10 Causes of Pancreatitis

The pancreas is part of the digestive system. It secretes pancreatic juice that has enzymes, which directly assist with digestion by absorbing nutrients in the small intestine. This organ is located behind the stomach and produces hormones that circulate throughout the blood. Pancreatitis can be fatal if not treated quickly. It is a serious illness that is often associated with severe abdominal pains. If you indulge in any of these ten things, it may lead to pancreatitis. Although some cannot be treated or cured, others can be prevented or managed.


Alcohol is a drug that often causes physical problems, especially consuming significant amounts over time. Patients with both acute and chronic pancreatitis will suffer if they drink alcohol. Doctors explain that drinking a considerable amount of alcohol will wreak havoc on a person’s pancreas, which will lead to acute pancreatitis. The earlier a patient introduces alcohol to their body also plays a factor. A long-time drinker will usually develop chronic pancreatitis. The digestive organ cannot process all of the excessive alcohol; it is not built to deal with such a hard substance. On average, 7 out of 10 patients get the illness from alcohol use and abuse.


Another deadly culprit is cigarettes. Tobacco, tar, and other dangerous chemicals destroy your body. In fact, there is a clear connection between smokers and illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and more. However, you might not realize that smoking also adversely affects your pancreas. The primary purpose of the organ is filtration; it cannot handle continuously filtering toxins from cigarettes, which leads to gut-wrenching illness. Usually drinking and smoking go together, especially in social settings. You should never start smoking because then you will never have to quit one day. If you already do smoke, try to stop today.

Family History

Your family history plays a significant role in the health of your pancreas. Like with other diseases, you can be very healthy, and suddenly you are in the hospital. You might go your whole life living with positive habits, and you can still suffer from acute pancreatitis. After filling out the forms that show you’re in perfect health, your doctor will question your medical history on both sides. Hereditary is most likely the culprit, especially in patients whose mother also had pancreatitis. One good thing about being diagnosed via family history is that you hopefully have seen the illness firsthand and are already prepared to deal with the symptoms and treatments.

Substance Abuse

Just like alcohol and cigarettes, other drugs hurt the digestive organs like the pancreas. Not only will street drugs cause problems, but the use of IV drugs especially progresses pancreatitis. As your pancreas dwindles down to nothing, your other organs will most likely shut down as well. However, the substances travel directly from the GI tract to the pancreas. Some patients, they are self-inducing pancreatitis by causing their organs to become inflamed. If you or a loved one is abusing drugs, please seek help through a medical rehabilitation center. There is hope in saving your life.

Abdominal Surgeries

If for whatever reason you have had several abdominal surgeries, you may be more at risk of developing pancreatitis. Although some GI specialists do not agree that the frequency of such procedures affects the illness, others notice a correlation. Regardless, patients who suffer from the painful disease testify that both acute and chronic pancreatitis has popped up after having surgery on their abdomen, especially during the recovery period. On the other hand, the majority of these patients also received operations based on hereditary factors and not lifestyle choices. Therefore, maybe it is merely genetics combined with their weakened state that allows pancreatitis to develop at that time.


This cause may be another vague cliché, but what a person eats directly affects their health. If you are suffering from abdominal pain, your doctor will advise you to adjust your diet. Just like drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, consuming junk food is difficult to break down. Fatty foods are especially rough on the pancreas. A case of acute pancreatitis can appear if a patient has a poor diet for an extended period. Luckily, a change in lifestyle and eating habits can treat the stomach disease after just a few weeks of discipline. You should consult with your physician and GI specialist about what you can implement into your meals regarding fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods and drinks.


As we mentioned before, the gallbladder is right there with the pancreas in the digestive system. Gallstones can lead to pancreatitis. Your doctor may do an imaging test to determine the culprit. He or she will search for gallstones because they are often a direct cause, especially for drinkers. If you have had a handful of acute pancreatitis attacks, then it will most likely develop into chronic pancreatitis. You should consider having your gallbladder removed to prevent future problems. Although surgery may seem extreme, you can avoid serious dealing with other health problems in the years ahead.

Taking Too Many Pills

Even though prescription drugs may be prescribed to a patient, ingesting too many pills is not okay for everyone. Sometimes, people can abuse over-the-counter drugs. If people think taking tons of aspirin will not hurt them, you are wrong. Using too many pills will cause health problems, in particular on the pancreas. Frequent doses, once again, force the digestive organ to overexert itself. Prescription pills take even longer to break down by the body. There is nothing wrong with medicating yourself for a headache once in a while, but be careful not to develop an addictive habit to pills.

Cystic Fibrosis

People with cystic fibrosis are familiar with problems associated with the pancreas. The reason is due to a particular protein called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regular, and it has an impact on the pancreas. The protein’s job is to control water and salt, the flow of the two, and how they move in and out of the body. If the flow coming or going changes, then the salt and water thicken into mucus. Therefore, the exchange throughout the digestive system of said protein affects the pancreas.


If you suffer from hypercalcemia, then your calcium levels are too high. This condition causes some health problems including an overactive parathyroid gland as well as pancreatitis. A test can be completed to see if hypercalcemia is the reason for the abdominal issues. It is usually only administered if no other bad habits or hereditary pain are determined. Hypercalcemia happens when excessive amounts of calcium are prevalent throughout the GI organs. Not only is the pancreas affected, but also the kidneys, which are more susceptible to stones. In turn, the pancreas must work harder to break down the calcium.