Friday, August 19, 2011

Coffee and Pancreatitis

coffee-pancreatitisMany Pancreatitis victims believe that their Pancreatitis pain is exasperated by coffee or the caffiene in coffee but that is NOT true. I have known it to be an untruth simply because I have drank coffee PROFUSELY for the entire 30 + years I have been living with Pancreatitis.

Again, as I have mentioned in earlier posts, patients and doctors alike have erroneous beliefs when it comes to Pancreatitis triggers, especially when it comes to a Pancreatitis diet and an immediate course of action to prevent damage from an episode of Acute Pancreatitis.

Coffee is NOT a trigger in fact there is scientific research that not only disputes coffee as a Pancreatitis trigger but goes so far as to say coffee can prevent or reduce the risk of Pancreatitis.

The difference between what I share with you and what others may say is that I can almost ALWAYS back up my opinions and theories with scientific evidence that either suggests or proves I am or may be correct.

This disease or condition of ours is so volatile, one minute you are fine, the next you are sick, that it is difficult to correlate Pancreatitis triggers to symptoms that may present due to something that has been ingested up to a week prior. It is absolutely erroneous to believe that ALL triggers create an immediate effect because they DO NOT!

What triggers an immediate (within hours) response one day may trigger a response the next time it is ingested 72 hours later and the patient and/or doctor will incorrectly believe that something that was eaten on the day of pain is the offending food or drink.

If you are eating red meat, pork, lamb, or any combination including any parts of either which are used in something that should be for all intents and purposes safe, such as smoked turkey sausage which is cased in pork intestines, and you MISS the part about pork casing (like I did) YOU WILL GET SICK! But ...

It may NOT be an immediate response.

Mine wasn't to the smoked turkey cased in pork intestines. It took 3 days and I became supper ill eating BEANS and RICE!

I KNEW beans and rice were NOT triggers and so I dug out the turkey sausage container and re-read everything. That is when I found "Pork Casings" on the package. I knew then I had poisoned myself, unintentionally, and I was sicker than a dog for about 3 weeks!

My Acute Pancreatitis episode was caused by the pork casings NOT the beans and rice. That is why you need to use a food diary to track what it is that actually is responsible for your episodes of pain and sickness.

By doing so I can guarantee you will find that a lot of what you believe to be true is in fact erroneous and if you wish to become pain free you can adjust your thinking, you diet and begin using the supplements I use and most likely, after time, begin to feel much better than you do right now.

Or you can simply reject what I am telling you and continue to suffer.

It is ALL up to you.

I can only lead you to the river (pain free living), I can not make you drink of the cool, healing waters!

Leave a comment and let me know you are alive!


  1. I've been having a rough couple of days. Thought Id been eating good but pain last two days. Wondering if its the rice cakes. THey are plain with no salt or not fat but I dont know what else it is. Otherwise I eat plain rice noodles, tomatoes, peas, oatmeal, banana and blueberries. I'm feeling very overwhelmed and guess will go back to broth again.

    I got my MRCP results which says mild intra and extrahepatic bile duct dilatation present with mild beading of the intrahepatic biliary system to the left lobe of the liver. Doc said he was surprised at this because he did an MRI during surgery and this finding wasn't there. Now consulting a GI doc to show him my films and see what he recommends but thinks maybe an ERCP. I DO NOT want to do an ERCP. Too many horror stories. I'm just so down and out right now and totally drained and just so tired of all of this.

  2. Be careful with broth. If it is broth made from any animal (beef, pork, lamb, even chicken or other poultry) it is going to contain FAT. FAT is the enemy, even after your pancreas has healed which it will never be able to do unless you get your diet right and find a way to eliminate the inflammation in your pancreas.

    As in my posts regarding a diet for pancreatitis I strongly urge people who are still in pain to go VEGAN for at least 6 months. That means NO animal products of any kind and NO oil in cooking or food ingredients.

    A vegan diet in combination with grape seed extract, curcumin, vitamin c, panc enzymes (before each meal) will help your pancreas heal. The addition of grapefruit juice would also be beneficial. Grapefruit helps stop acute pancreatitis episodes from occurring and protects the pancreas.

  3. Hi, health guy -- I was diagnosed with mild pancreatitis earlier this month (went to the hospital because things didn't feel "right" and have found your website serendipitously. Many thanks for all you do. A quick question on fats: do you recommend no vegetable/fruit fats (olive oil, coconut oil, etc) forever, or just for those first six months? I am guessing that animal fats are out for good.

    I am very lucky: the enzymes were only slightly elevated, and I have come to understand what has been bugging me on and off for some three years now. I don't intend to have another episode ever again.

