Pancreatitis Overview

What Is It?

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas, the large gland located behind the stomach. Pancreatitis can be acute, chronic, or recurrent.

  • Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas.

  • People with chronic pancreatitis have ongoing inflammation of the pancreas that leads to permanent damage.

  • People with recurrent pancreatitis have repeated bouts of acute inflammation.

The main function of the pancreas is to produce digestive enzymes and hormones, such as insulin, that regulate blood sugar levels.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »