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Hereditary pancreatitis

Hereditary pancreatitis Causes

Hereditary pancreatitis is a genetic disorder, meeaning it runs in families. Most people with hereditary pancreatitis have a mutation to the cationic tryspinogen gene, also known as PRSS1. There are a few different types of known mutations of this gene that are associated with hereditary pancreatitis

Hereditary pancreatitis Definition

Hereditary pancreatitis is a genetic disease affecting the production of enzymes in the pancreas. In the pancreas, a genetic mutation causes the enzyme cationin trypsinogen to be made in a way which leaves it resistant to inactivation through autolysis. Normally this autolysis mechanism prevents trypsinogen from being activated inside the pancreas. However, when the abnormal trypsinogen is activated, it results to a chain reaction where all the trypsinogen in the pancreas is activated, effectively digesting the pancreas from the inside.

Hereditary pancreatitis Diagnosis

Aside from asking about a person's medical history and doing a physical exam, a doctor will order a blood test to diagnose acute pancreatitis. During acute attacks, the blood contains at least three times more amylase and lipase than the usual amount. Amylase and lipase are digestive enzymes produced in the pancreas. Changes may also arise in blood levels of glucose, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and bicarbonate. After the pancreas improves, these levels usually go back to normal.

Hereditary pancreatitis Symptoms and Signs

Symptoms are typically the same as acute pancreatitis, including severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Hereditary pancreatitis Treatment

There is no known treatment for the disease, although complications such as malnutrition can be treated with supplimentary pancreatic enzymes.

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