Your Care Instructions
The pancreas is an organ behind the stomach that makes hormones and enzymes to help your body digest food. Pancreatitis occurs when these enzymes attack the pancreas, causing inflammation. Gallstones and heavy alcohol use are the most common causes.
Taking care of yourself at home can help you recover and avoid more problems with your pancreas.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It’s also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Have only clear liquids or bland foods such as rice, dry toast, crackers, bananas and applesauce until you feel better. Eat a low-fat diet until your doctor says your pancreas has healed.
- Do not drink alcohol. Tell your doctor if you need help to quit. Counseling, support groups and sometimes medicines can help you stay sober.
- Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the counter medicine.
- If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
- Get extra rest until you feel better.
To prevent future problems with your pancreas:
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Tell your doctors and pharmacist that you have had pancreatitis so they can help you avoid medicines that may cause pancreatitis.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have new or severe belly pain.
- You have a new or higher fever.
- You cannot keep fluid or medicines down.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- The symptoms you had when you first started feeling sick come back.
- You do not get better as expected.
- You need help to stop drinking alcohol.
Where can you learn more?
Go to the Patient Portal, log into, and enter J381 in the search box to learn more about Pancreatitis: After Your Visit.
Care instructions adapted under license by South Denver GI. This care instruction is for use with your licensed health care professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your health care professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.