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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:

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  • 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 B. Bernstein, MD on March 18, 2015

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