The pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen, produces enzymes and hormones. The enzymes are discharged through the pancreatic duct into the intestine, where they help digest food that has passed through the stomach. The hormones produced by the pancreas, including insulin and glucagon, are released into the blood and help regulate blood sugar levels. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is a severe illness with several forms. The March 14, 2012, issue of JAMA included an article about treatment of severe pancreatitis. This Patient Page is adapted from one published in the April 2, 2008, issue of JAMA.