbidity and mortality. Although they vary, in part, in the clinical disorders they cause, and in their molecular structure, they share several features that govern the biology of their infection of the human nervous system. The biology of their ability to establish latency, maintain it for the entire life of the host, reactivate, and cause primary and recurrent disease is being studied in animal models and in humans.  PMID: 24142852

This is not the only virus to do this. 

Dig Liver Dis. 2014 Jun;46(6):574-5. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2014.02.005. Epub 2014 Mar 14.  Acute Epstein-Barr virus pancreatitis with thoracic-abdominal abscess and portal compression.  Galzerano A1, Nisi F2, Angela S3, Ranucci F1.PMID:  24630949

thus any vaccine containing a live virus carries great risk with it... For example

The zoster vaccine (trade name Zostavax) is a live vaccine developed by Merck & Co. …... The zoster vaccine is, essentially, a larger-than-normal dose of the chickenpox vaccine (Varivax, Varilrix), as both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus, the varicella zoster virus (VZV).

and

Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is a type of influenza vaccine in the form of a nasal spray. It is an attenuated [live virus] vaccine, unlike most influenza vaccines, which are inactivated vaccines. LAIV is administered intranasally, while inactivated vaccines are administered by intramuscular injection….. LAIV is sold under the trade name FluMist in the United States and Canada, and Fluenz in Europe.

as we have seen all these viruses can cause pancreatic disease.

Only Fools and Horses actor Roger Lloyd-Pack,who also
played Owen in the Vicar ofDibley died, aged 69 from
pancreatic cancer

2.  Thiomersal

Some vaccines contain Thiomersal, which is mercury based.  For a full list see this LINK.  As a consequence, there is the risk of mercury poisoning and mercury poisoning can cause pancreatic disease as well as blindness and sight degeneration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacteria

Many bacteria are also implicated in pancreatic disease, for example, Legionella, Leptospira, Mycoplasma, Salmonella...

Data on the microbial spectrum in infected pancreatic necrosis are scarce. Only few studies have addressed this issue in a larger, consecutive group of patients treated by a standardized algorithm. Since 2005 endoscopic, transmural drainage and necrosectomy (ETDN) has been the treatment of choice for walled-off necrosis in our centre. The present study evaluated the microbial spectrum of infected pancreatic necrosis and the possible relationship between infected necrosis, organ failure, and mortality. Furthermore, we investigated whether the aetiology of pancreatitis, use of external drainage, and antibiotic treatment influenced the microbial findings.
METHODS:  Retrospective review of medical charts on 78 patients who underwent ETDN in our tertiary referral centre between November 2005 and November 2011.
RESULTS:  Twenty-four patients (31%) developed one or more organ failures, 23 (29%) needed treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU), and 9 (11%) died during hospital admission. The prevailing microbial findings at the index endoscopy were enterococci (45%), enterobacteriaceae (42%), and fungi (22%). There was a significant association between the development of organ failure (p < 0.001), need of treatment in ICU (p < 0.002), in-hospital mortality (p = 0.039) and infected necrosis at the time of index endoscopy. Enterococci (p < 0.0001) and fungi (p = 0.01) were found more frequently in patients who died during admission as compared to survivors.
CONCLUSION:  Different microbes in pancreatic necrosis may influence the prognosis. We believe that a detailed knowledge on the microbial spectrum in necrotizing pancreatitis may be utilized in the treatment to improve the outcome. PMID: 25266641

Enterococcus is a genus of lactic acid bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes.  The Enterobacteriaceae are a large family of Gram-negative bacteria that includes many of the more familiar pathogens, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia pestis, Klebsiella and Shigella. Other disease-causing bacteria in this family include Proteus, Enterobacter, Serratia, and Citrobacter.  Which brings us on neatly to the next cause - bacteria.

Parasites

This lady had a stroke and her cat 'saved her', but
parasites cause strokes too.  Cats .... a curse and
a blessing

There are literally hundreds of parasites and depending on the site and circumstances of infection, they can get everywhere from the intestine to the brain, from the lungs to the pancreas.  And they do, in high numbers.  Their presence is known from cysts, which form around the parasites if your immune system is working well.  But the presence of cysts is a sure indicator of damage.

Through a case-control study, overall 184 serum samples including 91 from diabetic cases and 93 from healthy non-diabetic controls were investigated. Cases and controls were matched for age and gender. Serum samples were tested for sugar by an enzymatic method, and IgG antibodies were tested against Toxoplasma gondii by ELISA method...... Risk of toxoplasmosis infection in diabetic patients with was two folds higher than healthy controls  CONCLUSIONS:  Diabetes may be caused by Toxoplasma gondii. Presence of T. gondii in the pancreas at the same time could directly undermines the pancreas cells. When β cells are destroyed, insulin secretion would then be affected.  PMID: 24578838

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-blooded animals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family - see Being with cats.

