Chronic pancreatitis

chronic pancreatitisDefinition

Chronic pancreatitis (PC) is characterized by irregularly distributed fibrosis and the progressive and irreversible destruction of the exocrine pancreatic parenchyma. It is mainly caused by alcoholic behaviour.
Excess mortality is about 30% in chronic pancreatitis, but the main causes of death are not due to the condition itself: they are either alcoholic hepatopathies, cancers (ENT, esophageal, bronchial) or post-operative problems.

Epidemiological data

This disease appears around the age of 35-40, since the first signs appear after ten or twenty years of major alcohol poisoning. The male predominance is important: in France, there are ten men for every woman.

Symptoms of the disease

Chronic pancreatitis is characterized by several distinct features.
significant pain, with acute flare-ups ;
weight loss due mainly to dietary restrictions or anorexia ;
fatty diarrhea that manifests itself late in the course of the disease.


• Medical treatment : there are no such treatments that can cure chronic pancreatitis. On the other hand, we can recommend :
- an alcoholic and permanent withdrawal that improves the painful syndrome and extends the life span ;
- analgesics for pain, or even, if necessary, the use of morphine ;
- oral anti-diabetic drugs, then insulin ;
- a diet with a high caloric intake ;
- the administration of pancreatic enzymes to correct maldigestion.
Surgical treatment  is indicated in cases where medical treatment does not control pain..