In detail

Pancreatitis in children

Pancreatitis in children

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, in which the enzymes produced by this gland become active too quickly and destroy the tissues of the pancreas.

The symptoms of pancreatitis can be confused with those of a stomach infection, but they are stronger and last longer. This condition can sometimes become chronic, a situation rarely encountered in children.

Types of pancreatitis

Pancreatitis can be acute or chronic. When the disease is acute, the symptoms appear quickly and the pancreatitis can heal by itself.

Repeated destruction of pancreatic tissue can cause chronic pancreatitis, which is most commonly seen in children suffering from cystic fibrosis or hyperlipidemia, excess fat in the blood.


The causes of acute pancreatitis are not known. Enzymes secreted by the pancreas, which usually become active only when they reach the duodenum, begin to attack the tissues of the body for a short period of time.

Chronic pancreatitis can be caused by trauma to the pancreas, but it can also be hereditary.


Acute pancreatitis can be recognized after more severe symptoms than stomach infections:

  • severe abdominal pain, which may prevent the child from standing upright;
  • repeated vomiting;
  • the vomiting has a yellow, greenish or brownish color;
  • loss of appetite;
  • fever;
  • jaundice.

The condition of the baby may worsen after the first two days after the onset of symptoms. Vomiting becomes more frequent, and abdominal pain more severe.


In most cases, acute pancreatitis does not require treatment. The disease heals in about 4-5 days without complications.

If the symptoms are severe, the doctor may recommend hospitalization of the baby for a few days to prevent dehydration. The child is fed intravenous fluids and may receive pain medication.

For fast healing, rest of the pancreas is important. In mild cases, the baby needs only a diet rich in liquids, with a low fat content. In most cases, acute pancreatitis does not leave permanent traces on the pancreas.

Tags Digestive system