Another serious carrier of parasites is the fox which spreads Echinococcosis.  In countries where dogs and cats are not wormed and their faeces safely disposed of, domestic dogs and cats can also be a problem.  This parasite can also cause brain damage [strokes, dementia, haemorhages, tumours] and blindness.

Fungal infection

Up until recently there were few studies done on post mortem patients of the pathogens infecting and causing pancreatic damage.  All this has changed and a significant body of evidence is emerging of the role of fungi as well as the parasites, viruses and bacteria already mentionned.  One fungi implicated is, for example, the Fungi Aspergillus.  The route of entry appears to be via the lungs....

Case 1 was a 53-year-old man with a past history of chronic pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus and left upper lobectomy for lung cancer, 3 years previously. He was admitted with fever and an abnormal consolidative shadow in the left upper lung field of his chest X-ray film. Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger were detected in his sputum and bronchial washing.
Case 2 was a 60-year-old man, in whom left upper lobectomy had been performed for lung cancer 7 years previously. He was admitted with cough and fever. His chest X-ray film showed consolidation with a cavitary lesion in the left upper lung field. Aspergillus fumigatus was detected in his bronchial washing. Each case was treated successfully with a combination of antifungal agents. PMID: 19882915

 

Nutritional deprivation

 

In many of the developing countries where food is of poor quality or low in minerals and vitamins - like the USA [sorry I jest - or maybe I don't], nutritional deprivation in children can result in malformation of the pancreas. 

Chronic pancreatitis is defined by a persistent destruction of the pancreatic parenchyma replaced by fibrosis. The lesions generally start in the exocrine gland, islets being attacked later in the fibrosis. The two most frequent forms are:

1. Chronic calcifying pancreatitis which is a pancreatic lithiasis responsible for more than 95% of chronic pancreatitis. In its most frequent form, calculi are built up of more than 98% calcium salts together with fibres of a degraded residue of lithostathine, a secretory protein. This disease is related in most countries to alcohol, protein, fat and tobacco and in certain tropical countries to malnutrition (low-fat, low-protein diet).
The mechanism of calcium precipitation is partly explained by the calcium-saturation of pancreatic juice and the decreased biosynthesis of lithostathine S, the secretory protein preventing crystallization. As a rule, diabetes appear after a clinical evolution characterized by recurrent attacks of upper abdominal pain.

2. Obstructive pancreatitis is due to an obstacle (tumours, scars) in the pancreatic duct.

PMID: 1445167

It also appears, however, that mineral and vitamin supplements also have a very clear record for producing pancreatic damage, presumably at overdose levels, for example, the following is from eHealthme, note that the trend is increasing as one would expect as these drugs take a while to do the damage:

On Sep, 5, 2014: 38,361 people reported to have side effects when taking Vitamins. Among them, 31 people (0.08%) have Pancreatic Disorder.

Trend of Pancreatic disorder in Vitamins reports

Please note that this does not give the full picture as it is but one symptom from a huge list to do with the pancreas - see above, but ti shows that vitamins do indeed cause pancreatic damage in overdose proportions.

 

Michael Landon began to suffer from severe abdominal pain in

February 1991. On April 5, 1991, pancreatic cancer was diagnosed;

it had metastasized into his liver and lymph nodes.

On July 1, 1991, at age 54, Landon died

Radiation

All radiation whether 'cosmic' or electromagnetic impacts our bodies and depending on its frequency it resonates different parts of us.  The reason that nuclear radiation is so dangerous is that it impacts cells, but what we appear to have overlooked is that all radiation impacts some part of us.

Every aggregate in our bodies - organs, cells, the body itself, has natural ‘resonance’.  Resonance is a substance’s natural tendency to oscillate – vibrate – at maximum amplitude at certain frequencies, known as the thing’s resonant frequency.

And long term exposure at the resonating frequency, or short term high intensity exposure to the resonating frequency of the pancreas leads to damage.

 

 Treatment

Find the cause - see Healing yourself.

You may then be able to help yourself by using all the suppression based activities including eating for health and exercising and keeping fit to help boost the immune system so that it repels the attack.

How it works

Spiritual experiences are caused principally by the Extreme pain and Fever and hyperthermia as well as by the Hypoxia - see both Hypoxia and Hypoxia side-effects

 

References and further reading

Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2014 Jun 14. pii: S0213-005X(14)00186-4. doi:   0.1016/j.eimc.2014.04.006. [2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection treated with oseltamivir and possible association with acute pancreatitis in a 12 years old patient.]  [Article in Spanish] Sánchez Bautista A1, Alcalá Minagorre PJ2, Segura Sánchez S3, Mira-Perceval Juan G3.  PMID:  24939749

Related observations