Learn the Best Natural Remedies to Relieve Pancreatitis (2023)

Pancreatitis is swelling or inflammation of the pancreas. It's very painful and can be fatal in severe cases.

If your pain starts suddenly and lasts for a few days, you have an acute form of pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis requires immediate hospital attention, and should not be treated at home.

If your pain is long-lasting and occurs over many years, you have the chronic form. While there is no cure for chronic pancreatitis, lifestyle changes and natural remedies can help you manage your symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

Read on to learn more about the various natural home treatment options for chronic pancreatitis, including diet and lifestyle changes.

Basics of Pancreatitis

Your pancreas is behind your stomach in the upper part of your belly. When you eat, it makes juices containing enzymes that break down food.When your pancreas gets swollen or inflamed, the enzymes mistakenly attack the very tissues that make them.

Every year in the U.S., about 275,000 people are hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. Gallstones are the most common cause.Treatment often involves intravenous (IV) fluids. Under this method, healthcare providers deliver antibiotics, liquids, and painkillers directly into a vein in your arm.

Acute pancreatitis can be life-threatening. If you experience symptoms such as severe pain in your upper abdomen that spreads to your back, seek medical attention right away.

For chronic pancreatitis, the most common cause is heavy alcohol use, which is defined as drinking four to five alcoholic drinks a day. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and oily stools. This form of pancreatitis can worsen over time and cause organ damage, diabetes, kidney failure, and breathing problems.

To avoid these risks and prevent future attacks, you need to eat right, watch your weight, and exercise regularly.

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Diet and Nutrition

People with severe cases of pancreatitis can become malnourished. Many need total parenteral nutrition. Fasting for several hours or days may relieve pain due to a chronic pancreatitis flare-up. However, fasting is done under the supervision of a healthcare provider who will feed you nutrients through an IV drip inserted into your vein.

When your healthcare provider says it's ok to eat again, you can make several diet and nutrition changes at home to relieve pain and inflammation safely.

Start with smaller, more frequent meals. Following a low-fat diet that limits greasy, fried, and processed foods can lessen pain and prevent more attacks. That’s because the more fat you eat, the more digestive enzymes your pancreas releases. Higher levels of enzymes can cause an attack.

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential. Pancreatitis can cause dehydration. That's why many healthcare providers recommend keeping a water bottle with you and drinking at least 8 cups of water during the day.

Because caffeine can cause dehydration, they recommend sticking to just one cup of coffee or tea per day. Even if you have a mild case of pancreatitis, healthcare providers recommend not drinking any alcohol at all. This can worsen symptoms and cause more attacks.

Healthy Foods to Eat With Chronic Pancreatitis

Weight Loss

Acute pancreatitis is becoming more common in the U.S. Unhealthy diets and higher rates of obesity may be behind this trend. That's because a high-fat diet increases the risk of gallstones.

Studies have also shown that being obese can worsen the severity of acute pancreatitis. Fat in and around the pancreas can cause inflammation. In severe cases, this can damage cells and tissue within your pancreas.

So, if you're obese, your healthcare provider will likely recommend losing weight to prevent flare-ups. Losing weight requires behavior and lifestyle changes like exercising more and limiting your portion sizes. You might also want to ask your healthcare provider about seeing a nutritionist and getting help from a fitness expert.

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Natural Remedies

Research on the use of natural remedies for pancreatitis relief is limited. There is some evidence that certain supplements may ease symptoms. Here’s a look at findings from those studies:

Antioxidants

In one review, researchers looked at 12 studies involving 585 people living with chronic pancreatitis. Some took antioxidants; some didn't. The participants rated their pain on a scale of one to 10. The researchers found that one-third of the people who took the antioxidants reported having less pain after six months.

However, the number of pain-free patients at the end of the study was the same in both groups. The people who took the supplements also reported having more side effects, like headaches or upset stomachs.

Patients with pancreatitis have lower levels of antioxidants and higher levels of free radicals. Those are unstable molecules in the body that can hurt cells and cause illness. Other studies have found no benefit to treatment with antioxidants.

Glutamine

Glutamineis an amino acid. It helps break down food and boosts your immune system.

Some small studies suggest that glutamine supplements may help some patients avoid infections. Infections are the leading cause of death among people with severe acute pancreatitis.

In one study, researchers reviewed 12 clinical trials with a total of 505 patients with acute pancreatitis. Healthcare providers treated some with glutamine. Others didn't get the supplements. The study found that the patients treated with glutamine were:

  • 40% less likely to have complications, especially infections
  • 70% less likely to die than those who didn't take the supplement

However, the researchers say the treatment only helped patients fed through tubes. There was also no difference in the length of hospital stays between patients who got the treatment and those who didn't.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These are nutrients you can get by eating salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds. Some small studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation from pancreatitis and repair damaged tissue.

Researchers reviewed eight clinical trials involving 364 participants with severe acute pancreatitis. Some were treated with omega-3 fatty acids. Others weren't.

The researchers found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of death by about 75% among the patients who were treated with the supplements via feeding tubes. These patients were also less likely to get infections and had shorter hospital stays than those who didn't get the supplements.

Patients fed through feeding tubes benefitted more than those who could eat normally.

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Chronic Pancreatitis Medications and Treatment Options

Summary

Pancreatitis is painful swelling or inflammation of the pancreas. In severe cases, it can be fatal. Making specific lifestyle changes can help ease pain and lessen the risk of future attacks. These changes include not drinking alcohol, cutting back on caffeine, following a low-fat diet, and watching your weight.

Some small studies have suggested that using supplements to treat people with severe cases of pancreatitis may help lessen their pain, avoid infections, and live longer. However, it's too early to tell whether these remedies can benefit all patients with pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis Symptoms and Treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you test for pancreatitis at home?

    No, you cannot test for pancreatitis at home. While there are rapid urine tests available that don't require any lab processing, these must be performed by a healthcare provider.

  • What causes pancreatitis attacks?

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    The main cause of acute pancreatitis is gallstones. For chronic pancreatitis, the main cause is heavy, daily alcohol use. This is defined as drinking four to five alcoholic beverages a day. Binge drinking is a rare cause of pancreatitis.

  • How can I prevent another pancreatic attack?

    Don't drink any alcohol. Limit the amount of caffeine you consume. When you can eat, follow a low-fat diet. Avoid greasy, fried, and processed foods like hot dogs and bacon. Watch your weight and exercise daily.

  • Can you cure pancreatitis on your own?

    Acute pancreatitis requires treatment in a hospital setting, and you should never try to treat acute pancreatitis at home. There is no cure for chronic pancreatitis, but certain home treatments can help you manage symptoms and prevent-flare ups. This includes eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding alcohol.

  • Do antacids help pancreatitis pain?

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    Antacids are not recommended for treated pancreatitis pain. Some research even shows that using antacids may trigger acute pancreatitis in some people. If you are considering using antacids (or any other over-the-counter medication) for your pancreatitis pain, consult with your healthcare provider first.

FAQs

What is the best natural remedy for pancreatitis? ›

Natural Treatment Remedies to Relieve Pancreatitis
  • Turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation and provides relief from the symptoms of an inflamed pancreas. ...
  • Ginger. ...
  • Coconut Oil. ...
  • Spinach. ...
  • Mushrooms. ...
  • Pancreatitis Treatment in Austin, TX.
22 Oct 2021

What is the fastest way to relieve pancreatitis? ›

Newer data have suggested that eating as soon as you tolerate food helps heal the pancreas. As the inflammation in your pancreas improves and pain symptoms improve, you should begin drinking clear liquids and eating bland foods. With time, you can go back to your normal diet.

What can I take to relieve pancreatitis? ›

Treatment for Pancreatitis
  • a hospital stay to treat dehydration with intravenous (IV) fluids and, if you can swallow them, fluids by mouth.
  • pain medicine, and antibiotics by mouth or through an IV if you have an infection in your pancreas.
  • a low-fat diet, or nutrition by feeding tube or IV if you can't eat.

How can I ease pancreatitis at home? ›

Making specific lifestyle changes can help ease pain and lessen the risk of future attacks. These changes include not drinking alcohol, cutting back on caffeine, following a low-fat diet, and watching your weight.

What herbs heal the pancreas? ›

Emblica is a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal plant used to treat pancreatic disorders. It is a powerful antioxidant and one of the richest natural sources of vitamin C. Animal studies suggest that this herb can be used to prevent pancreatitis.

Can I heal pancreatitis on my own? ›

Acute pancreatitis usually gets better on its own over time. Most people recover without any problems. A small number of cases end up with fluid collections around the pancreas that require drainage. Chronic pancreatitis may also get better on its own.

How do you cleanse your pancreas? ›

Some of the best things to do to cleanse your pancreas is to drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables. It's particularly important to eat produce with high water content. Additionally, increase your intake of fiber-rich foods. Fiber is necessary for proper gut health and digestion.

Is lemon water good for pancreas? ›

Lemons, lemon water and lemon juice for pancreatitis

At any stage of pancreatitis, doctors forbid the use of lemon, lemon water in any form because of the high concentration of acids that stimulate secretory activity of the digestive glands, dangerous in pancreatitis.

What tea is good for pancreatitis? ›

Researchers report that drinking chamomile tea daily helps prevent complications of diabetes, such as vision loss, nerve and kidney damage. This speaks to chamomile's ability to squash free radical damage in the body, and it's exactly what you want to do if you have pancreatitis, too.

How can I take care of my pancreas naturally? ›

There are ways you can protect your pancreas and reduce your risk for pancreatitis and other serious health problems, such as EPI.
  1. Limit alcohol consumption. ...
  2. Eat a heart-healthy diet. ...
  3. Exercise regularly and lose excess weight. ...
  4. Skip crash diets. ...
  5. Don't smoke.
7 Apr 2022

Does ginger help with pancreatitis? ›

Figure C & D treated with Ginger 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg doses, reduced the pancreatic damage. As per our results of histopathology of the pancreas indicated that the treatment group significantly reduced pancreatic damage.

