What You Need To Know About Pancreatitis

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Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of the pancreas, the gland situated behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. The pancreas plays an important role in converting the food you eat into fuel for the body’s cells. It releases digestive enzymes that help in digestion and produces digestive hormones that help regulate how your body processes glucose. Pancreatitis occurs when pancreatic enzyme secretions build up and start to digest the organ itself.
Some cases of pancreatitis may be mild and self-limiting, but the condition may also lead to severe complications that can be life-threatening. While mild cases of pancreatitis may go away without treatment, severe cases of the acute form of pancreatitis can have damaging effects on many other organs, including the lungs and kidneys. Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and typically resolves after a few days of treatment, but repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis may develop into chronic pancreatitis, a lifelong condition that can have adverse effects on your quality of life.
Keep on reading to know the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis as well as its causes, complications, treatment, and prevention.

Types Of Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is generally categorized as acute or chronic, but there are extremely severe cases of acute pancreatitis that can develop into necrotizing pancreatitis, a serious medical condition where a part of the pancreas dies.
Acute pancreatitis is one of the most common causes of hospital admissions for gastrointestinal issues. Based on the report of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an estimated 275,000 Americans are admitted to the hospital because of acute pancreatitis every year. Acute pancreatitis often occurs suddenly, and the inflammation usually clears within several days to a few weeks after treatment begins. Acute pancreatitis is more common in adults than in children, with gallstones being the primary cause of the condition. The disease can also develop into chronic pancreatitis, particularly if you habitually smoke tobacco or excessively drink alcohol, or if you have an autoimmune or genetic disease.
Chronic pancreatitis is a long-term condition, lasting for months to several years, which generally develops after several episodes of acute pancreatitis. The frequent, recurring inflammation of the pancreas over a long period may cause permanent tissue damage in the organ and bring about other health complications. Pancreatitis can destroy cells that produce insulin, the hormone that regulates the levels of sugar in your blood, preventing hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.