Skip to main content
Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is where the pancreas, a small organ that helps with digestion, stops working properly.

A common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is repeated severe tummy pain, which often starts after eating.

There's no cure for chronic pancreatitis, but lifestyle changes and medicines can help ease symptoms. Surgery may help if your pain is severe.

The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking too much alcohol over many years.

Read more on the NHS website.

A common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is repeated severe tummy pain, which often starts after eating.

Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis

The most common symptom of chronic pancreatitis is repeated episodes of severe pain in your tummy (abdomen).

The pain usually develops in the middle or left side of your tummy and can move along your back.

It's been described as a burning or shooting pain that comes and goes, but may last for several hours or days.

Although the pain sometimes comes on after eating a meal, there's often no trigger. Some people might feel sick and vomit.

As the condition progresses, the painful episodes may become more frequent and severe.

Eventually, a constant dull pain can develop in your tummy, between episodes of severe pain.

This is most common in people who continue to drink alcohol after being diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis.

Some people who stop drinking alcohol and stop smoking may find the pain is less severe.

Read more on the NHS website.

There's no cure for chronic pancreatitis, but lifestyle changes and medicines can help ease symptoms. Surgery may help if your pain is severe.

Medical treatments

The damage to the pancreas is permanent, but treatment can help control the condition and manage any symptoms.

People with chronic pancreatitis are usually advised to make lifestyle changes, such as stopping drinking alcohol and stopping smoking. They're also given medicine to relieve pain.

Surgery may also be an option for those experiencing severe pain.

Read more on the NHS website.

The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is drinking too much alcohol over many years.

Read more on the NHS website.