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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Pancreatitis and high cholesterol levels

 sb2009 - Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:39 pm

I have a question about high cholesterol levels leading to pancreatitis. I have heard conflicting information and just want to get more info before I speak in length to my doctor. I have a total cholesterol level of 302 mg/dL and triglyceride level of 243 mg/dL. I need to know if pancreatitis can be caused by levels in my range. I have been told 2 different things by 2 different doctors and I am getting very frustrated. One doctor put me on Lipitor to lower my cholesterol (along with diet)and the other told me that this type of medication (statin) has been known to CAUSE pancreatitis. One put me on a bland diet and told me no fiber, grains, etc. The other tells me to eat more fiber, oatmeal, and things like this. I HAVE GIVEN BOTH OF THEM THE EXACT SAME HISTORY, and I am getting two different courses of treatment. Meanwhile, I have had 2 pancreatitis attacks since August 2009.
I do not drink - ever - due to a parent that is an alcoholic. I had my gallbladder out in 1998, so it's not gallstones. I had ultrasound done after my first hospitalization in August and was told they show nothing wrong. No one can tell me why I keep getting an inflammed pancreas. I am desperate for any advise you can give me.
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:13 am

User avatar Hello,Hypertrigyceridemia,and chylomicronemia is a known factor for acute pancreatitis but the levels causing the disease are extremely high.This could happen mainly with a genetic problem and could occur in nondrinkers and those free from biliary tract disease.This would require a problem with lipid clearence and lipid catabolism like mutations in lipoprotein lipase,an enzyme associated with the clearence of lipids.Precipitating factors would include pregnancy,diabetes,hypothyroidism,drugs like isoretinoin.Plasmapheresis may be tried in severe cases with very high levels.Dietary manipulation,excercise,and antoxidants are other methods used. cholesterol embolism is a rare cause of pancreatitis.Best wishes.

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