Acute Pancreatitis In Children - 8 Causes & 6 Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of

Acute-Pancreatitis-In-Children Causes

Image: Shutterstock

Is your child suffering from severe bouts of nausea of late? Is he complaining of an inflammation in his abdomen? Well, if you can relate your child to the above health issues it’s time you gave pancreatitis a thought.

Acute Pancreatitis in childhood happens rarely. Do you know an episode of vomiting and abdominal pain may not just be a case of food poisoning or a stomach bug? It can be a symptom of a more serious health condition like Pancreatitis! Are you clueless about this dangerous disease, its causes and symptoms? Worry not! Read on to know all about Pancreatitis in children.

What Is Acute Pancreatitis?

Acute pancreatitis is a rare medical condition in children, but it increases the risk of morbidity and mortality. (1) Acute pancreatic necrosis is the other name for the sudden inflammation of the pancreas.

[ Read: Symptoms Of Lung Cancer In Children ]

Causes Of Acute Pancreatitis In Children:

In a majority of cases, acute pancreatitis occurs due to the formation

of gallstones or heavy alcohol consumption. Infections, metabolic disorders, medication, trauma and surgery may also trigger this inflammatory condition. (3) However, the cause in 30% cases of acute pancreatitis is still unknown. Other factors that increase the risk of acute pancreatitis in child include:

  1. High calcium levels in the blood
  2. Hyperparathyroidism
  3. Pancreatic cancer
  4. Abdominal injury
  5. High triglyceride levels
  6. Cigarette smoking
  7. Family history of pancreatitis
  8. Cystic fibrosis.(4)

[ Read: Ways To Control Your Kid From Consuming Alcohol ]

In children, acute pancreatitis usually occurs due to blunt abdominal trauma such as during a bicycle accident, motor vehicle collision, or due to certain systemic infections. Hereditary pancreatitis is also a common disorder. (5)

Symptoms Of Acute Pancreatitis:

In most cases, acute pancreatitis begins as a pain in the upper abdominal region, which may last for a few days. The pain may become severe and constant, and may also affect other areas of the body, including the back. It may intensify suddenly, and may worsen after the consumption of food. Some of the most common symptoms associated with acute pancreatitis include:

  1. Rapid pulse
  2. Vomiting
  3. A swelling in the abdomen
  4. Tenderness of the abdomen
  5. Nausea
  6. Low blood pressure

[ Read: Nausea In Children ]

Severe cases of acute pancreatitis may lead to dehydration, and in the worse case scenarios, it may lead to the failure of the vital organs. If the pancreas bleeds, a patient may go into shock and succumb to the condition. (6) Acute pancreatitis may lead to diabetes mellitus, retroperitoneal hemorrhage, hypocalcemic tetany and pseudocyst formation. (7)

Treatment Options:

Supportive care is the best treatment for acute pancreatitis in children. Usually, mild pain medications like acetaminophen can treat abdominal pain. A doctor may prescribe strong narcotic pain meds in severe cases. He may also suggest medicines to control nausea and vomiting.

A patient who is unable to eat due to nausea may require intravenous fluid therapy. Once the condition subsides, the child may slowly start consuming clear liquids and then graduate to eating regular food eventually.

It is important to note that 10% of children suffer from a recurrence of acute pancreatitis. Thankfully, there are certain causes of acute pancreatitis that are treatable. Identifying the cause of the disease is critical to treating and preventing it. (8) With the right care and attention, one can cure acute pancreatitis and reduce the risk of mortality that accompanies it.

Now that you know about this dreadful disease spread the word and enlighten other moms!

We hope this article helped you understand more about acute pancreatitis children. Do you have any views and experiences to share? Let us know in the comments box below.

Recommended Articles:

  • 14 Signs And Symptoms Of Concussion In Children
  • Food Allergy In Children – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments
  • Papular Urticaria In Children – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments
  • Heart Murmurs In Children – Everything You Need To Know