Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol-Induced Pancreatitis

Alcohol-Induced Pancreatitis
Image of glass with alcohol on the table with drunk man sleeping in the background

The pancreas plays a vital role in your physical well-being. Sitting between the small intestine and the stomach, the pancreas helps with digestion, as well as the regulation of energy throughout your body. However, this organ can suffer damage through alcohol abuse.

Alcohol-Induced Pancreatitis

In Western Europe, 70% to 80% of chronic pancreatitis is caused by heavy drinking. Excessive consumption of alcohol is a contributing factor in 17% to 25% of all worldwide pancreatitis cases. Habitually drinking 4-5 units of alcohol a day over 5 years greatly enhances your chance of contracting pancreatitis.

Though it’s not fully understood how alcohol affects the pancreas (one theory is that molecules from alcohol interfere with the pancreatic cells), studies have shown a clear link between alcohol consumption and acute pancreatitis.

If heavy drinking occurs over a long period, the individual is susceptible to developing chronic pancreatitis. For people who regularly abuse alcohol, there can be a recurrence of pancreatitis after recovering from this medical issue.

Pancreatic Pain

The pain experienced by both acute and chronic pancreatitis occurs in the same region: your abdomen and back. Acute pancreatitis causes this dull pain that can be cyclical, recurring regularly over several minutes to a few hours. Chronic pancreatitis is the result of an inflamed pancreas. The pain from this level of the illness can be severe and may last for many years.

Males (especially those who have abused alcohol) are more prone to getting chronic pancreatitis over females. People who have a genetic predisposition to pancreatitis may find they develop this health issue at an earlier stage of their life.

Here we list the symptoms of both forms of pancreatitis (these are in addition to the pain mentioned above). This allows you to self-diagnose so that you can seek professional medical help.

Acute Pancreatitis

Signs that you may have acute pancreatitis are:

  • Feeling nauseous
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • A fast pulse
  • Your stomach is swollen or is tender when touched.
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion

Chronic Pancreatitis

The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are similar to those of the acute form. However, there can be some additional indications that you are suffering from this:

  • Recurring episodes of severe abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (the skin and eyes take on a yellow hue)
  • Diabetic-like symptoms (excessive thirst, frequent urination, fatigue)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shortness of breath

Chronic pancreatitis usually occurs after an individual has had one or more cases of the acute variation. The pain may be experienced directly after having a meal, as the pancreas is an organ involved in the digestion process.

If you are experiencing the onset of acute pancreatitis, you need to take immediate action to mitigate the situation. Stop drinking alcohol and switch to a low-fat diet. Seek professional medical help. Continuing to consume alcohol will only exacerbate the issue and lead to the development of chronic pancreatitis.

Indications Of An Alcohol Dependency Issue

As we have mentioned, heavy drinking can be a major factor in a person developing acute pancreatitis. Ongoing alcohol abuse can result in the sickness becoming more severe.

Maybe you or someone you know doesn’t realize they have an issue with alcohol. Warning signs that one may have alcohol dependency problems are:

  • Temporary periods of blackout
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Becoming irritable if denied access to alcohol
  • Mood swings are stabilized through alcohol.
  • Making excuses for why you require alcohol
  • Placing your need for alcohol above other responsibilities and obligations
  • Pulling away from friends and family so that you can drink
  • Getting mixed up with a new group of people that encourages you to drink to excess
  • Using alcohol to self-medicate and numb emotional/psychological traumas and issues

Though one symptom isn’t enough to indicate one is on the path to becoming an alcoholic, several signs co-occurring should raise red flags.

Seek out professional psychological and medical support if you, a family member, or a friend show signs of alcohol abuse.


Heavy drinking can have a myriad of adverse health effects. One of these is the development of acute and chronic pancreatitis. Though the symptoms of this illness are the same for both varieties, the difference lies in the degree of pain experienced.

Chronic pancreatitis pain is severe and can reoccur over several years. To prevent the progression of this sickness from its acute form, alcohol issues need to be addressed.

Reach out for help regarding your alcohol dependency. There are plenty addiction treatment centers that can effectively treat alcohol addiction. They can also get you the medical help necessary to treat alcohol-induced pancreatitis.

  1. Wow, this post is really educative. Learning about acute and chronic pancreatitis today. I think one should avoid alcholism by all means.

    1. What an educative article! Let try and reach out for help regarding your alcohol dependency. There are plenty addiction treatment centers that can effectively treat alcohol addiction.

  2. This is a Great piece of Information.
    Many don’t know the adverse effect of excessive alcohol intake till they start experiencing symptoms…
    Medical Help is really important.

  3. I gained great knowledge from reading this.
    Excessive Alcohol intake brings in several side effects and without proper medical Help gotten,Death could be the endline.

  4. This is highly educative. Anyone experiencing the following; Temporary periods of blackout, Short-term memory loss, Becoming irritable if denied access to alcohol, should watch out.

  5. Everyone who consumes too much of alcohol should pay attention to it’s symptoms. In order, to know when to start controlling themselves.

  6. This is why I do not nor I recommend drinking. The escape argument can only last so long. Fact is drinking in excess adds to your issues it never solves them.

  7. I love reading your articles because they’re very well detailed, informative and well structured. Pancreatic cancer is real.

  8. People that drink heavily needs to come to terms with the fact that it is always not healthy for their body and dump such idea. See the abovev myraids of bad effects from heavy drinking

  9. There are so many problems attached to alcohol addiction. Alcohol doesn’t solve problem. It only compounds it. May God save many people trapped in this

  10. The lesser the intake of alcohol it helps reduce pancreatitis. Excessive amount of alcohol is bad.

  11. People should try to avoid alcohol in order to have pancreatitis. One of the negative effects of too much drinking is chronic pancreatitis which many alcohol takers are not aware of.

  12. One of the negative effects of too much drinking is chronic pancreatitis which many alcohol takers are not aware of. Abstinence is the key.

  13. This is an educative article on symptoms of alcohol. One should try to avoid too much intake of alcohol not to fall victim of the effects stated.

  14. Though, pancreas helps in digestion but it damages body system. One should not be addicted to it, so as not to develop health problem. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Too much intake of alcohol will leads to pancreatitis unless it is been taken care of. It’s needs great attention.

  16. The cyclical pain induced pancreatitis is enough to discourage intake of alcohol. Alcohol users should try to limit the quantity of their intake to avoid having pancreatitis.

  17. Most alcohol addicted people should learn from this article. Too much intake of alcohol could lead to chronic pancreatitis for them. They need to curb their addiction to alcohol.

  18. To be sincere I never knew anything about pancreatitis until now. This article done a good job in enlightening me in alcohol induced pancreatitis. And it is better to stay away from alcohol than to be a victim of pancreatitis which is injurious to ones health.

  19. This is one reason I don’t drink heavily. Drinking affects our health in a lot of ways. I never knew it could be a contributing factor in developing acute pancreatitis. Why can’t we just avoid drinking and live a healthy life? This article is really an eye opener. Hope people get to read this article because it’s life changing.

  20. This is deadly and should be discouraged in its entirety. Thanks to Detox To Rehab for this piece of information.

  21. The swollen of the stomach can kill the victim if monitored appropriately. This is an educative information from the detox to rehab, thanks.

  22. I’ve never been a fan of alcohol because of the danger it poses. Pancreatitis isn’t a small ailment; guide against getting both the acute and chronic phase and live a stress free life.

  23. To me, only few people can escape these severe consequences. People should endeavour to avoid addiction of any kind.

  24. Chronic pancreatitis is a killing diseases. It must not be allowed in our body system. Thanks.

  25. This is a very informative and educative article, I haven’t heard or known about pancreatitis before. But I sure do now. It appears the negative effects of alcohol far outweighs whatever short term pleasure or excitement it promises.

  26. Excessive intake of alcohol is harmful to people’s health. It is unhealthy and unwholesome.

  27. This article is highly informative and educative. However, people should desist from alcoholism

  28. One thing I found that alcohol affect chronic pancreatitis , that’s new for me ,any way thank you to inform everyone about this

  29. Thank you Detax to rehab for sharing these type of stories with all of us.These stories are really very much inspirational for many people.

