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Chronic Pancreatitis, Introduction, Symptoms, Causes

Chronic Pancreatitis, Introduction, Symptoms, Causes

Summary: Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of pancreas in which pancreatic tissues are irreversibly damaged and both structure as well as function of pancreas is disturbed. It predominantly affects males, between the ages of 30 to 40.

Chronic pancreatitis’ symptoms include persistent pain, frequent bowel motion with foul smelling, oily, grey colour stools, digestive problems, nausea, vomiting, jaundice, type 1 diabetes and intestinal obstruction.

Main causative agent of chronic pancreatitis alcohol consumption, other risk factors include hypercalcemia, higher triglycerides level, pancreatic duct obstruction, gallstones, cystic fibrosis, hereditary factors, smoking and malnutrition.


Pancreas is a large organ behind the stomach that produces digestive enzymes and a number of hormones. Chronic Pancreatitis the inflammation of pancreas that long standing, progressive and at a stage where normal function and structure of pancreas altered. It different from acute pancreatitis in a way that in chronic pancreatitis pancreas  irreversibly damaged while in acute pancreatitis the damage can reversed.

Chronic pancreatitis can lead to permanent scarring and damage that do not heal over time. As a result Calcium stones and cyst can develop in pancreatic ducts, blocking them and halting flow of digestive enzymes to the stomach. It can cause persistent pain, digestive problem and impair body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.

Chronic pancreatitis often seen in age 30 to 40 and male population is more prone to it. It need specialized investigation and differential diagnosis, and often misdiagnosed in Pakistan. Dr Faisal Dar clinic Quaid e Azam Hospital Islamabad provide unmatched diagnostic and treatment facility to patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis. Specialized care, differential diagnosis, and expert supervision all are provided under one roof in our state of the art facility at Quaid e Azam Hospital Islamabad.

Signs and Symptoms:

Chronic pancreatitis is presented by the following symptoms.

  • Pain in upper abdomen the most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis. The pain increases with eating , drinking, laying down and decreases with fasting and leaning forward. Pain is present in Majority of cases but pain may be absent in some individuals.
  • Pancreas aids in digestion of fats, fat soluble vitamins and other nutrients. When its function is impaired, fat can not digested. As a result foul smelling, grey colour, oily stools are passed frequently, called steatorrhoea.
  • Weight loss, when even adequate amount of healthy food is taken.
  • Chronic pancreatitis can lead to impairment in insulin production by damaging pancreatic islets. This lead to body’s inability to regulate blood sugars and Diabetes Type 1 developed as a result. This lead to secondary symptoms of thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, weight loss and fatigue.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • As the disease progress more severe symptoms of, pancreatic fluid in abdomen, jaundice, internal bleeding and intestinal blockage may appear. Persistent severe pain often lasting for hours another sign of severe chronic pancreatitis.
  • If you or any of your family member is experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, reach to us immediately. Dr Faisal dar and team of trained professional will provide you with the specialized diagnostic and treatment facility that unparalleled nationwide.


Common causes are as follows

  • Alcohol consumption not only leads to liver damaged but also the leading cause of chronic pancreatitis. More then 70% of causes associated with long term alcohol consumption.
  • Autoimmune disorders, when body mistakenly attacks own body tissues.
  • Narrowing of pancreatic duct.
  • Blockage of pancreatic duct caused by gallstones or pancreatic stones.
  • Cystic fibrosis and some other hereditary condition progressively lead to chronic pancreatitis.
  • Genetics
  • High blood Calcium level called hypercalcemia.
  • People with high level of triglycerides also at risk of developing it.
  • Tumor and ischemia another contribution factors.
  • New research shows that tobacco smoking a high risk factor to develop the disease. Family history may increase the risk. Tropical pancreatitis a form of pancreatitis, found in tropical areas, that affects children. The exact cause is unknown but malnutrition seem to play a role here.

To help protect yourself from chronic pancreatitis adopt healthy life styles, avoid alcohol consumption, eat healthy food and exercise regularly. 


Dr. Faisal Dar (Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Lahore)

Call us at: 0341–0543883, 042-111 117 554

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