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How does acute pancreatitis affect the body?

Acute pancreatitis is the result of pancreatic fluid digesting the pancreas and is very painful. The damaged pancreas allows toxins into the bloodstream, causing damage to other organs.

Severe acute pancreatitis may cause parts of the pancreas to die. If this happens, the person may experience loss of blood into the abdominal cavity resulting in a drop in blood pressure.

Pancreatic fluids and dead tissue can combine to form a pseudocyst (like a cyst) in the pancreas. If it increases in size, it must be drained to prevent rupture and death. Individuals with acute pancreatitis are at greater risk for an infection. Other complications are diabetes, problems breathing, kidney failure, cancer of the pancreas, and poor nutrition

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.