This is a condition where there is inflammation of the pancreas over a long period of time, which can alter how it functions and alter its structure. Pain, damage and the inability to function in digestive system activities, are all possible outcomes. Diabetes may also be a result, as the pancreas produces insulin, as well as digestive enzymes in the body. Weight loss can also be a problem. Living conditions can have an effect on this illness. If someone drinks alcohol, this can negatively affect chronic pancreatitis, as does cigarette smoking which is a high risk factor for this disease. Diet can also influence this condition. Although some people develop chronic pancreatitis due to hereditary factors, or other diseases like cystic fibrosis, the way someone lives can affect the levels of pain experienced and how well the treatment works. Eating meals with a large amount of fat and protein will add to the disease symptoms, so following a restrictive diet may help.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. A chronic condition means that the condition has been present for a long time, usually at least months. The pancreas is a very important organ. Chief functions of the pancreas are to produce insulin (beta cells) and the production of glucagon (alpha cells). Insulin and glucagon have opposite effects on blood glucose levels. Insulin lowers blood glucose and glucagon raises blood glucose. Pancreatitis whether acute or chronic disrupts homeostasis of the organ and the regulation of the blood glucose becomes an issue.
Environmental factors and living conditions can play a role in acute and chronic pancreatitis. Factors include: diet, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Alcohol and smoking should be eliminated. A well balanced, low fat diet should be followed.