Pancreatitis - Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis causes upper abdominal pain which can range from mild to severe.

The pain may come on suddenly or it may develop gradually. Often, the pain will start or worsen after eating, which can also occur with gallbladder or ulcer pain. Abdominal pain tends to be the hallmark of acute pancreatitis. People with acute pancreatitis usually feel very ill.

Signs and symptoms of acute pancreatitis may include:

  • Abdominal pain that may radiate to the back
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Worsening pain after eating
  • Tenderness to touch of the abdomen
  • Fever and chills
  • Weakness and lethargy

In chronic pancreatitis, abdominal pain also can be present, but it is often not as severe, and some people may not have any pain at all.

Signs and symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Foul smelling, oily stool
Return to Pancreatitis

See what others are saying

Comment from: Curly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I woke up and started vomiting immediately. My stomach just did not feel right. The vomiting would not stop and diarrhea began. The pain in my abdomen was getting worse and worse. I thought my appendix had exploded or I had an ovary stuck in my fallopian tube or something. I had trouble breathing, the vomiting continued, and the pain was getting worse and worse. I soaked through two thermal shirts. Finally I just lay down on the bathroom floor, feeling like I was going to pass out. My husband and son helped me get into our van. I couldn't stand up straight, the pain was so bad. I entered the emergency room, had x-rays, CT scans, ultrasound, and blood tests. Bottom line, acute pancreatitis with lipase level at 30,000! I just got home today alter 12 days in the hospital. What an experience!

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Comment from: RachaelS, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 06

I had pancreatitis all my life but only diagnosed about 2 months ago. Living in constant pain, I had a stomach tube for 5 years which stole my childhood from me. I can't drink alcohol, can't eat fatty or high carb foods. Pretty depressed from the constant pain. Turns out the cause of my pancreatitis is one in a billion and hasn't been seen in the last 50 years (according to my doctor). Yippee for me. Can't wait to find out more and what they are going to do to help me. Basically I had every symptom going; extreme pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, nausea, everything under the sun.

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