Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas)

General or Other | - Others | Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas) (Disease)


Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, the organ that secretes digestive enzymes into the gastrointestinal tract; it also synthesizes and secretes insulin and glucagon.

Acute pancreatitis with upper abdominal pain that is often severe and constant over several days, and may be accompanied byfever, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, and abdominal swelling; severe cases can develop dehydration, low blood pressure, shock, organ failure, and death.

Chronic pancreatitis has many of the same symptoms of acute, but may include diarrhea, oily stools and weight loss.

Causes and Risk factors

Pancreatitis may be caused by gallstones (by blocking the pancreatic duct outlet), chronic alcohol use, trauma, medications, infections, tumors, and genetic abnormalities. Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Either form is serious and can lead to complications. In severe cases, bleeding, infection, and permanent tissue damage may occur.

Acute pancreatitis usually begins with gradual or sudden pain in the upper abdomen that sometimes extends through the back. The pain may be mild at first and feel worse after eating. But the pain is often severe and may become constant and last for several days. A person with acute pancreatitis usually looks and feels very ill and needs immediate medical attention. Other symptoms may include a swollen and tender abdomen, nausea and vomiting, fever, a rapid pulse.

Severe acute pancreatitis may cause dehydration and low blood pressure. The heart, lungs, or kidneys can fail. If bleeding occurs in the pancreas, shock and even death may follow.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Chronic pancreatitis is pancreatic inflammation that does not heal, gets worse over time and results in permanent pancreatic damage; the most common cause is heavy alcohol use over years, but conditions such as hereditary disorders, cystic fibrosis, autoimmune problems and other causes result in chronic pancreatitis. ...