Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas. The pancreas is a long, flat gland that sits tucked behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. The pancreas produces enzymes that assist digestion and hormones that help regulate the way your body processes sugar (glucose).
Pancreatitis can occur as acute pancreatitis — meaning it appears suddenly and lasts for days. Or pancreatitis can occur as chronic pancreatitis, which describes pancreatitis that occurs over many years.
Mild cases of pancreatitis may go away without treatment, but severe cases can cause life-threatening complications.
Sept. 07, 2013
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Pancreatitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/pancreatitis. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Understanding pancreatitis. American Gastroenterological Association. http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/pancreatitis. Accessed July 17, 2013.
- Sareen S, et al. Yoga: A tool for improving the quality of life in chronic pancreatitis. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2007;13:391.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. Aug. 4, 2013.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 21, 2013.