Pancreatitis in Children: What Is It and How Is It Treated?

Pancreatitis in Children: What Is It and How Is It Treated?

Keeping a close eye on your children to ensure they are healthy and fit is crucial. Caring for your child can be a task as a guardian and parent, and if both parents work, children must be kept in safe hands to ensure their safety, health, and hygiene. 

Many children suffer from pancreatitis, including symptoms such as fever and vomiting. Thus, if you observe any illness in your child, you must not avoid it and consult pediatrician doctors immediately. 

If you are in India and are looking for the best doctor, you may feel free to contact Ankura. It is one of the best hospitals that have many centers across India. 

What is Pancreatitis?

Pancreatitis is when the pancreas, a gland behind the stomach, is inflamed. This can cause a range of symptoms and can be a serious condition, particularly in children. 

Pancreatitis in children is relatively rare, and the causes of pancreatitis in children are similar to those in adults. 

Types of Pancreatitis

There are two main types of pancreatitis in children: acute and chronic. 

Acute Pancreatitis

It is a sudden inflammation of the pancreas that can range in severity from mild to life-threatening. It is usually caused by the sudden blockage of the pancreatic duct, which can occur due to gallstones, heavy alcohol use, infections, certain medications, or high levels of triglycerides in the blood. 

Symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis 

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in breathing

Chronic Pancreatitis

It is a long-term inflammation of the pancreas that can cause permanent damage to the organ. It is usually caused by ongoing heavy alcohol or repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis. 

Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis

  • Chronic weight loss
  • Pain & discomfort in the upper abdomen and back
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Oily stool

If your child is suffering from acute pancreatitis, prompt medical attention and close monitoring are required. You can call a consultant pediatrician immediately without any delay. 

Causes of Pancreatitis


One of the most common causes of pancreatitis is gallstones in the gallbladder, which can cause inflammation in the pancreas.

Alcohol Consumption

Heavy alcohol consumption is another common cause of pancreatitis, and it can lead to chronic pancreatitis over time.


Injuries to the pancreas, such as those in a car accident, can cause inflammation and cause pancreatitis.


Certain medications can cause pancreatitis, including antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and high blood pressure medications. 


Certain infections, such as mumps, can cause pancreatitis.


High levels of triglycerides in the blood can cause inflammation in progress and lead to pancreatitis.

Genetic Factors

Certain genetic mutations can increase the risk of developing pancreatitis, such as mutations in the CFTR gene associated with cystic fibrosis.

Diagnosis of Pancreatitis in Children

The diagnosis of pancreatitis involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. 

The process for diagnosis in children is similar to that of adults but can be modified based on different factors, including the child’s age and ability to communicate.

Medical History

A consultant pediatrician may ask you about the child’s medical history, symptoms, or medications if taking any. The doctor may also ask about the child’s family history of pancreatitis and other related conditions. 

Physical Examination

The best doctors in any pediatric hospital may perform a physical examination to look for signs of pancreatitis, including abdominal tenderness and swelling.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can be done to check the elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes, including amylase and lipase, which are released by the pancreas when it is inflamed. 

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests can visualize the pancreas and detect inflammation or structural abnormalities. The standard diagnostic imaging tests include ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI.

Endoscopic Procedures

Endoscopic procedures, such as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), may be used to evaluate the pancreas and surrounding structures. 

Treatment of Pancreatitis

  • To prevent future episodes of pancreatitis, the doctor may suggest you provide children with a balanced and healthy diet. Also, certain lifestyle modifications can be made, such as limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding junk and high-fat food
  • Complications of pancreatitis, such as organ failure or infection, may require additional requirements and monitoring
  • A doctor may advise you to get the surgery done to remove damaged tissue, repair structural abnormalities, or drain fluid that has been collected in the pancreas of surrounding organs
  • While the pancreas recovers, a feeding tube is required to provide nutrients and calories to the body
  • Treatment of the underlying cause of pancreatitis may involve antibiotics for infections, removal of gallstones or tumors, and stopping medications that may be causing the condition
  • The healthcare provider may recommend resting the pancreas by fasting and providing intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Pain relief medication may also be prescribed by a pediatrician to manage discomfort.

Bottom Line!

Diagnosing pancreatitis can be challenging in children as they cannot communicate their discomfort accurately. 

Various factors, such as medications that can cause pancreatitis in children and infections, may require further evaluation. Thus, it is essential to consult pediatrician doctors without any delay. 

Ankura is the most trusted and reliable website with experienced doctors to help your loved ones. They have many centers across India, So if your child is struggling with any disease, you must contact them immediately.

Ankura Hospital
Author: Ankura Hospital

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