What Causes Pain in the Pancreas?


Quick Answer

Causes of pain in the pancreas include gallstones and heavy alcohol use, according to WedMD. Other reason for pain in the pancreas include surgery, infections, metabolic disorders and certain medications. Cigarette smoking, cystic fibrosis, high triglyceride levels in the blood, injury to the abdomen and pancreatic cancer also contribute to pain in the pancreas, reports Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Pain in the pancreas occurs due to acute or chronic pancreatitis, which causes pain in the abdomen when consuming food, drinking water or lying down, explains Healthline. The main culprit is the enzymes that cause pancreatitis. When these enzymes get into the small intestine, they become active and cause swelling, bleeding and pain in the pancreatic tissues.

The pain in the pancreas can also occur when the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas suddenly, Healthline advises. The pancreatic duct can get blocked or the bile duct obstructed, which causes pain in the pancreas. A person can suffer pain in the pancreas during surgery or after damage to the gallbladder or the pancreas.

Certain medical conditions cause pain in the pancreas, notes Healthline. These conditions include Reye’s syndrome, Kawasaki disease and cystic fibrosis. Some viral infections such as mycoplasma pneumonia and mumps cause damage to the pancreas that results in pain. Medications containing corticosteroids or estrogen can also lead to pancreatic discomfort.

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