Antioxidants Relieve Pain of Chronic Pancreatitis

The study found that antioxidants offer effective pain relief for chronic pancreatitis and also that injury to the pancreas caused by free radicals may be reversible.

Jan 23, 2009

For patients who suffer frequent sharp abdominal pain from chronic pancreatitis, antioxidants may offer effective pain relief, according to a study recently published in Gastroenterology, the journal of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute.

The initial symptom for 90 percent of those who suffer from chronic pancreatitis, an inflammatory disease, is abdominal pain, which often progresses to maldigestion-the incomplete digestion of food-and diabetes. The damage and pain are thought to be due to organ injury that may be caused by free radicals, highly unstable oxygen atoms. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that many scientists believe can protect cells from the damage caused by oxidation.

To test the pain relief ability of antioxidants, researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 127 chronic pancreatitis patients whose ages ranged from 20 to 41 years. One group received antioxidants, the other a placebo.

After six months, the scientists noted a significant reduction in the abdominal pain experienced by the antioxidant group. That group averaged 7.4 fewer painful days per month of abdominal pain than at the beginning of the study. The placebo group averaged a 3.2-day reduction in painful days per month. 

The researchers also found that the antioxidant group lowered its consumption of analgesic tablets by an average of 10.5 per month, compared to the placebo group's average of 4.4 fewer tablets per month.

Ultimately, 32 percent of the antioxidant group members were pain-free by the end of the study, versus 13 percent of the placebo group.

Aside from the finding that antioxidants offer effective pain relief for a disease that often frustrates attempts to mitigate the suffering it causes, the study also indicates that injury to the pancreas caused by free radicals may be reversible.

On a more practical level, the ability to control chronic pancreatitis pain may lead to fewer days lost at work and a reduction in the stress caused by severe pain.

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Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Diets, Food, Gastroparesis (Digestion Problems), Medications Research, Nutrition Research, Professional Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 28 January 2009

My complaint about this article is that it did not specify the form or type of the antioxidants that were used. Was it from food? supplements? or some other form? Were there specific antioxidants used? There are many available. Help me here!

Posted by sbalbright on 13 February 2009

Would the RX Limbrel be a good source of antioxidants?

Posted by Anonymous on 24 February 2009

I just started pain managgement yesterday.They think by taken pain pills a way and proscribe a strong tylanol might help.This is after 3 stents in the vent conected to your liver and a galblater out might help They where going to scrape off some of the scared part and try to cut out th heavely damagged part.They refused to touch it. NOW WHAT PS still in massave pain and deitbetic;and back pains unbeiableable.ANY COMMENTS

Posted by Anonymous on 24 February 2009

Yes; i do what to hear other info or comments from other pepole

Posted by JanePr on 17 April 2009

I have chronic pancreatitis, which led to diabetes II. I recently discovered that eating Salad's with plenty of green leafy vegetables actually does make my stomach feel better. This diet also helps my digestive system to act regularly. I would like to see more studies or information in this area; Pancreatitis and Diabetes because if your like me you generally have to see doctors with different specialties.

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