Pancreatitis is an acute or chronic condition that involves inflammation of the pancreas and the pancreatic ducts, which can be triggered by many things, including gallstones stuck in the common bile duct, heavy alcohol drinking, some medications, and trauma. It is more common in heavy drinkers and obese people with dyslipidemia.
Acute pancreatitis can be life-threatening, especially when complicated by multi-organ failure or electrolyte imbalances. It requires hospitalization, and patients usually need to undergo extensive monitoring in the ICU.
Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive disease with a longer life expectancy. However, it can trigger pancreatic cancer and causes recurrent symptoms that should be addressed promptly to prevent complications.