Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Chronic Pancreatitis Overview

What is chronic pancreatitis?
A person with chronic pancreatitis has swelling and inflammation of the pancreas that causes scarring and loss of function. Repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis can lead to chronic pancreatitis. Other causes include alcohol abuse, bile duct stones (gallstones), tumors of the biliary tract, toxins, and autoimmune disease, such as Sjogrens syndrome, primary biliary cirrhosis, and renal tubular acidosis.

What are the symptoms of chronic pancreatitis?
The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include upper abdominal pain, digestion problems, nausea and vomiting, pale or clay colored stool, and unintentional weight loss. The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may become more frequent and gradually worsen.

How does the doctor treat chronic pancreatitis?
Treatment for chronic pancreatitis may include eating a low fat diet, getting a sufficient amount of vitamins and calcium in the diet and taking pancreatic enzyme supplements. If a blockage is found, surgery may be required to remove all or part of the pancreas.

Continue to Chronic Pancreatitis Symptoms

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chronic Pancreatitis References
  1. Andersen DK, Frey CF. The evolution of the surgical treatment of chronic pancreatitis. Ann Surg. 2010 Jan;251(1):18-32. [20009754]
  2. Gaisano HY, Gorelick FS. New insights into the mechanisms of pancreatitis. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jun;136(7):2040-4. Epub 2009 Apr 18. [19379751]
  3. Nair RJ, Lawler L, Miller MR. Chronic pancreatitis. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Dec 1;76(11):1679-88. Review. [18092710]
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