The pancreas is an important part of the digestive system. Johns Hopkins Medicine explains the organ is responsible for controlling blood sugar, digesting fats, and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins. It is located in a somewhat awkward position between the stomach and spine. Because it is so deep in the abdomen, pancreatic problems often go undetected.
Here are the important signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer and other pancreatic diseases, according to Prevention:
1. Abdominal pain. Pain that begins in the middle and radiates to the mid or lower back is a sign of pancreatic cancer, whereas intensely sharp pain in the middle that comes on suddenly is a sign of acute pancreatitis. If abdominal pain persists for several weeks, it is important to call your doctor.
2. Nausea after burgers. If you feel ill after eating fatty foods like hamburgers, pizza, nuts, and avocado, your pancreas may be having difficulty breaking down fats.
3.Weight loss.If you’re celebrating sudden weight loss, think for a minute. Has your weight loss been accompanied by radiating pain? You may be experiencing digestive issues related to pancreatic disease.
4. Diabetes. If you are of a healthy weight and have a good diet when you are diagnosed with type II diabetes, ask your doctor if there is something wrong with your pancreas. If your diabetes suddenly becomes too difficult to manage, you may also want to speak to your doctor.
5. Floating, light colored stool. Funny-looking poo is a sign of something funky happening in the body. In the case of floating, light colored stool, your body is signaling poor nutrient absorption. Yet another red flag for pancreatic problems is oily or greasy stool. This comes from the pancreas’ inability to break down fat.