Skin itching with pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer

Itching is a sensation of burning and tingling on the surface of the skin, causing considerable inconvenience to a person, disrupting the quality of his life. Itching leads to sleep and disability, depression, suicidal intentions. This symptom is the dominant feature of skin diseases, but it is often observed in other organic diseases.

Itching is a characteristic symptom of chronic pancreatitis developing according to the pseudotumoral type. The form of such pancreatitis develops rather slowly. In order to have pathological, irreversible changes in the pancreas, it takes 7 to 15 years. Pancreatitis of this type is characterized by a tumor of the head of the pancreas, which is treated only operatively.

With pseudotumoral form of pancreatitis, patients suffer from cholestatic pruritus, the cause of which is considered to be bile acids and other unidentified substances that accumulate in the body when the function of the biliary system is disturbed and irritates sensitive nerve endings located on the skin.

After surgery, such symptoms of chronic inflammation of the pancreas as: dark urine, but light feces, icterus of the skin, eye sclera and skin itching - disappear.

Skin itching is also one of the signs of cancer localized in the head of the pancreas. It develops with obstructive jaundice, when the outflow of bile is broken in the lumen of the intestine.

There are several possible reasons for this:

  • tumor germination in the wall of the bile duct;
  • displacement and compression from the outside of the bile duct with a mass of tumor or lymph nodes;
  • is a tumor blocking the lumen of the duodenal papilla.

Any variant of the outflow of bile leads to the development of mechanical subhepatic jaundice. Bile pigments enter the lymph, and from there into the blood. The concentration of direct bilirubin, toxic to the body, is rapidly increasing. Being precipitated in all tissues and in the skin, it leads to the development of skin itching. This is exacerbated by an increase in the level of histamine in the blood.

In addition to the above, with pancreatic cancer, moderate non-specific disorders from the brain are possible.

With pancreatic cancer, itching is severe, unbearable, with no apparent daily fluctuations. Sometimes it is he who causes the most suffering. It can also appear before other signs of jaundice.

In the following, the work of the liver, and then of the remaining organs is disrupted. The development of renal-hepatic insufficiency can aggravate the itching due to the accumulation of metabolic products.

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