Friday, 28 February 2014

Can Mcdonalds, Wendy’s, Burger King Or Taco Bell Cause Pancreatitis?

This is a common topic, we look at the relationship between fast food restaurants which are massive across the world and how they can damage the pancreas and potentially cause pancreatitis. I must outline from the start that their is no direct link between these foods and pancreatitis, however I will go over the reasons why the contents of their meals could potentially lead to some pancreas problems over time.

I must also emphasize from the start that you can eat healthy at these fast food chains and this won’t lead to pancreatitis. For example when i go to mcdonalds i get a health wrap and a bottle of water. If i go to Subway i can order nearly anything and not get sick from these meals as they are healthy and low in fat. The same can be done at the other fast food chains I will mention, so the problem isn’t these restaurants themselves, it is actually the consumers as these restaurants have gone to significant measures to serve healthy food over the past decade and the menus are constantly updating.

When you eat the high fat meals at fast food restaurants such as mcdonalds, wendys, burger king or taco bell well there is a chance this can lead to pancreatitis. This can happen when eating any fast food and the customer knows this. These companies make customers aware of what exactly they are eating. Drinking at starbucks or eating at subway is less likely to cause pancreatitis as there is a lot of healthy options. But once again it comes down to the individual, due to every human body being different. I have friends and family who have developed pancreatitis by eating something that has been cooked in the oven at home such as pork. So we can’t solely blame fast food companies for any problems that the food cause because the customers are made aware of what exactly they are consuming before they go in and purchase meals.

Dunkin Donuts, KFC, Pizza Hut and KFC can also cause pancreas problems and potentially pancreatitis. Once again this comes down to the individual. All meals are now served with product information such as calorie intake, fat levels and sugars. If you eat at these restaurants then eat healthy. I have noticed over the past decade that all of these restaurants we have talked about in this post provide healthy options. Even Dominos Pizza and Jack in the Box are now selling salads, so by eating this you’re not going to get sick.

On a personal note since i developed acute pancreatitis several years ago, I have eaten fast food occasionally. However you must know what works for you and what affects your pancreas in a damaging way. Instead of ordering full meals now, I simply order a burger, a water and no fried chips. But this is different for everyone. What I have learnt since having acute pancreatitis is that you need to know what your body can take and what doesn’t work well with your pancreas. Most people who have had acute pancreatitis in the past can continue to eat these foods, however those with chronic pancreatitis need to stop eating these foods.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Can You Have Pancreatitis Without Knowing It, Without Pain?

I have several emails consistently asking whether it is possible to have pancreatitis without knowing it, without any pain. Let me answer this question by describing my condition which was defined as ‘mild acute pancreatitis’, which haunted my holiday to the United States some years ago. My condition i may point out lasted for around five days and went away after two nights in hospital when i got back from holidays.

This pain i felt was nothing like any pain I had felt before. I knew something was wrong as the pain I had was ten times that of any stomach bug or sickness that I had contracted in the past. It would have been impossible for me to have pancreatitis without knowing it, such was the extreme pain I was having. Considering my condition was mild I find it highly unlikely (not impossible), that you could have pancreatitis without feeling some of the symptoms. It may be possible to have the condition and not know, through mixing up the symptoms with another illness or condition. However the pain I suffered was so excruciating that I had to rush back to my hotel room and call a doctor as soon as I got back. I only felt like sleeping and I was getting hot and cold sweats and I had to either take clothes off or put them on and it was one of the worst experiences of my life.

So using my experience which was a nightmare when travelling, it would have been difficult for me to not know I had pancreatitis. However everyone is unique and some people don’t feel pain at all, so if you have a high pain threshold then i think you may have a bigger chance of having the condition and not knowing it. So once again this all comes down to what I have advised throughout this site, see a local medical professional as soon as possible if you are worried you may have the condition. Best case scenario is that you are perfectly fine, however your mind will be at ease knowing you don’t have pancreatitis.