Pancreatitis - Describe Your Experience

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What were your symptoms of pancreatitis?

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What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum - the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive juices, or enzymes, into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes join with bile - a liquid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder - to digest food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy.

Normally, digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas do not become active until they reach the small intestine. But when the pancreas is inflamed, the enzymes inside it attack and damage the tissues that produce them.

Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. Either form is serious and can lead to complications. In severe cases, bleeding, infection, and permanent tissue damage may occur.

Both forms of pancreatitis occur more often in men than women.

Illustration of the Pancreas

Return to Pancreatitis

See what others are saying

Comment from: adhregina, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 31

After 2 years, back in 1998, I finally was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis. My lower back pain often was unbearable and pain killers relieved it a little. I was discharging bile, fatty, gold in color and it stained the toilet. Relief only came when I had a large discharge. I was prescribed pancreatic enzymes for digestion, pain killers, and water pills for my distended stomach, and a few others. Tests had revealed that my portal veins were thrombosed, causing my pancreas to at first be acute. Shortly thereafter it went chronic. Also, scarring had occurred in my liver, thus cirrhosis. I having suffered with this for nearly 8 years now; only wish that I be pain free.

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Comment from: Cosworth 3, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 22

Today's date is 19/04/2014. I am 54. I"ve had chronic pancreatitis for 4 to 5 years now and have been really ill with it. The back/front and both sides, pain is sometimes so severe that standing, sitting, or lying down are not options. I have had treatment called "celiac block" now 3 times and it really doesn"t help a lot. The medication I take are dihydrocodeine 30 mg as required, as a painkiller (I need 3 for it to work) and Creon 10,000 for digestion and both appear to have a little effect. I might add that the cause was long term alcohol use, which I still drink although not like I used to, and I still smoke which personally I don"t think has any effect on the pancreatitis! I have lost approximately 3 stone in weight and had a pseudocyst which burst and put me in hospital. My sympathy goes out to all sufferers of this wicked disease!

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