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Identifying Pancreatitis: 20 Signs You Should Know

Pancreatitis is a condition that occurs when the pancreas, a gland located behind the stomach, becomes inflamed. The pancreas is responsible for producing enzymes that help break down food, as well as hormones that regulate blood sugar levels.

When the pancreas becomes inflamed, these enzymes can leak into the surrounding tissue, causing damage and leading to a range of symptoms including organ failure and even fatality. In this article, we will discuss the 20 warning signs of pancreatitis that you should be aware of. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about pancreatitis with a search online right now, which could help you spot early symptoms.

Acute Pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is characterized by a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. The condition can be mild or severe, and can cause a range of symptoms. Some of the warning signs of acute pancreatitis include upper abdominal pain that may spread to the back, pain that gets worse after eating, abdominal tenderness, fever, chills, increased heart rate, and nausea. In severe cases, acute pancreatitis can lead to organ failure and even death.

Chronic Pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is a long-term inflammation of the pancreas that can lead to permanent damage. The condition is often caused by heavy alcohol consumption, but can also be caused by other factors such as cystic fibrosis or high levels of calcium in the blood. Some of the warning signs of chronic pancreatitis include upper abdominal pain that may spread to the back, pain that gets worse after eating, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and bloating. Over time, chronic pancreatitis can also lead to the development of diabetes.

Upper Abdominal Pain

Upper abdominal pain is a common symptom of both acute and chronic pancreatitis. The pain may be severe and can be felt in the upper part of the abdomen. The pain may also spread to the back and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

Pain Spreads to the Back

In some cases, the pain associated with pancreatitis may spread to the back. This is particularly common in cases of acute pancreatitis, but can also occur in chronic pancreatitis. The pain may be severe and may make it difficult to find a comfortable position.

Pain Gets Worse After Eating

One of the hallmark symptoms of pancreatitis is pain that gets worse after eating. This is because the pancreas is responsible for producing enzymes that help break down food, and when the pancreas is inflamed, this process is disrupted. As a result, food may not be properly digested, leading to abdominal pain and discomfort.

Abdominal Tenderness

Abdominal tenderness is another common symptom of pancreatitis. The abdomen may be sensitive to the touch, and even light pressure can cause discomfort. This is often accompanied by other symptoms such as upper abdominal pain and bloating.

Fever and Chills

Fever and chills are common symptoms of pancreatitis, particularly in cases of acute pancreatitis. This is because the inflammation caused by pancreatitis can lead to an infection, which can cause a fever.

Increased Heart Rate

An increased heart rate is another symptom of pancreatitis. This is because the body is trying to compensate for the inflammation caused by the condition. The heart may beat faster in an attempt to pump more blood to the affected area.

Pain Gets Worse When Lying Down

In some cases, the pain associated with pancreatitis may be worse when lying down. This is particularly common in cases of acute pancreatitis, and may make it difficult to get comfortable enough to sleep. The pain may be relieved by sitting up or leaning forward.

Weight Loss

Weight loss is a common symptom of chronic pancreatitis. This is because the inflammation caused by the condition can affect the pancreas’s ability to produce enzymes needed for digestion. As a result, food may not be properly absorbed, leading to weight loss.

Nausea

Nausea is a common symptom of both acute and chronic pancreatitis. It may be accompanied by vomiting and may be worse after eating.

Vomiting

Vomiting is another common symptom of pancreatitis. It may be accompanied by nausea and may be worse after eating. In severe cases, vomiting may be persistent and can lead to dehydration.

Indigestion

Indigestion is a common symptom of chronic pancreatitis. It may be accompanied by bloating, abdominal pain, and other digestive issues.

Bloating

Bloating is a common symptom of pancreatitis. It may be accompanied by abdominal pain, indigestion, and other digestive issues.

Smelly and Oily Stools

Smelly and oily stools are a common symptom of chronic pancreatitis. This is because the inflammation caused by the condition can affect the pancreas’s ability to produce enzymes needed for digestion. As a result, fat may not be properly absorbed, leading to oily and foul-smelling stools.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another common symptom of chronic pancreatitis. It may be accompanied by other digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion.

Developing Diabetes

Chronic pancreatitis can also lead to the development of diabetes. This is because the condition can damage the pancreas’s ability to produce insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a rare symptom of pancreatitis. It may be caused by a build-up of fluid in the lungs, which can occur in severe cases of the condition.

Jaundice

Jaundice is a rare symptom of pancreatitis. It may be caused by a blockage in the bile duct, which can occur when the pancreas becomes inflamed. This can cause yellowing of the skin and eyes.