Causes of chronic pancreatitis

Causes of chronic pancreatitis

Genetics, blockages, inflammation, alcohol, and more


Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that does not improve over time. It typically leads to permanent damage to the pancreas.

When the pancreas is damaged, it interrupts the normal functions of the pancreas that include:

  • Making insulin that controls the body's blood sugar
  • Making juices and enzymes that help digest food

Chronic pancreatitis is more common in men than women and is often seen in people between the ages of 30 and 40 years. About 50 out of 100,000 people have chronic pancreatitis.

Causes of Chronic Pancreatitis 

  • Genetic conditions like cystic fibrosis and hereditary pancreatitis
  • A blocked pancreatic or common bile duct, often with a stone or narrowing
  • Autoimmune inflammation by itself or with other diseases (i.e. rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, or problems in the liver drainage system)
  • High triglyceride or calcium levels 
  • Long-time alcohol abuse
chronic pancreatitis