The pancreas is responsible for regulating blood glucose levels and it plays a major role in the digestion process. Pancreatitis is marked by acute or chronic inflammation of the organ, and it poses a threat to good health. It can also be life-threatening.
Swelling occurs because pancreatic enzymes that should reach the small intestines remain in the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis can become chronic if damage continues and scar tissue forms.
Many diseases and conditions can cause pancreatitis, and they include:
The symptoms of pancreatitis may be mild to severe. It largely depends on the type. Chronic pancreatitis develops gradually, and it may be asymptomatic with the exception of swelling. Acute pancreatitis can develop very suddenly and cause debilitating pain.
Symptoms of acute pancreatitis may include:
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may include:
The initial goal in treating pancreatitis is the reduction of swelling. The digestive system needs time to rest. Methods to reduce inflammation may include:
The treatment of underlying causes is also necessary. Other treatments for pancreatitis may include: