ZocdocAnswersDid my pancreatic cyst cause my back pain?

Question

Did my pancreatic cyst cause my back pain?

I was diagnosed with a pancreatic cyst. Now I am having some pretty bad back pain that I didn't have before. Is it from the cyst or are they not related?

Answer

The pancreas is an organ that is located in the retroperitoneum. It is important as it has an endocrine as well as an endocrine function. Among its many functions, the pancreas produces and secretes insulin into the bloodstream, which helps the body process, absorb and utilize sugars. It also secretes enzymes into the gastrointestinal tract which helps breakdown, digest and absorb proteins. When problems develop in the pancreas, the symptoms usually include abdominal and pack pain. This is because of the retroperitoneal location of the pancreas. It is located towards the back of the abdomen and the pain you can feel is usually abdominal pain just underneath the ribcage (epigastric) which radiates to the back. Pancreatic cysts can develop in the pancreas which can cause abdominal and back pain if they reach a certain size. Alternatively if the location of the cyst is such that it obstructs (partially or completely blocks) the main pancreatic duct, this can cause pain from the distention of the main pancreatic duct. In this situation, laboratory/blood work may reveal pancreatic enzyme abnormalities (increased levels of amylase and lipase in the blood) and an elevated white blood cell count. It is important to discuss with your doctor the type and natural history of your pancreatic cyst. Depending on where they are, the type and the symptoms, a pancreatic cyst may be followed, aspirated, or may need to be taken out. In any case, this should be done by a gastroenterologist or a hepatobiliary surgeon who specializes in the pancreas.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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