Causes of Acute Pancreatitis: gall stones and long-term alcohol abuse. These two factors contribute 80% of all acute cases.
Gallstones (formed in the gall bladder) can block the pancreatic duct or duct bile, trapping the digestive juices inside the pancreas.
Prolonged over-consumption of alcohol can damage the pancreatic cells and trigger inflammation.
Other causes if AP: abdominal injuries, after ERCP (a procedure to remove gallstones from the bile duct), medications, abnormalities of the pancreas, and very high levels of triglyceride (a type of fat) in the blood.
[Source: Dr Tan HUCK Joo, MD, “Watch that pancreas”. SF8 health at Large, Fit4Life, The Star, 22 August 2010].