Symptoms of Pancreatitis

Symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis

  • Severe, steady pain in the upper-middle part of the abdomen, often radiating into the back
  • Jaundice
  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Clammy skin
  • Unusual abdominal hardness or mass that can be felt
  • Abdominal bloating and tenderness
  • Bruising (ecchymosis) in the flanks and midsection
  • The tissue of the pancreas may become necrotic (tissue death)
  • Pancreatic abscess
  • Pancreatic pseudocyst, which is an abnormal deposit of tissue, fluid and debris that can result after episodes of acute pancreatitis, typically 1 to 4 weeks after onset

Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis

Symptoms may develop over a period of time without the sudden dramatic occurrence of an acute attack. However, those with undiagnosed chronic pancreatitis may develop acute episodes. In chronic pancreatitis, there is a decrease in the secretion of enzymes needed for digestion and absorption of dietary fats. Fat digestion is impaired, resulting in fatty stools. This is called exocrine insufficiency. Recurrent abdominal pain may be accompanied by nausea and weight loss. Diagnostic scans may find stones or areas of calcified tissue within the pancreas.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis include:

  • Abdominal and/or back pain
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Onset of diabetes mellitus
  • Pale colored, oily stools