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My father had an attack of acute alcohol induced pancreatitis

My father (51 years, smoker) has drank an average of 3-5 beers a day for around 6 months now and this past Friday had his first binge night from a party where he told me he consumed around 13 drink in all.
He presented very reluctantly to emergency yesterday morning (after much coercing) with heart attack-like symptoms (chest pain, quick pulse, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue) as well as a tender/swollen abdomen.
He was seen by a Physician Assistant and once heart problems were ruled out, an abnormal lipase value suggested pancreatitis. The doctor then gave him a chalky-drink (not sure what it was as I had stepped out of the room) and repeated the lipase test 3 hours later as well as provided a chest x-ray. The chest x-ray came back clean, and the lipase result had gone back down to normal, and therefore he was swiftly discharged from emerg without much direction from the PA.
My concerns are as follows: My dad is feeling slightly better andhas gone back to work, the swelling is down, however he is still quite dehydrated/very tired and is having loose green stools. He says the abdominal pain is down to a dull ache. I am just concerned as to why they apparently rushed him out of emerg without any sort of abdominal CT or IV nourishment. Can a lipase test really ensure his condition will improve?
I am looking for any sort of dietary advice to offer to my father, and any warning signs in which I should potentially get him to return to emergency as he is very reluctant to see a doctor. He knows that he needs to now avoid alcohol (in his mind, at least for the time being)
I greatly appreciate any input as I am quite worried, thanks.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
The ER dept should have suggested your father contact his personal physician and follow-up on what was found and what the next steps should be. As reluctant as he is to see a doctor, it's really necessary that he does just that. Just a change in diet or discontinuing his drinking may not be the final answer.

Give your father a gentle shove toward seeing a doctor, or if you have a doctor you like, make an appointment for him with that individual and drive him there if necessary.

Emergency rooms are just that - for emergencies. They're supposed to quickly diagnose and stabilize. Then the individual is either moved into a room at the hospital if it's needed, or they're released and told to contact their own doctor. In this day and age - considering the costs - an individual using them shouldn't typically expect a lot more than that.

A personal physician will order any blood work and scans that are necessary and take further steps to help your father to get well. Depending on the severity of the condition, the physician may suggest a liquid diet to give the pancreas a rest, or something along the lines of a very 'soft' and limited diet, perhaps with the addition of specific digestive enzymes to allow the body to utilize the food that's being taken in.
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