What is Acute Pancreatitis and what causes it?
Acute Pancreatitis is a severe inflammation or swelling of the pancreatic gland due to some damage of the pancreas. In Acute Pancreatitis the damage of the gland leads to the release of the enzymes in the gland itself, leading to digestion of the gland (autodigestion), which leads to severe swelling and inflammation. The two common causes of Acute Pancreatitis are alcohol intake and stones in the gallbladder. In a large number of patients the cause is not known. Other causes are viral infections especially in children, hyperlipedemia and drug induced. It is a very serious disease but fortunately the serious form is seen only in 15-20% of patients.