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The pancreas is a tube-shaped organ located at the rear of the stomach. It is an important organ in our body as it helps in releasing certain juices and enzymes that help in digestion of food. The pancreatic juices help in absorption of the essential nutrients in the body. The hormone insulin is also produced by the Islet of Langerhans of the pancreas. It helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates. There are several disorders related to the pancreas, viz:

Acute Pancreatitis
Chronic Pancreatitis
Diabetes Mellitus or Type 2 Diabetes
Pancreatic Cancer

Causes of Pancreas Problems

The pancreatic problems are caused mostly due to inflammation or enlargement of the pancreas. The other causes of these disorders include overuse of alcohol and drugs, cigarette smoking, gallstones, and injury to pancreas. Similarly, age, heredity, gender, and obesity are the risk factors of pancreatic cancer. Let us now take a look at the signs and symptoms of problems related to the pancreas.

As mentioned above, severe abdominal pain is the most significant symptoms of problems related to the pancreas. The following is detailed information on the signs of pancreas disorders.

Pancreatitis

It is the inflammation of the pancreas caused by the active enzymes in the pancreas. The enzymes tend to damage the same tissues which produce them which leads to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is of two types, acute as well as chronic pancreatitis. In acute pancreatitis, there is sudden inflammation of the pancreas resulting in pain, whereas, in case of chronic pancreatitis, recurrent inflammation is observed.

Acute Pancreatitis Symptoms:
  • Severe pain in upper abdomen
  • Increased heart rate (rapid pulse)
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Pale skin
  • Fever and sweating
  • Illness
  • Anxiety
  • Tender abdomen
  • Swelling in abdomen
Chronic Pancreatitis Symptoms:
  • Frequent and repeated pain in stomach
  • Loss of weight
  • Fatty, oily substance in stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Malabsorption
Diabetes Mellitus

The disease is caused due to lack of insulin production from the pancreas. Diabetes mellitus can also occur if the insulin produced in the body is not used up.

Symptoms:
  • Frequent urination
  • Excess thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
Pancreatic Cancer

It is the most severe disorder related to the pancreas. The worst thing about it is that the symptoms are not noticed until the cancer reaches an advanced stage. By the time the symptoms are observed, the cancerous cells spread in the neighboring organs as well. Pancreatic cancer is observed in older people. It is one of the major causes of death due to cancer.

Symptoms:
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin)
  • Digestive problems
  • Loss of weight
  • Recurrent fever
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Back pain
  • Weakness
We find that stomach pain, vomiting, and weakness are the common pancreas problems symptoms. The pain is felt in the center, upper, as well as lower abdomen. It is severe immediately after a person eats or drinks something. Therefore, there is loss of appetite. Pain is also observed when a person lies down. You must consult your physician if you observe the above symptoms of pancreas. CT scan, MRI, and blood tests like complete blood count, serum calcium, and blood glucose, help in determining problems with the pancreas. Pancreas disorders can cause severe complications. Hence, the symptoms of pancreas should not be ignored.

Even though there are treatments available for pancreas problems, you should take preventive measures to avoid it. You must quit smoking and consumption of alcohol. Lastly, also note that having a healthy diet and lifestyle also helps in prevention of several diseases and disorders. Take care!

Disclaimer: This article is written with the sole intention of educating the reader. It is not to be substituted for doctor's advice and treatment.