Pancreatitis is a condition in which pancreas gets inflamed. Pancreas is a long, flat gland beneath the stomach and next to the small intestine. The functions of pancreas are a production of digestive enzymes and hormones (insulin and glucagon) those regulate blood-glucose levels.

 Pancreatitis may be acute (short-term, lasts for a few days) or chronic (long-lasting, occurring over years). Severe cases of pancreatitis may lead to life-threatening complications.

Signs And Symptoms

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Oily and smelly stools.

Following Health Conditions Risk Pancreatitis

  • Abdominal surgery
  • Abdominal injury
  • Gallstones
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Certain medications
  • Family history of pancreatitis
  • Hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in blood)
  • Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels in blood)
  • Infection
  • Pancreatic cancer

Diagnosis And Treatment

The levels of digestive enzymes, amylase and lipase in blood need to be measured in order to diagnose acute pancreatitis. Other diagnostic tests include pancreatic function test, glucose tolerance test, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, ERCP and biopsy. Blood, urine and stool tests may be done in more advanced stages of the disease to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for pancreatitis may involve hospital stay, administration of IV fluids and pain-relieving medicines, antibiotics and nutritional support. Surgery may also be required in some cases. Person suffering from pancreatitis are advised to take a low-fat diet, quit smoking and alcohol intake.