Our pancreas, which controls insulin levels and digestion, is essential to maintaining the delicate balance of health. But when pancreatitis strikes, this organ gets inflamed, which interferes with normal function, causing several problems, including weight loss!
For general health, it’s essential to maintain an ideal weight, but for those with pancreatitis, this becomes an incredibly challenging task. It takes a systematic and planned approach to gain weight.
Let’s read this blog, which discusses the multiple tactics for gaining weight while managing the difficulties associated with pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas, a crucial organ situated behind the stomach.
Causes of pancreatitis include:
- History of Gallstones
- Alcohol usage
- Autoimmune conditions
- Trauma to pancreas
General symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal discomfort,
- Nausea and vomiting,
- High fever
- An increased heart rate.
WHY DOES PANCREATITIS CAUSE WEIGHT LOSS?
Digestive enzymes such as lipase and amylase, which are necessary for the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates, are produced by the pancreas.
The inflammation associated with pancreatitis prevents these enzymes from being released normally, which slows down digestion. This leads to a compromise in the absorption of nutrients.
The body finds it challenging to convert complicated nutrients into forms that can pass through the intestinal barrier, which results in–weight loss.
Importance of healthy weight management
Sustaining a healthy weight is essential for controlling the symptoms of pancreatitis.
Losing weight can make the problem worse by increasing pancreatic inflammation.
On the other hand, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight helps ease the pancreas’ workload, accelerating recovery and easing symptoms.
Not only pancreatitis but also good weight control affects general health and improves the quality of life. Remaining within a healthy weight range lowers the chance of developing other conditions like diabetes, which are common issues for people with pancreatitis.
CHALLENGES OF GAINING WEIGHT WITH PANCREATITIS
Although gaining weight is sometimes seen as an easy aim, it becomes more difficult for those who have pancreatitis. It presents several challenges to weight gain:
- Reduced production of digestive enzymes, which are essential for the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates.
- Malabsorption of essential nutrients, including proteins, lipids, and some vitamins from the gut.
- Pain, nausea, and other symptoms linked to pancreatitis may cause an individual to lose their appetite.
- Loss of essential nutrients in stool.
TIPS FOR GAINING WEIGHT SAFELY
Individuals suffering from pancreatitis need a unique diet and nutritional supplements to ensure they get the essential nutrients while their pancreas heals.
It requires planned diets centered on nutrient-dense foods and moderate mealtimes.
- Firstly, choose foods that are packed with calories, readily digested, and won’t put undue strain on the pancreas.
- To promote muscular building, include lean proteins like eggs and low-fat dairy.
- Nuts, seeds, and olive oil are good sources of healthy fats that can increase calorie intake without stressing the pancreas excessively.
- Whole grains, legumes, beans, and vegetables are examples of plant-based diets that are recommended due to their adequate fibre content.
- Instead of consuming large, three meals throughout the day, aim for frequent and small ones to promote weight gain. This method lowers the aggravation of the symptoms of pancreatitis by preventing overload on the pancreas.
A customized nutrition plan created under the direction of a physician or qualified dietitian guarantees that your weight gain journey is suited to your specific requirements.
Hence, before implementing any dietary modifications, speaking with a physician is recommended.
AYURVEDIC APPROACH TO WEIGHT GAIN IN PANCREATITIS
Weight growth in pancreatitis can be effectively aided by incorporating Ayurvedic meals and practices into daily routines.
- Enhancing ‘Jatharagni’: To ignite Agni, the digestive fire, Ayurveda advises using spices like fennel seeds, ginger, and cumin. It increases nutrition absorption, which is essential for weight gain.
- Dosha Balancing: According to Ayurveda, the body is governed by three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Pitta dosha imbalance is most frequently associated with pancreatitis. Excess pitta can be soothed by consuming cooling foods such as cucumber, pudina (mint), and coriander.
- Herbal Boost: Ayurvedic medicines, such as Shatavari and Ashwagandha, encourage weight gain. For individualized herbal advice, speak with an Ayurvedic practitioner.
- Home-cooked meals: Choose wholesome, warm and home-cooked meals that are simple to digest. Steer clear of uncooked and cold food items to ease the pancreas’ burden.
- Mindful eating: Ayurveda places a strong emphasis on the value of attentive eating. Chew food well, eat in a quiet setting, and limit portion sizes to promote healthy digestion.
SAMPLE MEAL PLAN
Enjoying Satvik meals made according to Ayurvedic procedures helps to heal and revitalize the pancreas. These are some example meal plans that can be efficiently followed to gain healthy weight-
- A warm and filling breakfast is a great way to start the day. For good fats, try porridge topped with a bit of ghee.
- Have it along with fruits like bananas, apples, pears, etc., to help with digestion.
- To speed up metabolism, add some herbal tea, such as fennel or ginger.
- Choose a well-balanced meal that includes simple-to-digest grains such as millet or basmati rice.
- Serve this with cooked veggies like spinach and carrots
- For healthy protein, add moong dal.
- Select subtle spices like coriander and cumin to enhance flavour and digestion.
- Adding buttermilk to the diet after lunch is highly recommended.
- Choose a lighter dinner, such as a soup made with vegetables that are easy to digest, including bottle gourds or pumpkin.
- A mildly spiced vegetable khichdi consisting of rice, moong dal, and mixed vegetables might also be a great option.
- To help you relax, finish your dinner with a cup of warm milk before going to bed.
- Snacks for the evening can include toasted rice, papads, dates, figs, cashews, and almonds.
As you go through the day, remember to stay hydrated with warm water and steer clear of oily, spicy, and large meals. As moderation is emphasized in Ayurveda, portion management is crucial. It is best to speak with an Ayurvedic practitioner for personal guidance.
Lifestyle choices have a significant impact on the symptoms, complications, and general health of pancreatitis.
The significance of physical exercise-
Appropriate physical exercise is essential for people with pancreatitis due to several factors.
Light exercise, yoga asanas (e.g., Vajrasana after eating), or walking improves general metabolic performance, aids with digestion, and improves blood circulation.
Requirement of stress management-
Prolonged stress causes the release of cortisol, a hormone that can affect our weight, digestion, and nutrient absorption.
Stress can worsen inflammation in the pancreas and cause weight loss in those who have pancreatitis.
Including stress management strategies like deep breathing, mindfulness, and meditation in daily life helps people respond to stress in a more balanced and healthier way.
In conclusion, given the particular difficulties pancreatitis presents, gaining weight while suffering from pancreatitis necessitates a careful and balanced approach.
- A well-rounded, readily digested diet that emphasizes nourishing meals and nutrient-dense food items is crucial.
- We emphasized the need for getting enough exercise, recommending mild workouts like yoga or walking to improve digestion and encourage a healthy metabolism.
But, it’s essential to consult a specialist before making any significant dietary or lifestyle changes.
We support an active approach to health through this blog as readers set out on their path toward gaining weight and enhancing their well-being.
We encourage readers to share their stories and any extra advice that has helped them along the way of their pancreatitis journey.