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The pancreas is a large gland located behind the stomach.

It secretes enzymes to help digest food

It releases hormones into the bloodstream to help the body use glucose (sugar) for energy.

What is Pancreatitis?

If your pancreas suddenly becomes irritated or inflamed, you have acute pancreatitis.

It is most often caused by gallstones.

It can also be caused by drinking alcohol.

It is often very painful.

Usually you will need emergency medical treatment.

It usually goes away in a short period of time


•           Severe pain in your upper abdomen that goes through to your back

•           Nausea

•           Abdominal swelling and tenderness

•           Fast heart rate

•           Shallow, fast breathing


•           Blood tests

•           Health history and physical exam

•           Ultrasound

•           CAT scan


•           Bleeding

•           Tissue damage

•           Infection

•           Pseudocysts (fluid filled sacs)

•           If the pancreas stays inflamed for a long time, you may develop chronic pancreatitis.  This is often due to continued drinking alcohol.  Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain.