10 Causes of Pancreatitis

Author
By iliriana
Reviewed
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
Aug 10, 2018
Medical Expert Medical Expert

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!

Cause #1: Genetics

Hereditary pancreatitis is an autosomal dominant condition, related to the mutation of the cationic trypsinogen gene (PRSS1) 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.

Hereditary pancreatitis is not a common cause of pancreatitis. It accounts for less than 1% of all the diagnosed pancreatitis, therefore, other causes should be eliminated first before thinking about this possibility.

Pancreatitis

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