Pancreatitis

Pancreas IllustrationPancreatitis is defined as inflammation of the pancreas that causes the release of digestive enzymes into the surrounding structures and the bloodstream. These enzymes are normally secreted into the pancreatic duct. Upper abdominal pain, back pain and vomiting are common symptoms. Obstruction of the duct by a stone passing down the bile duct is the most common cause for this condition. Alcohol abuse, cancer, familial pancreatitis and drug side effects are other causes. The initial management is administration of intravenous fluids, pain medications and not eating. ERCP and CAT scans may be required for further diagnosis.