Pancreatic disease, or Pancreatitis, is an inflammation or infection of the pancreas -- an elongated, tapered gland that is located behind the stomach. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes and the hormones insulin and glucagon.
Causes of Pancreatic Disease
The various types of pancreatic disease involve irritation, inflammation, and infection of the pancreas. The disorders differ according to whether symptoms develop suddenly or slowly.
Acute pancreatic disease is an inflammation (irritation and swelling with presence of extra immune cells) of the pancreas.
Chronic pancreatic disease involves persistent inflammation of the pancreas and is most often caused by alcoholism and alcohol abuse, but sometimes the cause cannot be determined. Conditions such as hyperlipidemia or hyperparathyroidism, injury, and chronic obstruction of the pancreatic duct can also be associated with chronic pancreatic disease.