    Second question: what amounts of Vitamin C, curcumin, and grapefruit juice do you recommend? As to ibuprofen, my doc says no more than 2400 mg/day and I'm following that advice. I've gone from pain to dull soreness to a kind of "hello, I'm not yet right" feeling and want to resolve symptoms as soon as possible.

    Great website. Thanks for your generosity.

  4. Howdy Anonymous,

    Sorry to hear you have been inducted into the pancreatitis hall of fame but it is great to hear that you are interested in doing what it takes to heal your pancreas and recover from your pancreatitis.

    Answer to question #1 - ALL fats and oils are out while you are healing. It is extremely important to heal the damage caused by pancreatitis. It is unfortunate that you nor I will ever be "cured" but once your pancreas has healed (no pain, no nausea, no abdominal tenderness) and you feel well again you can then begin to TEST olive oil and other foods like avocado (very oily fruit but the good kind of oil), skinless chicken and turkey, fish etc ... but red meat, pork, lamb and duck should only be remembered fondly and I'd suggest you do not allow them into your digestive system ever again - if - you wish to stay well.

    Answers to question # 2 - Vitamin C should be consumed 3 times per day (500 - 1000mgs each time). Grapeseed extract - 100mgs 3 X per day at least. I first started out with 800mgs per day spread over 4 doses. Curcumin 500 mgs, 3 X per day. Ibuprofen - I only use Ibuprofen when absolutely necessary to stop Acute Pancreatitis. I do not use Ibuprofen daily nor have I ever used it daily except when I was very ill and actually would have an acute episode two or three days in a row. What I mean by that is an Acute episode occurs - I would get it resolved with Ibuprofen (800mgs) and the next day would again experience another onset of acute pain - that did happen and eventhough it was not an every day occurrence it was far to often for me.

    Grapfruit juice - Once I started drinking grapefruit juice I drank it like some people drink water - constantly. I'd wager I went through anywhere from 1/2 gallon to a gallon per day depending on whether or not I was out at night partying with friends. I drank a lot of grapefruit juice.

  5. Hi Health Guy and thanks again: I've been taking the Ibuprofen pretty seriously but want to cut back on it a bit. Will increase the Vitamin C. Curcumin already at 1500 -- 500/3x -- and grapeseed extract@4x100.

    Coffee doesn't trigger pain for me, you're right: but tea? I had green tea today throughout the morning -- high in antioxidants -- and uggh...

    As for wine: never again. My loved ones have been saying well maybe some day. They haven't read your blog. No need to play Russian roulette: every need to avoid it, in fact.

  6. There may obviously be something in the tea that doesn't work for you, if you are sure it's the tea. It isn't the caffeine cuz if it were coffee would do the same so it must be some other ingredient in the tea.

    Tea doesn't cause me pain but for some odd reason it makes me nauseous IF I drink it on an empty stomach, green or black makes no difference, and I have no hard evidence as to why this occurs.

    If someone has gallstones both tea and curcumin can cause problems due to the fact they both increase bile production but in regards to tea causing you panc pain I honestly don't have a decent answer.

  7. Hi!
    I was diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis in November last year, and am still struggling to get my pancreas healed. I was just in the hospital again last week with severe pain that the doctors said wasn't from my pancreas because my numbers were normal. Then, after a barrage of tests, they still couldn't tell me what it is!
    My mom stumbled on your blog, and I am very glad to know someone has beaten pancreatitis! I'm interested in why everyone else says no to caffeine, when clearly you have no problem with it. Also, do you eat dairy now? Or have you stayed vegan?

    What tips do you have as I try to figure out if I have chronic pancreatitis or not. I am only 22 and getting pretty lost on how I'm going to spend the rest of my life struggling through this. I will say that just this afternoon my mom went out and bought me Grape Seed Extract! I'm looking forward to seeing if it helps me as much as it has helped you!


  8. Hi Jenna - I am saddened to hear that you have joined the Pancreatitis Hall of Fame. That sucks. Why others say 'No" to caffeine is simply because they THINK it is the caffeine that is causing the problem when in fact it is something else that they may have ingested anywhere from 24 to 96 hours previously. You need to read my post on doing a food diary. Most people simply guess what's good and bad, I prefer to KNOW and in order to KNOW one must do there homework which includes a food diary and the proper preparation in order to begin the food diary.

    Here is the correct way to do a food diary: Pancreatitis Food Diary

    Previous list of  posts on Pancreatitis Diet

    Invest time reading my blog, I think there are over 70 posts now so I have already answered most questions somewhere on my blog. Read the comments too because you will find some answers there as well.

