The primary symptom of both acute and chronic pancreatitis is upper abdominal pain. Other symptoms include nausea that can lead to vomiting, indigestion, weight loss and pain extending from the left side around the back, according to Healthline.
During acute pancreatitis, the person may experience a sudden inflammation that does not last for long, and the person can recover completely after treatments. In severe cases, the patient may experience tissue damage, cyst formation and infections of the lungs, the kidneys and the heart. During chronic pancreatitis, weight loss is a common symptom, due poor absorption, as the pancreas is unable to release sufficient enzymes to digest food. Diabetes is also common, due to the damage to the cells that produce insulin, notes WebMD.
Pancreatitis results from the inflammation of the pancreas, the gland that releases digestive enzymes for digestion purposes, and also releases insulin hormone to control how the body uses food to produce energy. This condition occurs when the digestive enzymes attack the pancreas, explains WebMD.
During diagnosis, the doctor carries blood tests to check the levels of pancreatic enzymes, and also performs stool tests to measure fat levels, to determine the cause of inadequate absorption. The doctor can also use computerized tomography scan and abdominal ultrasound to look for pancreas inflammation and gallstones, states Mayo Clinic.