Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland situated behind the stomach in the upper part of the abdomen. Its main function is to secrete hormones and enzymes which help with food digestion as well as regulating the levels of sugar in the blood. The enzymes produced in the pancreas are released into the small intestines through the pancreatic duct, helping with food digestion. Insulin and glucagon are two hormones produced in the pancreas which are released into the bloodstream and regulate the blood sugar levels.
Pancreatitis can be either acute or chronic. Pancreatitis symptoms include upper abdominal pain, pain that radiates to the back, pain that tends to get worse after eating, nausea and vomiting, tenderness when touching the abdomen, fever, oily and smelly stools, unintended weight loss, etc. What are the common causes of pancreatitis? Let’s have a look!
Pancreatitis Cause #1: Genetics
Genetics is one cause of pancreatitis. Certain people have a genetic predisposition for pancreatitis. If a close family member had pancreatitis in the past, either acute or chronic, the chances that you will develop pancreatitis are extremely high. If pancreatitis tends to run in your family, you should get medical check-ups regularly and avoid risk factors as much as possible to detect pancreatitis before it becomes problematic and causes serious damage to your pancreas.
Hereditary pancreatitis is an autosomal dominant condition, related to the mutation of the cationic trypsinogen gene which causes premature activation of trypsinogen to trypsin within the pancreas. Mutations in the SPINK1 protein can also play a role in the development of acute pancreatitis.