Chronic pancreatitis is long-standing inflammation of the pancreas that results in irreversible deterioration of the pancreatic structure and function. It has no clear idiopathic cause. However, some connections to the disease have been found with hereditary predisposition, hyperparathyroidism, and an obstruction of the pancreatic duct caused by a narrowing of the duct, gallstones, or cancer. Rarely, an attack of severe acute pancreatitis makes the pancreatic duct so narrow that chronic pancreatitis results.
Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis may be identical to those of acute pancreatitis and generally fall into two patterns. In one pattern, a person has persistent mid abdominal pain that varies in intensity. In this pattern, a complication of chronic pancreatitis, such as an inflammatory mass, a cyst, or even pancreatic cancer, is more likely. In the second pattern, a person has intermittent flare-ups (bouts or attacks) of pancreatitis with symptoms similar to those of mild to moderate acute pancreatitis. The pain sometimes is severe and lasts for many hours or several days. With either pattern, as chronic pancreatitis progresses, cells that secrete the digestive enzymes are slowly destroyed.
Chronic Pancreatitis, Hallmark Health Medical Associates, https://hhma.org/healthadvisor/aha-chpan-crs/