Your pancreas is a rather large gland that is behind the stomach and next to your large intestine. Your pancreas does two very important things:
- Your pancreas releases the digestive enzymes needed by the small intestine to aid in the digestion of food.
- It also releases important hormones, insulin, and glucagon into your bloodstream. These important hormones help your body to control how it uses food for energy.
There are two kinds of pancreatitis: acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis.
Acute pancreatitis, a sudden inflammation that lasts for a brief time, may range from mild discomfort to a very severe and life-threatening illness. Almost everyone with acute pancreatitis recovers quickly and completely after getting the appropriate treatment.
In many severe cases, acute pancreatitis typically results in bleeding into the gland, serious tissue damage, dangerous infection, and the formation of cysts. Severe pancreatitis can also negatively affect other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Typical symptoms of acute pancreatitis typically include:
Inflammation in your pancreas from chronic pancreatitis lasts longer and typically is a result of an episode of acute pancreatitis. Reports have also established that considerable alcohol consumption is another cause of chronic pancreatitis. Although symptoms may take many years to show up, the affected person may suddenly develop symptoms that are severe.