The majority of people with acute pancreatitis have a complete recovery when the correct treatment is received, states WebMD. However, this condition can cause serious tissue damage, infection, bleeding into the pancreas and the formation of cysts. It may also damage organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys.
A condition called chronic pancreatitis sometimes develops following an attack of acute pancreatitiis, explains WebMD. The excessive consumption of alcohol can also lead to chronic pancreatitis, which does not always cause immediate symptoms. Some symptoms commonly associated with acute pancreatitis include a swollen and tender abdomen, nausea and vomiting, fever, increased heart rate, and pain in the upper abdomen. The symptoms that are indicative of chronic pancreatitis are very similar, with some individuals experiencing severe pain.
Pancreatitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the pancreas, according to WebMD. One of the functions of the pancreas is to release digestive enzymes into the small intestine, which help to break food down for the body's use. Pancreatitis occurs as the body's digestive enzymes are released in the pancreas, rather than the small intestine. This causes these powerful digestive enzymes to attack the pancreas. The pancreas releases insulin and glucagon into the blood, which help regulate how the human body makes use of food.