Pandemic causing more cases of pancreatitis due to alcohol consumption


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Yale medicine digestive diseases doctor Thiru Muniraj is seeing more cases of potentially dangerous pancreatitis cases during pandemic.

Overweight and obese people can get pancreatitis from gallstones but the main cause is alcohol consumption. COVID and the condition can be very dangerous.

“Some patients take a downhill course ending up with really critical illness and they need ICU care and breathing tube and so on,” says Dr. Muniraj.

He says treating pancreatitis is not always simple.

“There is no medicine for that like how we treat bacterial infection with antibodies but there is no direct medicine for pancreatitis now.”

He attributes increased alcohol consumption to many things that include stress and loss of jobs. One problem so many put off — health care. And with pancreatitis, that can lead to a severe reaction.

Now that bars and restaurants are reopening fully, the doctor urges people help sustain this normalcy and help stop the transmission of the virus by getting vaccinated.

Doctor Muniraj points out the heartbreaking and dire situation in his native country of India, where hospitals are overwhelmed with covid cases and deaths.

“We have all the resources here we have the vaccine access here so I ask all the people
to please get vaccinated and break the chain break the transmission and lets end the pandemic together.”

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