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 June 16, 2004, issue
of JAMA includes an article about pancreatitis.