Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis | Pancreas Specialist Doctor in Bangalore
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February, 2023

Chronic Pancreatitis - Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Chronic pancreatitis is considered an inflammation of the pancreas that does not improve over a period of time. The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen and makes digestive enzymes, which are special proteins that help to digest food. The pancreas also makes hormones like Insulin and Glucagon that control the sugar level in the blood. 

Difference between Acute Pancreatitis and Chronic Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is the medical term used to denote inflammation of the pancreas. When the inflammation is sudden severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever, pancreatitis is considered acute. On the other hand, chronic pancreatitis keeps on coming back and the inflammation is recurrent or persisting and does not heal for many years or months.

Chronic pancreatitis leads to permanent damage and scarring of the gland.  Cysts and calcium stones may develop and grow in the pancreas and this can block the ducts that carry digestive enzymes and juices to the intestine. Permanent damage to the pancreas leads to a decrease in hormones and digestive enzyme levels, which in turn makes it harder for one’s body to digest food as well as regulate blood sugar. This causes serious health issues which include diabetes, malnutrition, indigestion and loose stools, and many others. Chronic inflammation and ductal blockage and stones can also cause severe recurrent pain.  Thus, these cases of pancreatitis can be improved with proper treatment at the best hospital for pancreatitis in Bangalore.

What Causes Chronic Pancreatitis?

There are a variety of causes of chronic pancreatitis. The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis in western countries is long-term alcohol abuse and approximately 65% of cases are connected to the consumption of alcohol. 

The autoimmune disease primarily occurs during the time an individual’s body attacks healthy tissues and cells mistakenly.  Autoimmune pancreatitis is also a common cause of pancreatitis.

Tropical and subtropical countries like India have a significant number of chronic pancreatitis caused by abnormal pancreatic digestive enzymes as a result of mutations in the proteins which makes them unstable and causes inflammation of the pancreas. This is called idiopathic tropical calcific pancreatitis and this is the most common cause of pancreatitis in Southern India.

Some other causes are,
  • A narrow pancreatic duct or opening of the duct that connects the pancreas to the small intestine.
  • Cystic fibrosis is a hereditary disease that can cause mucus  to build up in the lungs and pancreatic ducts 
  • A blockage of the pancreatic duct either by pancreatic stones or strictures 
  • Genetics
  • A high level of triglyceride fats in the blood is called hypertriglyceridemia.
  • High blood levels of calcium and it is called hypercalcemia.
  • Certain immune disorders
  • Smoking

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis?

In the beginning, one may notice some symptoms. Transformations in the pancreas can become advanced before one begins to feel unwell. When the symptoms occur, these include,
  • Diarrhoea
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Fatty stools which are pale, loose, and do not flush away easily
  • Excessive fatigue and thirst
One might experience more severe symptoms as the disease progress, which include, 
  • Jaundice is characterized by a yellowish discolouration in the skin and eyes
  • Pancreatic fluids in the abdomen 
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Internal bleeding
Painful episodes last for a few hours or may last for days. Some people find that drinking and eating can make the pain worse and as the disease advances, the pain becomes constant. Patients with Chronic pancreatitis have an increased risk of developing cancer of the pancreas.

How can Chronic Pancreatitis be Diagnosed?

A pancreas specialist doctor in Bangalore will be able to diagnose only when the symptoms are present for a long time or the changes in the pancreas are irreversible. The healthcare provider is going to examine the belly of the patient and might ask for a few blood tests and other imaging tests.  These diagnostic tests include, 
  • Blood tests like amylase and lipase 
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • CT scan of the abdomen 
  • ERCP
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography

Treatment of Chronic Pancreatitis

Treatment for chronic pancreatitis focuses on minimizing pain and improving digestive function. The damage cannot be undone but with proper care, one can prevent the progression of chronic pancreatitis and improve pain, sugar control, and digestive functions. If a specific cause is found, corrective measures can be taken  These treatment procedures include, 
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Endoscopy
If you are looking for treatment for chronic pancreatitis disease, Sakra World Hospital has the best pancreas specialist doctor in Bangalore who can guide you with their expert knowledge regarding the treatment plan for chronic pancreatitis.



Dr Lorance Peter

Director - Gastroenterology & Hepatology

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