10 Common Symptoms of Pancreatitis

Pancreatic inflammation or pancreatitis is triggered by the unbridled autodigestion of the gland through enzymatic action, this dangerous enzyme activity leads to the active inflammation and swelling of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is widely categorized into two categories- acute and chronic pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis can be defined as the inflammation which is usually temporal and does not offer any irreparable damages, however, chronic pancreatitis is a recurring condition that gets plonked in the pancreas after consistent carelessness prolong over a period of time and effectuate maximum damage.

Even though you can’t put a red mark on any singular cause of pancreatitis, it is safe to say that the condition arises due to overexposure to bad habits like smoking, alcohol, substance abuse, or excessive medication dosage.

We have prepared a rundown of the ten most common pancreatitis symptoms to help patients detect the condition before it reaches the maximum potential of discomfort.


Symptom No. 1: Abdominal Pain

Even though stomach pains are quite common during any kind of gut or digestion discomfort, the abdominal pain during pancreatitis is quite different from any other kind of stomach pain. The pain during pancreatitis sustains for a longer period of time and the misery worsens with each recurring episode. The pain does not stay confined to the stomach and it reaches the left shoulder and expands till the back of the patient. Recurring abdominal pain episodes should be countered with immediate medical attention.

Symptom No. 2: Swelling in the stomach

Individuals suffering from pancreatitis usually go through the painful ordeal of abdominal distension. Even though abdominal distension is also associated with bowel distension and ascites, one should not disregard the urgency of abdominal pain with abdominal distension.

Symptom No. 3: Drastic weight loss

During chronic pancreatitis, an individual ends up losing a significant amount of weight without any planned diet or workout regime. However, this should not be taken as a silver lining because losing weight through chronic pancreatitis is considered life-threatening.

Symptom No. 4: Frequent episodes of high fever

Frequent episodes of fever during pancreatitis are followed by unbearable headaches and body shivers. Fever is quite common during acute pancreatitis, as much as 76% of patients suffering from acute pancreatitis suffer from high fevers.

Symptom No. 5: Shrinking appetite

Pancreatitis leads to anorexia and a shrunken appetite which consequently results in unbridled weight loss. As the inflammation gets more severe the patients feel more full as the digestive enzymes are not available and the food is not getting digested completely.

Symptom No. 6: Feeling of nausea

Feeling nauseated is one of the most common symptoms of pancreatitis, and on top of that nausea conflated with a poor appetite can result is highly dangerous and the individual suffering from nausea and poor appetite at the same time should seek immediate medical attention.

Symptom No. 7: Jaundice

Jaundice is triggered by the additional distribution of red blood cells in the body, medication abuse, bad food habits, and medical problems like gallstones, leptospirosis, and pancreatitis. Jaundice during pancreatitis is triggered due to the interference in the functioning of the bile duct by the calculi placed in the ampulla or the choledochus. Except that, the expansion of inflamed pancreas head and the presence of pseudocysts and fibrosis are also the active causes of jaundice.

Symptom No. 8: Steatorrhea or fatty stools

Body’s incapability to hold a sufficient amount of nutrients which results in the discharge of fatty and smelly stools during the bowel movements in a condition called steatorrhea. Pancreatic inflammation during pancreatitis results in ingestion which further leads to steatorrhea or fatty stools.

Symptom No. 9: Shortness of breath or Dyspnea

Shortness of breath during pancreatitis is orchestrated by the impairment caused in the functioning of several organs and the interference with the respiratory system. Insufficient supply of air to the lungs Pulmonary damage during pancreatitis also paves the way for the acute respiratory syndrome (ARDS).

Symptom No. 10: Fatigue or drowsiness

Fatigue is mainly caused by the chronic version of pancreatitis. The condition is triggered due to the absence of insulin in the bloodstream which consequently affects the blood glucose levels and results in the loss of energy. Due to less amount of energy, the body will feel more exhausted and tired even without doing any significant tasks or activities.

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