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All about pancreatitis causes of pancreatitis symptoms of pancreatitis risk factors for pancreatitis complications of pancreatitis acute pancreatitis causes of acute pancreatitis symptoms of acute pancreatitis diagnosis of acute pancreatitis treatment for acute pancreatitis chronic pancreatitis causes of chronic pancreatitis symptoms of chronic pancreatitis diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis treatment for chronic pancreatitis prevention of pancreatitis

What are the symptoms of pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis symptoms are characterized by severe pain in the middle of the abdomen that occurs secondary to inflammation of the pancreas. People often describe the pain as a deep pain that radiates to the back. Pancreatitis symptoms include nausea and vomiting. Symptoms of pancreatitis are generally made worse with eating. People can

develop fever, jaundice, breathing difficulties, and elevated blood sugar (diabetes). Pancreatitis can be a life threatening illness.

Pain is a major symptom in pancreatitis. The pain is usually quite intense and steady, located in the upper right hand corner of the abdomen, and often described as "boring." This pain is also often felt all the way through to the patient's back. The patient's breathing may become quite shallow because deeper breathing tends to cause more pain. Relief of pain by sitting up and bending forward is characteristic of pancreatic pain.

Classic signs of shock may appear in more severely ill patients. Shock is a very serious syndrome that occurs when the volume (quantity) of fluid in the blood is very low. In shock, a patient's arms and legs become extremely cold, the blood pressure drops dangerously low, the heart rate is quite fast, and the patient may begin to experience changes in mental status. In very severe cases of pancreatitis (called necrotizing pancreatitis), the pancreatic tissue begins to die, and bleeding increases. Due to the bleeding into the abdomen, two distinctive signs may be noted in patients with necrotizing pancreatitis. Turner's sign is a reddish-purple or greenish-brown color to the flank area (the area between the ribs and the hip bone). Cullen's sign is a bluish color around the navel.

People with acute pancreatitis usually feel very sick, besides pain, the patient may have other symptoms including nausea, fever or chills or both, Belly swollen and tender to the touch, and rapid heartbeat. In very severe cases with infection or bleeding, you may become dehydrated and have low blood pressure. You may experience the following symptoms including weakness or feeling tired (fatigue), feeling light-headed or faint, lethargy, irritability, confusion or difficulty concentrating, and headache. If the blood pressure goes extremely low, the organs of the body do not get enough blood to carry out their normal functions. This is called circulatory shock, or just shock. It is a very dangerous condition.

More information on pancreatitis

What is pancreatitis? - Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that may occur as an acute, painful attack. Pancreatitis, an occasional side effect of ddI, can result in severe abdominal pain and death.
What causes pancreatitis? - Heavy alcohol use over many years is a leading cause of chronic pancreatitis. A leading cause of acute pancreatitis is gallstones.
What are the symptoms of pancreatitis? - Pancreatitis symptoms are characterized by severe pain in the middle of the abdomen that occurs secondary to inflammation of the pancreas.
What are the risk factors for pancreatitis? - Gallstones (lumps of solid material found in the gallbladder) and alcohol abuse (in 80 percent of all cases) are major risk fators forpancreatitis.
What are the complications of pancreatitis? - Complications of pancreatitis can be conceptualized as occurring in two domains one as local and one as systemic complications.
What is acute pancreatitis? - Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation (irritation and swelling with presence of extra immune cells) of the pancreas.
What causes acute pancreatitis? - Gallstones and excessive alcohol usage are the most common causes for injury to the pancreas and account for more than 85% of all patients that develop pancreatitis.
What are the symptoms of acute pancreatitis? - Acute pancreatitis generally starts with a pain in the upper abdomen. Other symptoms include diarrhea, bloating and fever.
How is acute pancreatitis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of acute pancreatitis can be challenging because the signs and symptoms of other medical conditions can mimic those of pancreatitis.
What is the treatment for acute pancreatitis? - The goals of treatment of acute pancreatitis are to alleviate pancreatic inflammation and to correct the underlying cause.
What is chronic pancreatitis? - Chronic pancreatitis is a condition associated with widespread scarring and destruction of pancreatic tissue.
What causes chronic pancreatitis? - The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is long-term excessive alcohol consumption. Other causes include high levels of calcium in the blood, abnormalities in anatomy.
What are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis? - Some people with chronic pancreatitis have no pain. Patients with this disease often lose weight, even when their appetite and eating habits are normal.
How is chronic pancreatitis diagnosed? - Diagnosing chronic pancreatitis in its early stages is often difficult. Diagnosis may be aided by a number of new techniques.
What is the treatment for chronic pancreatitis? - The doctor treats chronic pancreatitis by relieving pain and managing the nutritional and metabolic problems.
How to prevent pancreatitis? - Pancreatitis caused by gallstones can not be absolutely prevented. A healthy weight with a balanced diet and regular exercise can redce the risk of forming gallstones. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005