In chronic pancreatitis, widespread injury to the pancreas over many years causes extensive scarring and destruction of the pancreas. This condition is frequently associated with alcohol abuse and excessive smoking. In many patients, this condition may develop without any apparent cause.
Chronic pancreatitis is a slowly progressive disease that takes many years to develop and leads to the destruction of pancreatic tissue. In many patients, chronic pancreatitis is silent and may not cause any symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of chronic pancreatitis
- Severe chronic pain
- Diabetes mellitus
- Poor absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract — especially fats
- Cancer of the pancreas
- Blockage of bile ducts
- Bleeding from the stomach