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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Pancreas


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Pancreatic Regeneration
Question: I am a 51 years old male with a diabetic syndrome until 1989. I have a renal failure too. Is it possible a pancreatic regeneration for a new production of insulin in my person? What is the real possibility?

Answer: Pancreatic transplant yes. Regeneration no (at least currently). A lot of research is being undertaken in growing and transplanting pancreatic islet cells. I doubt it will be ready for the next 5-10 years, but things can change quickly given the right breakthroughs.

Pancreas
Question: Approximately 2 years ago I was having stomach and abdominal pain, vomiting after eating, an aversion to food (I couldn't look at it), severe stomach distention and odd stools. It was discovered I had digestive juices flowing back into my stomach and a small cyst on my pancreas. I took medication for the stomach and after about a year it tapered off. Lately it has come back with a vengeance and I don't really want to go through another round of ulcer tests again, as this seems to be the immediate response to this type of complaint. I am with a new doctor as mine has moved and sure enough (even with my files), he thinks it's my stomach. Could my pancreas cause this type of problem as there is a small cyst there? I'm 39 years old, have a tendency to low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and a chronic problem with skin cysts and abscesses (requiring surgery a Thekin grafts on 3 occasions).

Answer: It would help to know the medications you took with the previous episode. However, rather than take ulcer tests, the medications are now available over the counter. Merely double the recommended dosage of Tagamet, Pepcid, etc., and you'll be at prescription doses. Did they test for Helicobacter Pylori? This is a bacteria that can cause recurrent gastritis and ulcers. It is treated with antibiotics as well as the above medications. I doubt that the cyst would cause the problem, but you'll need to get a repeat echo to see if it is enlarging. Pseudocysts can cause similar problems and would need surgery. Usually the amylase level is up in the blood as well as the cyst enlarging.

Investigational Drugs
Question: Is there an investigational drug for treating pancreatitis called lexipafont or something similar? Do you have any information about it or references where I could locate info?

Answer: I am not familiar with this drug: however, all these drugs under investigation are potentially available through the National Institute of Health. If there is a current protocol under investigation, you might be eligible.



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