Pancreatitis Part 3 (Causes & Complications)

Health Tips


Many of the causes of acute and chronic pancreatitis are the same. These are some of them:

  • gallstones
  • consuming a large amount of alcohol
  • some prescription drugs
  • pancreatic carcinoma
  • surgery on the abdomen
  • infections
  • cystic fibrosis
  • a damage to your stomach

Chronic pancreatitis can also be caused by high blood calcium or triglycerides (a form of fat).

Acute pancreatitis is most commonly caused by gallstones. Gallstones are tiny, solid masses that form when bile, a digestive fluid, hardens.

A big gallstone can become lodged at the intersection of the main pancreatic duct and the common bile duct. The duodenum, the first segment of the small intestine, receives the contents of these ducts.

The pancreatic duct is responsible for transporting digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Bile and other chemicals from the liver and gallbladder are transported through the common bile duct. A clogged gallstone can produce a back-up of these substances, causing inflammation in the pancreas and the common bile duct.


Complications may arise in some patients. These consequences are uncommon in people with chronic pancreatitis, however they are more common in those with chronic pancreatitis:

  • renal failure
  • pancreatic carcinoma
  • diabetes
  • malnutrition
  • Infections of the pancreas

Acute pancreatitis can raise your chances of having respiratory problems. When tissue and other debris accumulate on your pancreas, pseudocysts can occur. These might go away on their own. If they rupture, infection and bleeding can occur, which can be dangerous if not managed.

Always consult your doctor.