Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas (a large gland situated behind the stomach that is responsible for secreting digestive enzymes).
The pancreas secretes enzymes, alkaline material (sodium bicarbonate) and hormones (insulin and glucagon) into the small intestine through a duct. Inflammation of the pancreas is thought to occur when digestive enzymes attack, destroy and digest the pancreatic tissues. This process is called autodigestion.
Autodigestion causes swelling, hemorrhage and...