Chronic pancreatitis is a disease characterized by repeated episodes of pancreatic inflammation. The pancreas produces chemicals (enzymes) that enter the small intestine to break down food for digestion and absorption into the blood. When the pancreas is inflamed, digestion is faulty and in some cases the inflamed pancreas begins to digest itself. Pancreatitis causes digestive upset and, in severe cases, shock and death.
Signs of chronic pancreatitis include frequent vomiting, flatulence (intestinal gas), weight loss despite a good appetite, and passage of large amounts of clay-colored soft stools.
There are numerous causes of chronic pancreatitis. Various laboratory tests are often needed to diagnose the disorder. Chronic pancreatitis is a disease more likely to be controlled through medication and diet rather than cured. The disease is often complicated by diabetes mellitus.
Important Points in Treatment
In severe cases, hospital treatment is necessary.