Symptoms of pancreatic disease include severe pain in the upper abdomen, diarrhea, weight loss and jaundice, according to the National Pancreas Foundation. Other symptoms include bloating, fever, nausea and vomiting, abdominal tenderness and foul-smelling, oily stool, according to Mayo Clinic.
Jaundice without pain is a classic symptom of pancreatic cancer, according to the National Pancreas Foundation. The problem with this cancer is that the pancreas is located so deeply inside the body that when symptoms start to appear, the malignancy is probably far advanced. This makes the disease harder to treat.
The other common pancreatic diseases are different forms of pancreatitis, claims the National Pancreas Foundation. Acute pancreatitis comes on suddenly, and its symptoms can last for days. Gallstones that block the pancreatic duct usually cause acute pancreatitis, but alcoholism, injury, an imbalance in electrolytes or hormones, or heredity can also cause it. Some causes of acute pancreatitis are unknown. The good news is that most people who receive treatment for acute pancreatitis make a full recovery.
Chronic pancreatitis is a long-lasting disease that results in the destruction of the pancreas and diabetes if reversal does not occur, posits the National Pancreas Foundation. Alcoholism is the most common cause of this disease. Patients with cystic fibrosis and other hereditary diseases may also suffer from chronic pancreatitis. Early genetic testing can benefit people who are at risk of developing hereditary pancreatitis.