What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?

Acute and chronic pancreatitis often present with the same symptoms. Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are ongoing or recurring and may require permanent dietary and lifestyle changes. Symptoms of pancreatitis affect the pancreas and other organs in the digestive system.

Common symptoms of pancreatitis

You may experience pancreatitis symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times, any of these pancreatitis symptoms can be severe:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Abdominal swelling, distension or bloating
  • Fever
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Severe abdominal, pelvic, or lower back pain
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, acute pancreatitis can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life threatening symptoms including:

  • Abdominal swelling, distension or bloating
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Hypotensive shock (extreme low blood pressure)
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Severe abdominal, pelvic, or lower back pain
  • Vomiting blood or black material (resembling coffee grounds)
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)
INTRODUCTION

What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach that plays a key part in the digestive process. The gland secretes digestive juices into the small intestine, and these juices break down food. The pancreas also releases insulin and glucagon, two hormones that help the body regulate glucose levels.

The pancreas can become inflamed ... Read more about pancreatitisintroduction

CAUSES

What causes pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas can become inflamed if the digestive juices it produces, called enzymes, attack the gland itself. Pancreatitis can be an acute or a chronic condition.

Common causes of pancreatitis

Causes of pancreatitis include:

TREATMENTS

How is pancreatitis treated?

If you have acute pancreatitis, you will be treated in the hospital. Treatment includes antibiotics, administration of intravenous fluids, and medication to relieve pain. Food and drink may be prohibited during this hospital stay to allow your digestive system to rest. If you are Read more about pancreatitistreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System


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