What fruits help pancreas? ›

Antioxidant-rich foods such as dark, leafy vegetables, red berries, blueberries, sweet potatoes, grapes, carrots, walnuts and pomegranates are also beneficial. But, eat avocado, olive oil, fatty fish, nuts and seeds in moderation.

What vitamin helps your pancreas? ›

Vitamin D seems to play a role in pancreatic disease, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus as well as pancreatic cancer. Vitamin D's immune-modulatory action suggests that it could help prevent type 1 diabetes.

What vitamins should I take for pancreatitis? ›

A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, D, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 to 2 capsules or 1 to 2 tbsp. of oil daily, to help reduce inflammation and improve immunity.

Is apple cider vinegar good for pancreas? ›

Apple cider vinegar may slow the release of sugar (from foods) into the bloodstream and avoid dangerous spikes in blood glucose. This lowers your body's need for insulin and takes the stress off of your pancreas.

How do you permanently treat pancreatitis? ›

There is no cure for chronic pancreatitis, but the related pain and symptoms may be managed or even prevented. Since chronic pancreatitis is most often caused by drinking, abstinence from alcohol is often one way to ease the pain.

Which oil is good for pancreatitis? ›

Fatty acids and phytochemicals found in fish oil and olive oil have been shown to block cellular mechanisms involved in the development of acute pancreatitis, say researchers.

Does pancreatitis ever fully go away? ›

Most people with acute pancreatitis improve within a week and experience no further problems, but severe cases can have serious complications and can even be fatal. Acute pancreatitis is different to chronic pancreatitis, where the inflammation of the pancreas persists for many years.

How do you rest the pancreas and let it heal? ›

Lifestyle changes
  1. Avoiding alcohol. The most important thing you can do is stop drinking alcohol, even if it isn't the cause of your condition. ...
  2. Stopping smoking. If you smoke, you should stop. ...
  3. Dietary changes. Because chronic pancreatitis can affect your ability to digest certain foods, you may need to change your diet.

How can I heal my liver and pancreas? ›

Treatment of liver and pancreas disorders
  1. Reduce alcohol consumption.
  2. Reduce fatty meals.
  3. Reduce prescription/recreational drug use.
  4. Reduce smoking.

Is banana good for pancreas? ›

Since bananas are easy to digest, rich in fiber and promote gut health and digestion, they are considered pancreas-friendly foods.

Is cinnamon good for the pancreas? ›

Health benefits of cinnamon

It promotes the release of insulin from the pancreas and boosts insulin sensitivity that helps in the processing of glucose. Cinnamon benefits and improves the digestive system.

Is coffee good for pancreatitis? ›

A subgroup analysis of patients with acute pancreatitis also revealed similar findings. Heavy coffee-drinkers had a significantly reduced risk of acute pancreatitis (20% reduction; pooled RR 0.80; 95% CI 0.63-1.00) compared with not heavy coffee-drinkers.

Is yogurt good for pancreatitis? ›

Drink or eat non-fat or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, or other milk products each day. Read the labels on cheeses, and choose a reduced fat option. Try fat-free sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt.

What food irritate the pancreas? ›

Common foods that irritate the pancreas include liver, red meat, hamburgers, French fries, and potato chips. Full-fat milk or cheese, margarine, and butter, along with pastries and mayonnaise are other foods to avoid.

Can you get rid of pancreatitis on your own? ›

There is no cure for chronic pancreatitis, but the related pain and symptoms may be managed or even prevented. Since chronic pancreatitis is most often caused by drinking, abstinence from alcohol is often one way to ease the pain.

What juice is good for the pancreas? ›

Pancreatic juicing recipes

1 cup arugula + 1/4 cup carrots + one sliced apple + fresh ginger, to taste. 1 cup kale + 1/2 cup blueberries + small handful of almonds. 1 cup spinach + 1/2 cup strawberries + 5 to 10 seedless red table grapes.

Does lemon water clean pancreas? ›

Sours foods like lemon improve the production of digestive enzymes in your body, thereby keeping the pancreas in a good state of health.

Is Ginger good for pancreatitis? ›

In conclusion, the present study, for the first time, shows potential anti-inflammatory as well as antilipemic action of dried ginger water extract against hypertriglyceridemia induced acute pancreatitis in experimental animals.

Are bananas good for pancreatitis? ›

Are bananas good to eat when you have pancreatitis? Ripe bananas are a good option because they're easy to digest. They also have a good amount of fiber, reducing your risk of gallstones and high triglycerides, which can sometimes cause acute pancreatitis.

What vitamins and herbs help pancreas? ›

You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements: A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, D, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 to 2 capsules or 1 to 2 tbsp.

Does Pineapple help pancreatitis? ›

Eating pineapple is particularly beneficial for those suffering from pancreatic insufficiency, a condition in which the pancreas cannot make enough digestive enzymes. Apart from this, due to its high fiber and water content, the fruit can also prevent constipation and keep the gut lining healthy.

What foods and drinks help your pancreas? ›

Eat a low-fat diet
  • Try to eat 4 to 6 small meals and snacks each day instead of 3 large meals.
  • Choose lean meats. ...
  • Drink or eat non-fat or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, or other milk products each day. ...
  • Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. ...
  • Eat whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice, or pasta.

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