Intro To Pancreatitis

Find Helpful Information About Living With, Managing, and Preventing Complications of Pancreatitis

Whether you’re newly diagnosed or looking to dive deeper into this condition, this page is here to help you navigate everything recurrent acute pancreatitis or chronic pancreatitis may throw your way.

About Pancreatitis

Causes and Symptoms

Chronic pancreatitis is a serious condition where the pancreas is inflamed (swollen). It can be caused by many factors, like genetics, and result in severe abdominal pain.


Many patients with CP struggle to get an accurate, timely diagnosis. To diagnose CP, doctors need to consider a patient’s medical history and symptoms and rule out other possible conditions (differential diagnosis).


Genetic variants, meaning changes (sometimes called mutations) in the DNA, can cause or contribute to pancreatitis. The genes that play a role in pancreatitis can be classified into two groups: disease-causing and disease-modifying.

Pediatric Pancreatitis

While pancreatitis most commonly affects adults, children can suffer from the disease too. Each year, 12 in 100,000 children suffer from pancreatitis, and 2 in 100,000 are diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis.


Alcohol can increase the risk of chronic pancreatitis; however, alcohol alone does not directly cause the disease and it is not the greatest risk factor. People with CP should not drink any alcohol whatsoever or eat foods prepared with alcohol.

About the Pancreas

The pancreas is an organ that plays an important role in your digestive system and is part of your gut, helping break down food as you eat and turning it into energy for your cells. It has two main functions in the body: digestion and regulating blood sugar.

Managing Pancreatitis


An effective diet can help you minimize flares and pain, prevent malnutrition and other CP-related complications, and maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Pain Management

Pain plays a central role in the lives of chronic pancreatitis patients and their caregivers. It is important to understand the causes, impact, and treatment options of chronic pancreatitis pain.


Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is a treatment for those diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and may help you better digest and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.


The TPIAT is a type of pancreas removal surgery. The main goal of this surgery is to relieve pain, improve quality of life, and reduce the chances of developing diabetes in people suffering from severe pancreatitis.

Complications of Chronic Pancreatitis

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

EPI is a condition where the pancreas does not make enough digestive enzymes, causing issues in absorbing nutrients from food. This can lead to malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, and more.

Type 3c Diabetes (Pancreatogenic Diabetes)

Type 3c diabetes is a type of diabetes associated with chronic pancreatitis and other conditions. It is caused by damage to the pancreas, which makes it hard for your body to regulate blood sugar levels.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Chronic pancreatitis impacts digestion, making it tough for the body to absorb nutrients from food. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies, meaning the body doesn’t have enough essential nutrients to function properly.

Bone Disease

Bone health is important and often overlooked in people living with pancreatitis. Those with recurrent acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis face challenges that can lead to significant bone loss.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when malignant tumors form in the pancreas. Those with chronic pancreatitis have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, and certain pancreatitis patients may be more at risk than others.

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Get Updates in Your Inbox

Stay up-to-date on the latest Mission: Cure news and developments in pancreatitis care.

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