7 Signs That Your Pancreas Is Not Working Properly
It’s no secret that the pancreas is a vital organ in the human body. It’s responsible for producing essential hormones and enzymes. Generally, it plays a crucial role in digestion and blood sugar regulation. But when the pancreas isn’t functioning correctly, it can lead to several health issues. This article highlights six signs that may indicate your pancreas is not working properly.
One common sign of pancreatic issues is abdominal pain, which often occurs in the upper-middle or upper-left part of the abdomen. This discomfort may also radiate to the back. The pain might intensify after eating, particularly when consuming high-fat meals. In some patients, the pain may worsen while eating and drinking.
The question is, what causes this pain? In some cases, abdominal pain can be caused by pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis can be acute, which is a sudden and severe condition, or chronic, which is a long-lasting inflammation that can damage the pancreas over time.
However, if you experience persistent abdominal pain, it’s essential to consult with your doctor or other healthcare professionals.
Persistent Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting that don’t go away can also indicate a problem with the pancreas. These symptoms may be a result of the body’s inability to digest food properly, leading to indigestion and other gastrointestinal issues.
Oily, Foul-Smelling Stool
A pancreas that isn’t working correctly may not produce enough digestive enzymes, which are essential for breaking down food. This can lead to undigested fat in the stool, causing it to be oily, greasy, and foul-smelling. If you notice these changes in your bowel movements, see your healthcare provider.
Unintended Weight Loss
Another sign that your pancreas may not be functioning properly is unintended weight loss. When the pancreas is not producing sufficient digestive enzymes, your body may struggle to absorb nutrients from food. This can lead to malnutrition and weight loss without any apparent reason.
Typically, malabsorption occurs when your body cannot effectively break down and absorb nutrients from the food you consume. This can result from pancreatic insufficiency, which is the pancreas’s inability to produce enough digestive enzymes.
If you’re losing weight without trying and experiencing other symptoms mentioned in this article, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional.
Increased Thirst and Urination
The pancreas plays a significant role in regulating blood sugar levels through the production of insulin. When it’s not functioning correctly, it may cause an increase in thirst and frequent urination. These symptoms could be indicative of diabetes, a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to a lack of insulin and high blood sugar levels.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas may still produce insulin, but the body’s cells become resistant to its effects, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels.
Yellowing of the Skin and Eyes
Jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin and eyes, can be a sign of pancreatic problems. When your pancreas isn’t functioning correctly, it may not be able to break down bilirubin, a waste product that accumulates in the bloodstream. As a result, bilirubin can build up in your body, causing your skin and eyes to appear yellow. If you notice any yellowing of your skin or eyes, it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately.
Persistent Fatigue and Weakness
Fatigue and weakness are common symptoms of many conditions, including pancreatic issues. When your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin, your body cannot properly use glucose for energy, leading to feelings of exhaustion and lethargy.