Pancreatitis | Overview


What is pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis (say: “pan-kree-ah-tie-tiss”) is inflammation (swelling) of your pancreas. The pancreas is a gland near your stomach and liver that helps you absorb and digest food. Pancreatitis can be chronic (which means it lasts a long time, up to a few years) or acute (which means it only lasts a few days).

Pancreatitis can damage your pancreas, but there are medicines that can help control your pain and help you lead a normal life.


Chronic Pancreatitis by J. Nair, MD, and Lanika Lawler, MD (American Family Physician December 01, 2007,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 10/09