Pancreatitis refers to an inflamed or infected pancreas. The pancreas is a long, flat gland nestled behind stomach in the upper abdomen. It produces enzymes that help with digestion and the hormones that help regulate how the body processes sugar.
When those enzymes become active while still inside the pancreas, inflammation occurs. The entire process is not completely understood, some triggers may be gall stones, alcoholism, smoking, and abdominal trauma. In severe cases, bleeding, the development of cysts, serious tissue damage or death of tissue in the pancreas may occur. The enzymes and toxins released during that process may enter the bloodstream and cause serious damage to the kidneys, heart, lungs and other organs.
Severe pain in the upper abdomen should never be ignored. Pancreatitis needs to be cared for under the supervision of a GI specialist.
- Upper abdomen pain
- Clammy skin
Treatment can includes antibiotics and pain medications, but may also involve dietary changes, supplements and monitoring for complications.
Pancreatitis is a serious situation that requires medical attention. Make an appointment today with one of our specially trained and experienced physicians.