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Acute pancreatitis: Overview

Acute pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that typically causes very sudden stomach ache.The pain is usually so severe that most people go straight to a doctor. The most common causes are gallstones blocking the opening of the pancreas and excessive alcohol consumption.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 22, 2015

How does the pancreas work?

The pancreas is located in the upper abdomen behind the stomach. It plays a major role in digestion and in controlling sugar metabolism by producing enzymes and hormones like insulin.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 24, 2013

Opioids for abdominal pain in acute pancreatitis

The pancreas is a gland behind the stomach and close to the first part of the small intestine. It produces digestive juices, amylase, secreted into the small intestine and releases hormones, insulin and glucagon, into the bloodstream. Acute pancreatitis refers to a sudden inflammation of the pancreas. It happens when digestive juices become active inside the pancreas, causing swelling, bleeding and damage to the pancreas and its blood vessels. It is a serious condition and can lead to further problems. Common symptoms are severe pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment is usually a few days in hospital for fluids, antibiotics, and medicines to relieve pain, delivered by drip.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2013

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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