Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Pancreatitis: Care Instructions

Main Content

Pancreatitis: Care Instructions

The pancreas and other digestive organs


The pancreas is an organ behind the stomach. It makes hormones and enzymes to help your body digest food.

But if these enzymes attack the pancreas, it can get inflamed. This is called pancreatitis. Most cases are caused by gallstones or by heavy alcohol use.

If you take care of yourself at home, it will help you get better. It will also help you avoid more problems with your pancreas.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Drink clear liquids and eat bland foods until you feel better. Bland foods include rice, dry toast, and crackers. They also include bananas and applesauce.
  • Eat a low-fat diet until your doctor says your pancreas is healed.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Tell your doctor if you need help to quit. Counselling, support groups, and sometimes medicines can help you stay sober.
  • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Get extra rest until you feel better.

To prevent future problems with your pancreas

  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Tell your doctors and pharmacist that you've had pancreatitis. They can help you avoid medicines that may cause this problem again.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter J381 in the search box to learn more about "Pancreatitis: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.