  30. Definitely more reason to avoid abusing alcohol. Those that have a genetic predisposition to pancreatitis should definitely take these warnings into account. Thanks for the helpful read.

  31. Thanks for sharing this blog. Alcohol is very bad aliment. Excessive amount of alcohol is bad.

  32. I haven’t heard about alcohol induced pancreatitis before, from all indication it could be quite painful. That is why is best to stay off some certain things that can damage our internal organs. Thanks for sharing this information.

  33. I hope people will see the side effects of taking too much alcohol and keep away from it. it can be really bad to the health. i stop drinking 5 years ago

  34. There is tendency in the society to consume alcohol almost daily. As a means to relax. It shouldn’t be that way. All these diseases are due to alcohol heavy consumptions.

  35. Amazing content from Detox as always.
    Prevention they say is better than cure… It’s better we avoid all forms of substance abuse.

  36. Just avoid taking too much alcoholic drinks. We need to understand that taking this kind of drinks have a long term effect on our body.

  37. This article is really enlightening and educative, alcohol consumption should be minimal.

  38. Well, pancreatitis is caused by alcohol consumption and I am not at all surprised to hear that because of the fact that I know that drinking alcohol is really bad for health. I think this is more common in people who are addicted to alcohol consumption. This is why I never consume alcohol at all. I am glad that consuming alcohol is prohibited in my country.

  39. Drinking heavily always is a mo go area, see how dangerous that act is. This is a most read for everyone. Thanks for sharing

  40. Pancreatitis is no joke. My mom suffered from those. It was the most uncomfortable abdominal pain ever! Be careful!

  41. This is very educative. Too much alcohol causes pancreatitis. Even if you want to take alcohol. Take it at minimal.

  42. I had an uncle who died of liver cirrhosis due to excessive drinking. I never did know that you can also get pancreatitis from the same alcohol abuse. People should really exercise caution when it comes to their drinking habits, as abuse really does take a toll on one’s health if not checked.

  43. The excess of everything they say is bad. When you take alcohol in excess, it will leads to pancreatitis if care is bot taken. Thanks for this educative article.

  44. what a nice and clear explanation about the symptoms of excessive drinking on the panchreas one of the most important part of our body, we should collectively stop this things to save humans.

  45. Thanks for the very informative write up. I never knew heavy drinking had such a huge bearing on pancreatitis

  46. I have learnt a lot from the article. Clearly heavy alcohol use is a no-no if you care about your health.

  47. My uncle has suffered pancreatitis for a very long time. He also happens to be a heavy drinker. The two are probably linked as the article suggests.

  48. One of the negative effects of too much drinking is chronic pancreatitis which many alcohol takers are not aware of. When you take alcohol in excess, it will lead to pancreatitis if care is not taken. Thanks for this educative article.

  49. I feel like shouting loud and clear the dangers of excessive drinking and how it affect the pancrease. I don’t see any reason why anyone would want to endanger themselves this way.

  50. You better speak to your doctor If you feeling you have pancreatitis. A total abstinence from alcohol is strongly recommended when you have are developing pancreatitis.

  51. Drinking to stupor kills not just you but eventually people around you. Alcohol induced pancreatic is something we all need to take not of.

  52. If not checked on early enough, alcohol induced pancreatitis can be life threatening. Many thanks for the very informative article.

  53. This article has made me have second thoughts about my excessive drinking. I will be definitely making some changes.

  54. From the looks of it chronic pancreatitis must be a harrowing thing to go through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  55. It’s not worth it to put your life at risk for cheap thrills. It’s why I quit my excessive drinking to begin with.

  56. Pancreatitis is only but one of the myriad of issues that can be caused by excessive drinking. The list is almost endless.

  57. I can’t believe that in Western Europe, 70% to 80% of chronic pancreatitis is caused by heavy drinking. Those are some scary statistics to say the least.

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