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Conditions of the Pancreas

Conditions of the Pancreas

There are a number of different conditions that can affect the proper functioning of the pancreas.

  • Pancreatitis is when the pancreas becomes inflamed, causing pain in the abdomen or tummy which can be very severe. There are two types of pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis.
  • Pancreatic cancer, which affects around 7,000 people in the UK each year, is relatively uncommon and is particularly rare in people under the age of 50. Many people discover they have pancreatic cancer only when it has spread to other parts of their body.
  • Diabetes is a condition where your blood sugar level is higher than normal. This produces a range of harmful symptoms.
  • Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that affects the pancreas. It is caused by a faulty gene that controls the movement of salt in the body. People who have the condition are affected by thick mucus which can cause infections and inflammation, affecting food digestion and breathing.
  • Pancreas enzyme insufficiency occurs when the pancreas produces too few enzymes. This means that protein, fat and carbohydrates cannot be broken down effectively, resulting in malnutrition and weight loss. Common symptoms include diarrhoea and loss of weight. Treatment usually involves taking pancreatic enzymes in the form of food supplements to replace those that are not being produced by the pancreas.