Chronic pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas (a small organ located behind the stomach and below the ribcage) becomes permanently damaged from inflammation.
It's different to acute pancreatitis , where the inflammation is only short-term.
The most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is repeated episodes of abdominal(tummy) pain, which can be severe.
Other symptoms tend to develop as the damage to the pancreas progresses, such as producing greasy, foul-smelling stools.
This is because heavy drinking over a number of years can repeatedly damage the pancreas.
Less common causes include:
Inas many as3 out of 10 people with the condition, the cause cannot be identified this is known as "idiopathic" chronic pancreatitis.
Surgery is sometimes needed to treat severe chronic pain that doesn't respond to painkillers.
However, the pain can be difficult to treat and can seriously affect your quality of life.
People who don't smoke cigarettes and avoid drinking alcohol tend to experience less pain and live longer than those who continue to drink and smoke after receiving a diagnosis.
It's important to speak to your GP if you're experiencing stress , anxiety or depression caused by chronic pancreatitis.
Diabetes is a common complication of chronic pancreatitis and affects about a third of people with the condition. It occurs when the pancreas is damaged and unable to produce insulin.
People with chronic pancreatitis also have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer .
Chronic pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes permanently damaged due to inflammation.
Repeated episodes of abdominal (tummy) pain are the most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis.
Chronic pancreatitis is often related to long-term alcohol consumption, although no cause is identified in up to 2 in every 10 cases.
Chronic pancreatitis can usually only be diagnosed by carrying out scans of the pancreas.
Treatment for chronic pancreatitis aims to help control the condition and reduce any symptoms.
The damage to your pancreas due to chronic pancreatitis means that further problems are relatively common.