If you have suffered from an acute pancreatitis attack most Doctors will usually start treatment by removing you from all foods. This gives your Pancreas a chance to “Cool Down” and stop the inflammation.
This period will usually last as long as your lipase numbers are elevated. Once the Pancreas is cooled down your Doctor will start you back on a Pancreatic Liquid Diet to slowly start you eating food again.
Pancreatic Liquid Diet
After the pancreas has cooled down and the pain faded then the next step will probably be to use a pancreatic liquid diet to slowly reintroduce you to food.
The diet that you will be prescribed are usually called a clear liquids diet and a full liquids diet. The idea that Doctors use is that food needs to be introduced slowly to allow the pancreas to slowly start full functioning again.
Clear Pancreatic Liquid Diet
Clear liquids will generally be introduced first then if the pancreatitis tolerates this well either a full liquid diet or a solid diet will be prescribed.
Clear Liquids are described as those that can be seen through. These liquids are more easily absorbed by the intestines and cause less stress to the pancreas.
Even though they contain some nutrition they are incapable of meeting the bodies energy requirements for more than a couple of days. This type of diet would include things like:
- Bouillon soup without vegetables or noodles.
- Fruit juices without pulp.
- Soft drinks
- Sports drinks
After several days or more recovering from an attack of Pancreatitis it’s amazing how good even gelatin can taste.
It’s almost like your taste buds have been reset and are tasting the food you are eating anew.
Full Pancreatic Liquid Diet
In some cases after you tolerate a pancreatic clear liquid diet instead of allowing a person to start a solid diet Doctors will want to have you try a full liquid diet.
These pancreatic liquid diets include everything in a clear liquid diet but also include:
- Cream of wheat
- Fruit juices with pulp
- Milk, milkshakes and ice cream
- Nutrition supplement drinks like Ensure or Boost
- Pureed meats or vegetables
- Soups with only a few solids
- Vegetable juices
- Yogurt and pudding
Of course many times people with pancreatitis also have Diabetis so these liquid diets may be further modified by your Doctor.
The timing between these changes also differs from Doctor to Doctor and usually will partially depend upon the severity of the attack.
If even these types of Pancreatic Liquid Diet irritate your Pancreas you will need to start back at the beginning and give your Pancreas a little more time to heal.
If you have started to back eating solid foods you should probably avoid fatty or greasy food for a while to let your Pancreas continue to heal.
In my case it takes almost twice as long to recover as whatever time I was in the hospital.
The hospital stay always leaves me a bit weak and I have to be very careful about what I eat to avoid getting another flare up.