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    Understanding Pancreatitis -- Symptoms

    What Are the Symptoms of Pancreatitis?

    For acute pancreatitis symptoms include:

    • Sudden, intense pains in the middle of the upper abdomen, often beginning 12 to 24 hours after a large meal or a bout of heavy drinking. The pain may radiate to your back.
    • Fever.
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Clammy skin.
    • Abdominal distention and tenderness.
    • Rapid pulse.

    Chronic pancreatitis symptoms include:

    Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

    Why Is EPI Hard to Diagnose?

    When you have exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), you probably know your body doesn’t feel right. Still, it’s not always easy for doctors to diagnose your condition. The classic symptoms of EPI -- weight loss, greasy, foul-smelling stools that float or are tough to flush, stomach cramps, and diarrhea -- mimic the telltale signs of many other digestive diseases. You might even have one of those diseases along with EPI, like Crohn’s or Celiac disease.  This makes it hard for doctors to know...

    Read the Why Is EPI Hard to Diagnose? article > >

    • Intense, long-lasting abdominal pain that may radiate to the back and chest. The pain may be persistent or intermittent.
    • Excessively foul, bulky stools.
    • Nausea or vomiting.
    • Weight loss due to malabsorption of food.
    • Abdominal distention.
    • Development of diabetes if insulin-producing cells of the pancreas become damaged.


    Call Your Doctor if:

    • You think you may have pancreatitis. Patients with acute pancreatitis must have professional care to avoid serious, possibly life-threatening complications. Chronic pancreatitis also requires professional evaluation and treatment.
    • You continue to lose weight after treatment for pancreatitis; you may have a complication that prevents the body from digesting food properly.
    • You are pale, cold, clammy, have a rapid heartbeat, or are breathing rapidly; you may be in shock and need emergency care.


    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein, MD on March 18, 2015

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