Supportive Management

  • Keep away from drinking alcohol.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Use complementary and alternative therapies for pain reduction.
    • Deep breathing
      • Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can be alone with yourself.
      • Sit upright in bed or chair, and find a comfortable position.
      • Place one or both hands over the abdomen, just below the ribs.
      • Deeply breathe in through the nose, while keeping mouth closed. Breathe in for a count of four.
      • Feel the abdomen rise with each inhalation, and as far as possible.
      • Through a pursed-lip, breathe out. Breathe out for a count of seven.
      • Feel the abdomen sink with each exhalation.
      • Perform deep-breathing exercises for 5-10 minutes at a time, and as many times each day.
    • Music therapy
      • Choose a soothing, therapeutic song. Research findings indicate that music with slower tempo (60 beats per minute) induces a calming, relaxing effect. Sounds of nature (drops of rain, flowing waterfalls) are also relaxing. But the best relaxation music ultimately depends on each person’s preference – whichever music one finds relaxing (albeit upbeat or moderately loud) – may be used for music therapy.
      • Relax before and during the music therapy by performing deep breathing exercises (see instructions above).
      • Listen actively to the music. Feel the music. Focus your mind on the music, get lost in it – listen to every beat and every silence in between. Let the music’s mood influence yours.
    • Meditation
  • Prevent further aggravation to the pancreas.
    • Take smaller, frequent meals. During flare-ups, if symptoms are mild, adopt a liquid diet (may include soups and broths).
  • Minimize formation of gallstones and further worsening of pancreatitis.
    • Avoid high-cholesterol food (e.g. eggs, butter, fish, bacon, red meat, liver cheese, shrimp, shellfish, pastries, fast food)
    • Avoid and high-fat food (cheese, cream, processed meat, butter, hydrogenated oils such as palm oil, fast food).
    • Avoid food made with refined sugar (white sugar) such as cake, candy, doughnut, other sweets, fruit-flavored drinks, soda, and the like.
    • Adopt a healthy, high-fiber diet composed of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains (e.g. oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread).
    • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity increases risk for gallstones.
      • Calculate body mass index (BMI) and see if it’s within normal range (5 to 24.99). If BMI is greater than 24.99, take steps to reduce weight. Lose weight gradually, around 0.5 – 1 kg per week.
      • Note: BMI can be calculated using the formula: kg/meter2
      • Avoid crash diets. Avoid skipping meals. Rapid loss of weight could lead to greater production of cholesterol by the liver, which may lead to formation of gallstones, which in turn, may further worsen pancreatitis.
    • Exercise regularly. Do physical activities that are enjoyable for you (e.g. jogging, cycling). Even brisk walking (at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week) is a good exercise.
    • Drink adequate amounts of fluids each day (around 2 liters of water per day).

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Herbal Medicine

Anis (Licorice) Root

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Boil 20 grams of licorice root in 1 liter of water for 15 minutes. Strain. Divide the resulting decoction in 4-5 doses and take throughout the day.

Turmeric and Honey

  • Anti-inflammatory; also improves bile flow
  • Grind the turmeric. Mix one teaspoon of turmeric with one tablespoon of honey in a warm cup of water. Take this for 30 days.


  • For reduction of risk for developing gallstones.
  • Drink 2-3 cups of coffee a day.


Consult doctor immediately if you are experiencing:

  • Abdominal pain so severe you can’t sit still or find a comfortable position
  • High fever (over 38 degrees Celsius) with or without chills
  • Yellowish discoloration of the skin and the whites of your eyes
  • Inability to keep food or fluids down due to nausea or vomiting

Consult doctor:

  • For appropriate diagnosis and management of condition.