Pancreatitis means inflammation of the pancreas.
When the pancreas is inflamed, the diggestive enzimes it secrets become active within the gland (pancreas) and start digesting the pancreatic tissue. This causes further damage to the pancreas.
Pancreatitis may be acute (sudden, short-term) or chronic (ongoing, long term).
Both acute pancreatitis (AP) and chronic pancreatits (CP) can become sever and lead to serious or even lfe-threathening complications.
Patients with severe AP may also have other organ involvement, such as kidneys and lungs.
[Source: Dr Tan HUCK Joo, MD, “Watch that pancreas”. SF8 health at Large, Fit4Life, The Star, 22 August 2010].