What Is Pancreatitis?

By jolene
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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3. Causes

In acute pancreatitis, the most common causes are biliary stone disease and chronic alcohol consumption. The cause is unknown in 10% to 30% of cases. In biliary stone disease, the gallstone lodges at the opening in the intestinal sphincter of Oddi and blocks the secretion of the digestive enzymes.

It has been estimated that at least 35% of acute pancreatitis cases are due to alcohol use as alcohol causes accumulation, activation, and premature release of digestive enzymes. Since alcohol increases the permeability of the ducts, this allows the enzymes to cause pancreatic damage. This disease is usually seen in individuals who have a habit of alcohol consumption of more than 5 to 15 years. Other potential causes of pancreatitis include endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), side effects of drugs, trauma, hereditary pancreatitis, infection, developmental abnormalities of the pancreas, and hypercalcemia (excessive calcium in blood).


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