What are the symptoms of acute pancreatitis?

The most common symptom of acute pancreatitis is severe pain in the upper abdomen. In about half the individuals with this condition, the pain radiates from the abdomen to the back. If the cause is gallstones, the pain will occur suddenly and rapidly reach maximum intensity. Acute pancreatitis caused by the abuse of alcohol will develop more slowly and the pain level experienced by the individual does not change. Pain is not relieved even with strong medications. Sudden movements such as coughing or breathing deeply cause an increase in the pain. Individuals with acute pancreatitis experience nausea and vomiting/or dry heaves; have a fever; and may feel as though they are going to faint. As the condition worsens, they may progressively lose consciousness, and the white area of the eye can turn yellow.

The symptoms of acute pancreatitis include:

• Severe, steady pain in the upper-middle part of the abdomen, often 
   radiating into the back
• Jaundice
• Fever
• Nausea or vomiting
• Dizziness
• Clammy skin
• Unusual abdominal hardness or mass that can be felt
• Abdominal bloating and tenderness
• Bruising (ecchymosis) in the flanks and midsection

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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.