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Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis

  • There are many possible causes of pancreatitis. The NIDDK note that acute pancreatitis most commonly occurs as a complication of gallstones. Gallstones may cause inflammation in the pancreas or pancreatic duct. Common causes of chronic pancreatitis are heavy alcohol use and genetic disorders.

  • There is no cure for chronic pancreatitis, but the related pain and symptoms may be managed or even prevented. Since chronic pancreatitis is most often caused by drinking, abstinence from alcohol is often one way to ease the pain.

  • The end stage is characterized by steatorrhea and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Several characteristic complications of chronic pancreatitis are known such as common bile duct, duodenal, main pancreatic duct and vascular obstruction/stenosis. Chronic pancreatitis represents a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.