Author(s): Stigliano S, Archibugi L, Zerboni G, Delle Fave G, Capurso G
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Herbal remedies and other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are used by 30\% of the patients with liver and inflammatory bowel diseases. However, there are no data regarding CAM use in patients with pancreatic disorders, including potential pancreatotoxicity. AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of CAM use in patients with pancreatic disorders and screen for pancreatotoxicity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional survey of consecutive outpatients seen at a Pancreas Center. Data were collected in a specific questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the prevalence and the patterns of CAM use. Characteristics associated with CAM use were analyzed by appropriate statistics. RESULTS: Of 108 patients (52\% male; mean age, 65±13 years), 47 (43.5\%) used CAM. The use of CAM was more frequent among patients with previous acute pancreatitis (47\%). Reported reasons for the use of CAM were to help standard therapies and for an overall better feeling. About 61\% of the patients reported advantages with treatment. As compared with nonusers, CAM users were more often female (55\% vs. 42\%), with a higher school degree (43\% vs. 36\%), more frequently performing physical activity (51\% vs. 41\%), and reporting anxiety (45\% vs. 31\%). However, none of these differences were statistically significant. Three patients with previous acute pancreatitis reported the use of Serenoa repens that is potentially pancreatotoxic. DISCUSSION: The rate of CAM use in patients with pancreatic disorders is similar to those reported for other digestive diseases. CAM use seems to be more frequent in women with a higher education level and a "healthier lifestyle." Patients might not be aware of the potential pancreatotoxicity of CAM, which should be carefully considered by physicians.
This article was published in J Clin Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Cosmetology & Trichology