    I eat some dairy (eggs, low fat or fat free cottage cheese and milk. Some other cheese as well in small amounts). I also eat chicken and turkey (skinless) and fish - BUT, my pancreas is healed, I have NO pain and my abdomen is NOT tender to touch.

    Grape seed extract is a good start. I would do grape seed extract, curcumin and vit C and I do them EVERY day along with enzymes when I eat and a muti-vit/mineral formula.

    I wish you healing Jenna :-)

  9. what about taking fish oil supplements for healthy heart? Good or bad if I have CP?

    1. Dear TSmith - Fish oil is fat. It is extremely good and highly anti-inflammatory fat but still fat and many, many people with active (unhealed) chronic pancreatitis will not tolerate that much fat, especially at one time. Even a healed or mostly healed pancreas may balk at fish oil. I would suggest eating fish instead to get your quality omega 3's and other heart healthy benefits from fish oil. That way you will at least also get the protein along with other nutrients that fish offers and you can get some omega 3's (fish oil) from white meat fish like cod, perch, bass, and more just not as much as would come from fish oil supplements or cold-water oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna. White meat fish will help your heart, yet be more pancreas friendly. And ... do NOT cook the fish in oil, butter, margarine or use some cooking spray.

  10. I was just told that I have pancreatitis. I was in the hospital for 3 days.The doctor wants me on a bland diet and I am not really sure what that consists of. Can you help me please? Can you give me your web site information.

    1. Happy New Year! Hell ... yeah right. Being sick with pancreatitis is one real shitty way to start the new year, sorry you are experiencing pancreatitis. You can find everything I do by reading this blog. Read it post by post if you need to and try to get well.

  11. Hi! I've never been told to steer clear of caffeine by any Dr.s, surprisingly, but I have to. For me it DOES cause a 'flare up'. Which toootally sucks b/c I REALLY need it most of the time! : D I have the genetic or familial kind and have had issues since 3rd grade (possibly earlier, but I can't remember), wasn't ACTUALLY diagnosed tho until 2010...i'll be 28 in March. All that time I thought I just had an ulcer : / Anywho, back to caffeine. I thought it was something else causing the attack at first, but I also have the same problem when taking energy supplements, like 5 Hour Energy and Alert. The only things all those have in common are caffeine...and ooooh how I miss it! : ( BUT it only affects me in those high doses...sodas and teas don't bother me...and I hope they never start to. The pancreas is tricky and sensitive...and as I've gotten older some things bother it now that used to not.
    My main triggers, since I was little, have been stress and excitement...really weird and hard to control! : )
    But, since my mom happened upon your site, I now can help it out with better diet and supplements!
    Thanks for all your info!! I have tons to read now! : D

    1. Hiya Walkin - sorry to hear that you have had to bear pancreatitis since you were a kid, that sucks. Large doses of caffeine may be harmful, I honestly don't know cuz I don't consume energy drinks but I do drink alot of coffee with caffeine and have never had a problem I can trace to caffeine BUT ...

      That doesn't mean it won't cause problems, especially in HIGH doses such as those found in energy drinks BUT ...

      Since I don't know you and what I do know is that most pancreatitis patients follow the advice of their docs, nurses, dieticians and so forth I would have to say that unless you adhered to my diet for pancreatitis, then after about 6 months of healing tried an energy drink and were then able to track back to caffeine being the ONLY possible culprit I have to say that caffeine could be the culprit but it is most likely something else you have eaten that is not safe but your doc, nurse, dietician or the neighbor has told you is perfectly fine.

      So ... IF you are still sick and experiencing symptoms from time to time you may want to consider your diet and IF it were me I'd begin prepping for my pancreatitis food diary and adhereing to a proper, no fat, very low fat, anti-inflammatory diet for pancreatitis.

      Good luck Walkin, hope you heal and feel good soon.

  12. My 16 year old son was diagnosed last summer. He has suffered for years with severe stomach pains and we treated it with gas-ex. We had no idea it was something more serious until he ended up in the hospital in extreme pain. Reading your blog I am feeling we can get through this. He has become rather depressed. Saying he is too young to be so sick. We already eat very well so it will be easy to change up a few things to keep him from having a flare up again I hope. My question is about coconut oil, I have read in several places that he should actually take a teaspoon a day. In your experience is coconut oil bad for him as well? He was so sick this past month I am afraid of doing the wrong thing. I can't stand to see him in so much pain. I plan on having him read your blog so he will feel more hope for his future. Thank you for your blog.

