This organ occupies a transverse position in the abdomen, posterior to the stomach and anterior to the first lumber vertebra. It extends from the concavity of the loop of the duodenum on the right to the mesial surface of the spleen on the left side of the body. It is from six to eight inches in length. The right end is known as the head and the left end as the tail. It is bent into an “S” shape to adapt itself to the spinal column and the surrounding organs. It secretes certain enzymes. Trypsin converts proteins into peptones; amylopsin converts starch into maltose; the rennet ferment has the powder of curdling milk, and steapsin has the power of emulsifying and saponifying oil and fats. In spite of these facts glycosuria, fatty stools, and intestinal indigestion are most constant in the disease of the pancreas, but are rather presumptive evidence of its disease.
The greatest evidence of disease of the pancreas is the presence of a deep-seated tumor midway between the umbilicus and ensiform cartilage. Accompanying this condition are deep-seated pains, fatty stools, glycosuria, ascities and jaundice. There are sensations of discomfort or oppression, which may be increased to actual pain.
Acute Pancreatitis varieties are Hemorrhagic, suppurative and gangrenous.
Hemorrhagic Pancreatitis occurs most frequently in corpulent adult males, the result of the impaction of a gallstone in such a manner that the bile passes into the pancreatic duct. Ttaumatism, chronic alcoholism, chronic gastro-duodenitis, and mercurialsim are found associated in some cases. These appear suddenly. There is an intense deep-seated colicky pain in the epigastrium accompanied with nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal distension, and indications of collapse. The temperature is often sub-normal at first; while later it is above normal. Fatty stools, albuminuria, hiccough, dyspnea, and delirium may supervene and death results in from two to four days.
Suppurative Pancreatitis is similar to that of the hemorrhagic variety with the addition of the pyogenic organism. The organ is enlarged; land small suppurative points appear in the substance of the organs, which may in time destroy a portion, or the whole of the pancreas.
In Gangrenous Pancreatitis, the organ becomes necrotic. The symptoms are obscure, but are often similar to those of the hemorrhagic form with the addition of chills and fever. The duration is from one to three weeks. It usually terminates in death. Iris Ver; Iodine, and other medicine in Homeopath treatment are found useful.