Enlarged pancreas in a child

Why is the pancreas enlarged in a child? The causes of this pathological condition will be presented below. We will also consider the symptoms of this disease and its treatment methods.

Basic information

The pancreas in children and adults is an essential organ of the digestive system, which is located deep inside the abdominal cavity.

According to experts, the pancreas consists of several types of tissues and, due to the peculiarities of the anatomical location, is characterized by rather difficult access. Therefore, it is impossible to diagnose inflammation of this organ by palpation. In this case, to identify the presence of any problems with it, can only be based on the results of ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging.

False alarm

It should be noted that if the pancreas is enlarged in a child, this does not always mean a serious pathology. The fact is that this body has certain areas (for example, the tail, body or head), the dimensions of which may be non-standard due to a kind of reaction or a particular organism, including in the case of a congenital anomaly that does not pose a threat to life the patient.

It should also be noted that sometimes it is possible to mistakenly diagnose a pathological condition such as an increase in the size of the body of the pancreas or its tail. To make a more accurate diagnosis, one should undergo not only a laboratory examination, but also an instrumental one.

Enlarged baby pancreas: causes

Treatment of this abnormal phenomenon should be carried out only after consultation with the doctor. Identification of the causes of this pathology is also required.

Modern medicine knows 2 types of increase in the organ in question:

The first type is characterized by a proportional process, and in the second – an increase in any one area of ​​the internal organ.

So why is the pancreas enlarged in a child? The causes of this phenomenon are diverse. However, the most frequent of them include:

  • mucosal ulcer;
  • closed types of injuries of organs located in the abdominal cavity;
  • effects of various toxins;
  • autoimmune processes;
  • acute or chronic inflammation;
  • cystic fibrosis;
  • diseases of the duodenum;
  • abnormal development of pancreatic gland.

Reasons for a disproportionate increase

An increase in the head of the pancreas, its body or tail can also be caused by completely different reasons. As a rule, they include the following:

  • the occurrence of a true or false cyst;
  • tumors of different origin (can be benign or malignant);
  • development of abscess and suppuration of the pancreatic gland;
  • replacement of some areas of glandular tissue with connective tissue;
  • blockage of the ducts of Wirsung.

Why is the pancreas enlarged in a child?

Experts say that children’s problems associated with an increase in the pancreas gland are similar to those from which adults suffer. At the same time, kids at any age must be examined for an increase in the given organ. This is due to the fact that with time and in the process of growing up a child he is able to grow several times. Moreover, such an increase is not always proportional and safe.

It often happens that the growth of the pancreatic gland does not correspond to generally accepted graphs and tables, but it is proportional to all other surrounding organs.

We can not say that the violations of the pancreas are detected for the first time it is in early childhood. In this case, you should contact your pediatrician, who will prescribe the appropriate treatment.

Main symptoms

How to treat and how is inflammation of the pancreas manifested? Symptoms and treatment of this pathological condition depend on the causes of its occurrence.

Regardless of gender and age of a person, diseases of this organ can occur in different ways. Very often, these pathological conditions appear acute. But sometimes the symptoms are hidden, which involves a number of additional studies.

How does pancreas inflammation manifest? The symptoms and treatment of this disease should be identified and prescribed only by a doctor. This pathology is characterized by bright and increasing symptoms.

In cystic neoplasms and various tumors, symptoms may appear after some time. In such cases, a correct and quick diagnosis is possible only if you observe several specific symptoms, which include the following:

  • repeated vomiting, unpleasant feeling of bitterness in the mouth, nausea, complete lack of appetite, belching;
  • pain (baking, aching) of varying degrees, which can be localized at the top of the abdominal cavity and given in the back or arm;
  • problems with stool, manifested by diarrhea without any impurities;
  • jumps in body temperature.

Enlarged pancreas in a child


What complications can occur if the tail of the pancreas is enlarged in a child or other parts of this organ? Such a pathological condition is quite dangerous, regardless of what causes them. What is the reason? The fact is that there are other organs around the pancreas gland, which can easily lead to their compression. This is especially true of the head of the gland, since it is its large size that can exert strong pressure on the duodenum of the small child.

There have been cases when at such increases in the organ the patient developed intestinal obstruction.

Diagnostic methods

As mentioned above, the pancreatic ducts and the organ itself are located deep in the abdominal cavity. Therefore, with a minor inflammatory process or any other pathologies, it is not possible to identify the presence of a particular disease by palpating the patient. The only exceptions are those cases when the pancreas has become so large in size that it is determined even with normal palpation.

In connection with all the above, we can safely conclude that problems with this organ are often diagnosed on the basis of the developed symptoms, which was described in this article. But what to do if the clinical signs of the disease are completely absent? In this case, doctors recommend to resort to instrumental methods of research. These include ultrasound and MRI.

Despite the high cost of such methods, they allow you to immediately determine whether there is an increase in the pancreatic gland, as well as the causes of this pathological condition.

How to treat?

How can such a pathology be treated if the child is a month old? Enlarged pancreas – should immediately contact a pediatrician. After all, only an experienced doctor will be able to determine the true cause of the development of such a pathological process, as well as identify its threat to a small organism.

It should be particularly noted that each individual case of an increase in the pancreas in children provides its own individual treatment. According to experts, such therapy can be conservative and operational.

If we talk about the general principles of treatment, they are reduced to the following scheme:

Enlarged pancreas in a child

  • Reduction of swelling of the pancreatic gland by applying cold compresses to the diseased area.
  • Obligatory observance of a strict diet, providing for the complete exclusion of spicy, fatty, and fried foods. Also, many experts strongly recommend to refrain from eating at least a few days. In some cases, physicians even inject nutrients into the patient’s body by injection (the so-called parenteral nutrition).


Treatment of children with large pancreatic gland without normal and proper nutrition is impossible. As a rule, with this pathology, the doctor prescribes the child a special diet number 5. It provides for the rejection of fatty foods and other fatty components. Instead, the patient should include in their diet protein foods that are beneficial for his body.

It should also be noted that the diet number 5 involves a complete rejection of such products as:

  • all types of juices, including fresh ones;
  • sweets in the form of ice cream, chocolate or jam;
  • fruits and vegetables in their natural state (i.e., not thermally processed);
  • dairy products with high fat content (cream, sour cream, whole milk);
  • fat broths, decoctions, and also various dishes cooked on their basis.

Instead of the listed products, the baby is better to offer:

  • steamed or stewed vegetables;
  • boiled and steamed meats and dishes that were made based on them;
  • black tea with a little sugar;
  • dairy products with a small percentage of fat;
  • baked fruits, as well as desserts based on them;
  • any kinds of porridges cooked in ordinary water;
  • crackers, dried bread, biscuits.

Other treatments

It should be especially noted that there are such cases when it is inexpedient to use only one diet, and it is also ineffective for different groups of children (for example, during neoplastic processes in a child’s body). With this diagnosis, no food, as well as a strict diet will not affect the growth rate of the tumor in the pancreatic gland. The only way to treat this disease is to remove the affected area surgically.

With the development of acute pancreatitis, the diet also turns out to be powerless. That is why with such diseases it is very important to turn to a pediatrician in time, and not to self-medicate, which, by the way, can quite easily lead to disastrous consequences.

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