It is defined as the autoimmune condition in which our immune cells start to attack the cells of pancreases. It also known as AIP. There are two types of autoimmune pancreatitis.
Type 1 which is igG4 related and attack on many organs like pancreas, ducts of liver, glands, kidney and bile ducts.
Type 2 is known as idiopathic duct-centric pancreatitis. It is generally associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
Signs and symptoms mostly mimic the pancreatic cancer which include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dark colored urine
- Pale colored stool
- Pain in abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
The exact cause of autoimmune pancreatitis is not known yet. But certain factors like viral illness may trigger the immunity to attack on own cells of pancreas and start the autoimmune pancreatitis.
If left untreated it may lead to the following complications:
- Stones in pancreatic ducts
- Diabetes due to the lack of insulin
- Pancreatic insufficiency due to lack of pancreatic enzyme which may make digest the food difficult.
After taking your medical history your doctor may perform the examination of abdomen to check the tenderness and any obvious swelling and might recommend the following test to rule out the other causes:
- Blood test to check the other infectious causes and check the complete blood count.
- Imaging test like ultrasound and MRI will give you better result to check the extent of disease.
- Endoscopy to visualize the condition through the endoscope.
Treatment option include:
- It provides the immediate relief from the inflammatory reactions.
- Immunosuppressant to suppress the over active immune system to prevent the further damage.
- Biliary stenting to drain the biliary ducts to improve the jaundice.
- To treat the pancreatic insufficiency, give the supplements of enzyme to reduce the complications of digestion
- Treat the diabetes by giving medicine or insulin.