Study Title:

Nutritional deficiencies in chronic pancreatitis.

Study Abstract

Marked weight loss is the major nutritional defect in chronic pancreatitis. Inadequate food intake owing to recurrent or near continuous pain usually accounts for the initial 10 to 20 per cent of loss of body weight, which decreases again with the onset of diabetes and is often precipitous with the development of steatorrhea. Treatment of pain, control of diabetes, and intensive pancreatic replacement therapy for steatorrhea usually causes weight gain, but seldom to ideal weight. It appears that the patient's body weight gets set at a new "weight-stat." Although isolated abnormalities of small bowel function tests can be elicited and deficiencies of fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, zinc, selenium, and so forth may be demonstrated, these rarely lead to clinical syndromes, as with demonstrable low B12 uptake in some 10 to 15 per cent of patients. In the late stage of the disease and particularly in NATP, extreme protein-calorie malnutrition may occur, which may not be correctable even by hyperalimentation. Although the mortality of the disease was reportedly higher in areas of socioeconomic deprivation, it appears from recent studies in Switzerland and other developed countries that mortality during a 12-year period may be in the region of 50 per cent worldwide.

Study Information

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 1989 Sep;18(3):543-65. PMID: 2680966.

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