On April 20, 2018, it was announced that globally renowned DJ and musician Avicii was found dead. At the ripe young age of 28 years old, his life was lost too soon. Though a cause of death was not released, it was recognized that Avicii was struggling with significant health issues for years before his death, which caused him to retire from touring back in 2016. It was known that Avicii had pancreatitis and needed his gallbladder, as well as his appendix removed as a result. Also publicly known was that his pancreatitis was caused, at least in part, by alcohol abuse. Whether or not Avicii was an alcoholic or if he sought rehabilitation at any time is unknown.
Alcohol’s effect on the pancreas is not often discussed because the greatest area of concern in regards to alcohol is the liver. The liver is just one organ that alcohol can damage with excessive or abusive drinking. Pancreatitis can be caused by alcohol abuse and alcoholism.
The pancreas can be considered as two part. First is the exocrine pancreas. Second is the endocrine pancreas. Exocrine functions are necessary for digestion. Enzymes and acids are produced by the pancreas to help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Endocrine functions are perhaps the most important part of the pancreas and the reason why alcohol abuse hurts the pancreas. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, a hormone which helps regulate how much sugar is in the blood. Glucose levels, which are blood sugar levels, have to be regulated so that diabetes does not develop. When there is a large amount of sugar in the bloodstream, insulin is produced to help the muscles take the glucose and use is as fuel.
How alcohol affects the pancreas is connected to how it affects the liver. Alcohol is sugar and becomes sugar in the body. Too much alcohol overwhelms the liver, which cannot metabolize it. Too much alcohol means too much sugar, which means too much glucose. Insulin helps the liver absorb glucose. If the pancreas and liver are overwhelmed by alcohol the pancreas cannot produce insulin and the liver cannot absorb it. A deficiency of insulin production can result in diabetes, among other issues. A malfunctioning pancreas can lead to pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer as well.
Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Issues
If you intuitively feel something might be wrong, you can look for certain signs. For example, bloating, back pain, abdominal pain, weight loss, and loss of appetite is common. One of the most significant signs of pancreatic issue is jaundice, when the skin and the eyes start to turn a yellowish hue.
If you are abusing alcohol and do not feel you can stop, don’t continue to put your health at risk. Help is available. You can recover your life, your health, and your happiness. Call Tree House Recovery today for information on our men’s treatment programs in Orange County, California. Our programs help men find freedom from addiction by creating a sustainable recovery. Call: (855) 202-2138