How High Do Cholesterol Levels Have To Be To Cause Pancreatitis?


Asked by SB

How High Do Cholesterol Levels Have To Be To Cause Pancreatitis?

How high do cholesterol levels have to be to cause pancreatitis? Mine is high (total is 302mg/dL and triglyceride level is 243 mg/dL), but I have heard it has to be much higher than that to be the main cause of pancreatitis. I have had 3 pancreatitis attacks since August 2008 and EVERYTHING else has been ruled out. I don't drink. I had my gallbladder removed in 1998. I have had multiple tests done and they can not find the reason behind the attacks. One doctor put me on Lipitor to help lower my cholesterol (along with diet/etc) saying that he believes that is what is causing the attacks. Another recently told me that statins can actually cause pancreatitis and he wants me to lower my levels without medication (diet/exercise alone). I am so confused and scared. I don't want to end up in the hospital again with another pancreatitis attack.


All I can tell you is what I've learned from reading on the Internet. It is high triglyceride not cholesterol levels that are believed to trigger pancreatitis attacks and the levels of triglycerides are much higher then you have (1,000 mgs).

Everything else I know you've probably heard before; gallstones and high alcohol intake c trigger most cases of pancreatitis but about 20% of pancreatitis attacks are caused by other things which include medications, exposure to chemicals, infections and abnormalities in the pancreas. Unfortunately in about 15% of acute attacks the cause is never determined.

Researchers are looking into this. A recent study in mice suggested that trypsin inhibitors may be helpful in chronic pancreatitis. Another study suggested that zinc deficiency may play a role. You might consider checking out a Pancreatitis support group to find out how other people are doing with this situation - several of them are on the Internet.

Good luck!