What causes pancreatitis?
Normally, your pancreas secretes enzymes, but these enzymes get activated when they reach the stomach. When the enzymes get activated in the pancreas, they cause inflammation of the organ, and the condition is known as acute pancreatitis. If these enzymes keep getting activated frequently, it causes scarring of the pancreas in the long term. This results in chronic pancreatitis that causes frequent attacks of abdominal pain. Because of the scar tissues, the pancreas loses its functions and causes troubles with digestion.
The causes of pancreatitis include
- Abdominal surgery
- Hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels in the blood)
- Trauma to the abdomen
- Some medications
- Hyperparathyroidism (an overactive parathyroid gland)
- Cancer of the pancreas
- Cystic fibrosis
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) (a surgical procedure used to treat gallstones)
Sometimes, doctors do not know what causes pancreatitis.
Certain risk factors may increase your risk of pancreatitis. These include
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Cigarette smoking
- Family history of pancreatitis