    1. IF I were still sick with pancreatitis, like I was before my pancreas healing, I wouldn't touch coconut oil. I wouldn't eat food products (cookies, nut bars, breakfast bars, etc.) that contained coconut oil or palm oil or any kind of oil because even once a pancreas has healed it is still subject to problems but when it is still unhealed as your son's obviously is it is really not a good idea to ingest oil or any kind of fat or alcohol (cold remedies, vanilla extract, spotted ripe bananas).

      I hope your son heals.

  13. Hello,

    I have just been diagnosed with acute pancreatitus. I came home from the hospital from 1 night overstay there. I was told by 2 doctors who spoke to me in my room that I need to be on a liquid diet for 5 days of just broth and apple juice or other clear juices and then I could start a lowfat diet. Ok, my question is I've been reading like crazy of what consists of a low fat diet, what things are good and what are not.....but I just don't know how to prepare even a meal?????!!!!!! What do I eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. How do I prepare a meal? Do I use spices, do I use spam?????I'm so lost.
    Can you post a typical dailey diet so I could see it and see how you make it? Please? Thankyou.

    1. Sorry to hear you have joined the club. Everything you have asked is found somewhere on this blog except for a typical daily diet and recipes. I was hoping most could figure those out. Invest some time, read the blog. Most of your questions will be answered.

  14. Thank God I found you, I was diagnosed last year with cp. I had mild abdominal and back pains, and slight nausea, but what really worried me was that my stool had changed color to yellowish and dark urine, and drink a ton of water. Thats when i decided to go to the VA hospital. The docs took blood samples, but found nothing that would alarm them of cp. My enzyme levels were normal. I continued to have mild diarrhea, and the same pain. I decided to go to a civilian GI. I did a mri, cat scans, and pet scans, and still nothing. My GI decided to do an EUS on my pancreas and found a parenchymal change on my small duct. Do you know what this is? He decided to do a celiac plexus nerve block, which took away the pain for a year. I ate pretty much anything i wanted plus lots of veggies. Now the pain is back again and I still have yellowish stool, dark urine, I just started itching and getting light headed after eating sweets, but my blood sugar is normal. Fortunately i haven't had an acute attack, but I've notice a little bit of breathing trouble. I've always been an athlete, i would get 300 on my Marine Corps PFT, but I'm having trouble keeping on muscle. Any suggestions. I'm glad i found your site so maybe i can prevent from ever having an acute attack. thanks for your plan, i can't' wait to do it.
    Semper Fi

    1. Hey brother, Semper Fi - sorry to hear you have this. Sucks don't it? About you question basically, in your case, it most likely means you have a pancreatic ductal dilation. Your duct most likely has sustained damage.

      Unfortunately it's hard to keep muscle when you don't feel well, can't pt and/or eat a lot of protein. The secret is to get yourself healed as much as possible so you can tolerate more protein (skinless chicken and turkey, fish, low or no fat milk etc) and feel good enough to pt.

      If you have any questions feel free to ask. You can do this Marine, OORAH!

  15. I was first diagnosed last August with acute pancreatitis. I was in pretty bad shape by the time I got to the ER and I was quickly put into ICU because I was really sick. I don't remember much of the stay, as I was in so much pain, they had me snowed with drugs. Then the fun really began as I was then paranoid from the drugs and thinking people were there to hurt me. it was a mess! I stayed in the hospital for 7 days and then because of the insurance I had, they had to release me. I had another attack, although not as severe, again this March. In the hospital for another 4 days. I don't drink but I do have advanced arthritis which I was taking an anti-inflammatory drug for it. They took that off of me, thinking it was my drugs that caused the episode. My biggest problem is sugar. I'm thinking maybe that's what causes me to have the attacks. When I was 31, I had my gall bladder removed, so I guess I'm prone to these kinds of things. I just wish there was a way to get rid of it because I don't want to get pancreatic cancer. Right now, because I was having cramps and pain up in the center of my stomach, I took out the sugar and any fried foods for now. See, I just don't know why I'm getting this! I'm feeling better now off the sugar, but eating isn't as much fun anymore. I'm hoping to discipline myself with a good diet. Are those supplements helping just U, or do u feel anyone with pancreatitis would do well to use them? Thanks for putting this on the internet. Denise

    1. Hi Denise - I am pretty sure I addressed this same comment on my other blog, - IF - I'm wrong say so and I'll see if I can re-write everything but ...

      I sincerely doubt it was the sugar. The fried foods are a whole different matter. Fried foods are full of fat. fat is the enemy. The supplements have helped others too.