The pancreas is a gland behind your stomach that produces enzymes that help break down food and regulate your body hormones. Pancreatic diseases include acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cysts, and pancreatic cancer.
Acute pancreatitis is a sudden attack resulting in inflammation of the pancreas. Patients usually suffer with severe upper abdominal pain as well as nausea and vomiting,
Chronic pancreatitis is pancreatic inflammation over a long period of time that causes progressive disease including chronic diarrhea, pain, nutritional deficiencies, and diabetes.
Pancreatic cysts are abnormal fluid collections and loculations in the pancreas. They are often benign and nothing to worry about, but sometimes need to be followed and monitored due to a risk of causing cancer.
Pancreatic cancer may not initially cause symptoms. Often the first symptom is painless jaundice (yellowish skin discoloration). It can also be associated with weight loss, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.