Pancreatitis is the result of infection or inflammation of the pancreas. Its own digestive enzymes attacking the pancreas causes damage, this process is called auto-digestion. We do not completely understand what actually triggers the onset of auto-digestion. The digestive enzymes are normally produced to work outside of the pancreas, in the intestine, to help digest food.
In severe cases, called Acute Pancreatitis, bleeding, the development of cysts, serious tissue damage or death of tissue in the pancreas may occur. The enzymes and toxins released during that process might enter the bloodstream and cause serious damage to the kidneys, heart, lungs and other organs.
Symptoms include: Severe abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and clammy skin. Seek medical help immediately if you develop symptoms of pancreatitis.