Pancreatitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the pancreas, which may occur in the short (acute) or long term. The inflammation is caused by activation of the enzymes released by the pancreas before they leave the gland, often by blockage of the ducts. Pancreatitis occurs most often in the context of alcohol abuse (70 percent of acute cases in the U.S.) and is thought to have a genetic component. Both acute and chronic forms of pancreatitis occur more often in men than women, and children are rarely affected. The inflammation occurs as a complication of a number of diseases, and even some medical treatments. Read more about what causes pancreatitis.
I have a PhD in Experimental Pathology and taught graduate school courses while completing my degree. I now edit scientific manuscripts, dissertations, literature reviews, and grants. I am also a freelance writer and blogger.