Question

I am HIV positive and have had pancratitis. I stopped drinking and am wondering if the pancreas heals itself? The excruciating pain in my stomach and back are gone and I feel much better. Will it cime back?? Thanks LJS.

Answer

Pancreatitis can be triggered by alcohol. Though the pancreas can hela itself it may remain more vulnerable to future bouts of pancreatitis. Once a person has had pancreatitis they may be more sensitive in the future to other conditions/exposures known to trigger pancreatitis (such as some HIV drugs or medications like pentamidine used to treat certain HIV-related infections). Your HIV specialist often would keep your history of pancreatitis in mind when prescribing drugs or evaluating you for any future stomach/GI complaints. KH