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Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas that occurs when the pancreas' digestive enzymes begin attacking pancreatic cells (autodigestion).

This is most often caused by gallstones or alcohol abuse, though cystic fibrosis, high levels of calcium or fats in the blood may also be factors. If not treated, it can become a chronic (long-term) condition.

Hereditary pancreatitis (passed through families) may also lead to pancreatic cancer.

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include:

    • Weight loss, due to improper food digestion
    • Abdominal pain
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Fatty stool
    • Rapid pulse rate
    • Fever
    • Swelling in the upper abdomen
    • Dropping blood pressure
    • Mild jaundice 
  • Treatment

    Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a procedure that combines X-ray and the use of an endoscope - a long, flexible, lighted tube to examine any abnormalities.

    The experts at the UK Digestive Health Program can diagnose pancreatitis in our state-of-the-art Endoscopy Center. Call 859-257-1000 or toll free 800-333-8874 for an appointment or view a list of our physicians.