Fibrosis of the pancreas ( pancreofibrosis ) is a pathological process characterized by the total replacement of the healthy parenchyma of the pancreas with layers or significant foci of connective (scar) tissue.
Mostly it is found at the final stage of the underlying disease of the gland and does not manifest itself.
Pancreatic fibrosis can be of two types:
- diffuse – develops if the changes affect the entire glandular tissue;
- focal – when only local areas of connective tissue appear in the pancreas.
According to development, three degrees of fibrosis are distinguished :
- Mild: The gland functions normally, but there are a small number of changes that affect only one lobe.
- Moderate: there are signs of a slight lack of enzyme secretion, and fibrous foci merge and spread to neighboring lobules
- Severe (diffuse fibrosis): enzymatic deficiency progresses, respectively, with an increase in clinical signs, scar tissue grows rapidly.
If, instead of scarring, the parenchymal part of the gland is replaced by adipose tissue, then lipomatosis develops.
Lipofibrosis of the pancreas, what is it?
There is also a combined variant of a violation of the structure of an organ, in which both connective and adipose tissues appear in place of healthy cells. It is called lipofibrosis , or fibro-fatty changes in the pancreas.
Causes and symptoms of pancreatic fibrosis
Pancreatic fibrosis often develops against the background of acute or chronic pancreatitis. Instead of inflamed cells, scar tissue appears, which cannot fully perform the function of a healthy gland, i.e. is not able to produce the enzymes necessary for the digestion of food, and the hormones that are vital for each of us (the well-known insulin).
In addition to the main cause, there are a number of risk factors for the disease:
- pathology of the liver and gallbladder ;
- alcohol abuse;
- emotional overload;
- mature and old age;
- infectious diseases;
- systemic connective tissue diseases;
- unhealthy diet;
- taking certain medications;
- cystic fibrosis – a severe pathology of all exocrine glands of the body, according to the international classification of diseases (ICD), pancreatic fibrosis is a manifestation of cystic fibrosis;
- poor blood supply to the pancreas due to atherosclerosis.
Symptoms of pancreosclerosis are nonspecific and appear only in case of exacerbation of chronic pancreatitis. Sometimes the patient may not even attach importance to them, believing that this is an ordinary indigestion. But you should pay attention if such symptoms appear, especially if they do not go away for a long time. These manifestations include:
- Enhanced gas production.
- Profuse diarrhea up to several times a day.
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen.
- Weight loss.
Read also Innervation of the pancreas and decomposition: what is it?
The above signs are characteristic of chronic inflammation of the gland. The rest appear only when the process is exacerbated:
- vomiting, especially after fatty or fried foods;
- pain in the central parts of the abdomen of a girdle character;
- violation of the digestion of food, in particular fats (small droplets of fat are visible in the stool).
If the pancreas has undergone serious changes, then a diabetes mellitus clinic may appear due to a violation of insulin secretion:
- Increase in daily diuresis;
- Constant thirst;
- Feeling of dry mouth;