Yesterday I had an endoscopic ultrasound done at Abbott. Originally I was told I was going to have general anesthesia for the procedure. When I got there I was told it would be "conscious sedation" which is what i've had a lot of in recent procedures and excisional biopsies .... I was okay with it until the actual procedure started and they had a lot of difficult getting down my throat what had to go down my throat :) I have trouble swallowing large vitamin pills, let alone a tube (flexible as it might be!!) ;-) I didn't have any trouble with a simple endoscopy. Maybe a wider tube is used for an endoscopic ultrasound .. who knows :) In any case, I was happy when the procedure was over :)
I've been on pancreatic enzymes now for over a month. It has definitely helped with my weight loss coming to a stop and my ability to once again digest fats. I asked my gastroenterologist why I still needed to have the endoscopic ultrasound done since it appears the pancreatic enzymes were working ... He said it was important to see if there was anything else going on with my pancreas. Good news from yesterday: my pancreas looks good. The doctor said that sometimes our pancreas just stops producing enzymes and we never know why. He said it's often related to alcohol ... i told him I don't drink. He said he's seen pancreatic insufficiency with other women who don't drink and they simply can't explain why the pancreas stops producing enzymes. So ... medical diagnosis given: pancreatic insufficiency with unknown etiology.
The following article on pancreatic sufficiency states: "Until a cure for pancreatic insufficiency is found, the goals of medical treatment are to modify behaviours that may exacerbate the natural history of the condition, to enable the pancreas to heal itself, to restore digestion and absorption, and to diagnose and treat endocrine insufficiency." The doctor indicated that pancreatic insufficiency in conjunction with one's inability to digest fats/nutrients can definitely cause weight loss. The article says "Pancreatic insufficiency occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough digestive fluids to break down food. It is a serious condition." I continue to have some other bizarre symptoms but the major symptoms of weight loss and the inability to digest fats are gone now that i've been taking pancreatic enzymes. Hopefully my pancreas will learn in time that it can start producing lipase on its own again.
I have a followup with my gastroenterologist in a couple weeks. Meanwhile, I will continue working with my alternative health care practitioners (naturopath, energy healer and acupuncturist/nutritionist) and I will continue to rely on the best medicine of all .... the slobbery kisses of my dogs, the unwaivering support and love of my partner and my spirituality/relationship with God.