AntiOxidant Therapy for Pancreatitis
Antioxidant therapy is an innovative way in the field of medicine that doctors can use to treat certain conditions. These conditions include inflammatory diseases, and other diseases that arise due to a toxic level of free radicals present in the body. To treat these conditions, it is important to scavenge the free radicals that have resulted in these diseases.
Antioxidants play a vital role in this regard as these are important agents gifted from nature that come with a true aim to scavenge these chemical species that are highly harmful for the body. These antioxidants include certain vitamins and minerals, including fish liver oil, ascorbic acid, alpha tocopherol and others.
Moreover, eating fresh fruits can generate many fresh radicals that are then used for the scavenging of these harmful molecules. That is why, antioxidant therapy is highly important, especially in patients with inflammatory conditions. In this article, we will look what is pancreatitis and how can this condition be managed with the help of antioxidant therapy.
Symptoms and Causes of Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a painful condition having many symptoms that include nausea, pain, vomiting, disturbed gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea, constipation, malabsorption and malnutrition, in some cases, shortness of breath, depression, psychosocial issues, tenderness of the abdomen on touching, losing of weight with no trying, fat containing stool formation, and many others depending on the severity and the type of the disease.
Possible causes behind pancreatitis can be a defect in the DNA like gene mutation, chronic use of acidic and spicy foods with no balance of the pH, any surgery in the abdomen, alcoholism on a regular basis that can damage the pancreatic walls and create pancreatic insufficiency, smoking because of the high oxidative stress, carcinoma in the pancreatic cells, infection, formation of gallstones, bacterial or viral attack on the pancreatic duct, any obstruction in the pancreatic duct resulting in the inflamed area in response to the obstruction, high levels of calcium in the blood – also known as hypercalcemia, overactive parathyroid gland, cystic fibrosis – a respiratory tract disorder, and the list goes on. In all of the cases, the symptoms occur due to the built up of the oxidative stress that happens as a result of the conditions mentioned here.
Antioxidant Therapy for Pancreatitis
Antioxidant therapy can be used for treating pancreatitis, an inflammatory condition where the cells of the pancreas get damaged and the mucous cells are unable to secrete pancreatic juice in the normal manner.
Types of Pancreatitis
There are two types of pancreatitis:
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Acute pancreatitis
Chronic pancreatitis is an indication manifestation via a chronic destruction of the tissue of pancreas through inflammation and fibrosis. Patients are having abdominal signs of pancreatic insufficiency and abdominal pain in this condition. The whole mechanism behind this disease is still to be understood. However, the medical management of this disease revolves around opening the passage of the obstructed duct. Behind the pathophysiology, strong evidence has shown a huge amount of oxidative stress to be behind in damaging the mucosa, resulting in inflammation and pain.
Selenium, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, alpha tocopherol, and methionine are some important antioxidants that are given at sufficient dosage and fixed time schedule to address the pathology of this condition. These antioxidants are aimed at scavenging the harmful free radicals and therefore the high amount of oxidative stress in the pancreatic duct. This results in the easing of the cells and the inflammatory condition is then controlled. The result is a relief in the pain and discomfort, and the patient shows a better result.
The same goes for the disease management protocol in acute pancreatitis, a condition in which there is a sudden onset of disease with symptoms that are easily manageable. The causes are mainly sudden tissue injury of the pancreatic duct, resulting in high oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can be controlled by giving a noted quantity of antioxidants in the antioxidant therapy to patients suffering from acute pancreatitis.
Vitamin C in this regard has played an important role in treating the disease and easing the symptoms of the condition in the patient.
Abdominal pain is the chief complaint of the patient going through this condition. To manage this condition, it is important to treat the patient’s pain so there is minimum discomfort in the healing process. for that, antioxidants play a vital role. They act by addressing the inflamed cells of the duct and scavenge the harmful free radicals that are behind the cause of the build up of oxidative stress resulting in chronic pain. When the oxidative stress subsides, the patient feels an instant relief from the pain that was disturbing the patient.
The current scientific evidence suggests that this oxidative stress has a highly pivotal role to play when it comes to the pathophysiology of both acute and chronic pancreatitis. To ease this, administering different kinds of antioxidants in particular amounts and at particular times to patients having painful inflammatory pancreatic conditions is highly helpful in this manner. Antioxidant supplements can be advocated as a medicinal therapy for patients having pancreatic conditions with a notable lowered volume of antioxidants in their blood.
Important Antioxidants for Pancreatitis
Some examples of antioxidants for treating pancreatitis are the following:
Grape Seed Extract
Grape seed extract is a highly important antioxidant with a great potency to address the issues caused by pancreatitis. The herb contains an appreciable amount of vitamin C that is known as a powerful antioxidant with high free radical scavenging properties and thus is used for treating chronic pancreatitis pain symptoms.
Vitamin B complex is essential for carrying out many major functions in the body. In addition to that, vitamin B plays an important role in managing pain symptoms in patients having pancreatitis and is administered in specific amounts at specific intervals as recommended by the medical practitioner.
Vitamin E or alpha tocopherol is notable an important scavenger for free radicals. Therefore, it can be said that it plays a highly essential role as an antioxidant in the medical antioxidant therapy for the treatment and management of many inflammatory conditions of the body, including chronic and acute pancreatitis.
Vitamin K is a blood clotting vitamin and is produced by the bacteria in the gut. It also serves as a powerful antioxidant agent against many free radicals and is therefore helpful in scavenging these molecules. To subside the inflammatory process aggravated by the free radicals in the case of pancreatitis, vitamin K plays an important role in alleviating different symptoms of the diseases, pain being one of the highlighted ones.
Anyhow, some amino acids like methionine has an important role to play in treating this disease and is given at a specific dose as recommended by the physician to the patient suffering from the condition. Moreover, liquorice extract, lemon, and several other kinds of citrus fruits contain essential and highly appreciable amounts of necessary antioxidants that highly play an important role in scavenging and thus diminishing all the free radicals and therefore the oxidative stress on the body of the patient suffering with either type of the pancreatic inflammation disorder – chronic and acute.
Not only antioxidant therapy is effective in treating certain signs and symptoms in this inflammatory condition, but there is also a need to include antioxidants from dietary sources. Anti-inflammatory diet is appreciated in patients having this condition. It is important to note that the typical Mediterranean diet serves as an ideal example of this anti-inflammatory diet that contains a source of many natural foods rich in antioxidants. The main goal of this diet is to give the body as many antioxidants that are needed for curing or management of the symptoms of the disease. This includes citrus fruits, cherries, leafy, dark vegetables, nuts, seeds, almonds, fish liver oil, seafood, shellfish, and eggs provided there are no allergic reactions to any of these food items.
Moreover, besides having foods and supplements rich in antioxidants, it is recommended that the patient adapts a healthy lifestyle so all the oxidative stress being built up in the body is flushed out and the patient feels relieved from the aggravated symptoms of pain and gastrointestinal discomfort. A good exercise schedule, omittance of smoking and alcohol, adapting to mental health friendly measures, having a good dietary habits, and being notable of any chemicals and drugs that might increase the oxidative stress of the body is highly important in the management of the disease in a better and effective manner. No one route is the only way a disease can be cured or managed. So it is highly essential to note all the factors and follow the guidelines as stated by the health professionals in a medical setting.
In short, antioxidants play an important role in addressing many symptoms of the condition and therefore play a healing effect for the patients having acute or chronic pancreatitis. Antioxidant therapy has proved to be an appreciable route of disease management in patients having inflammatory conditions such as chronic and acute pancreatitis.