Pancreatic diseases are broadly classified into diseases related to the digestive functions of the pancreas, and diseases related to the control of blood glucose.
Pancreatitis is generalized inflammation of the pancreas. Depending upon the degree of inflammation, there may be long-term effects with respect to either the exocrine or the endocrine pancreatic functions. The underlying cause of pancreatitis is often not known but it may be related to the recent consumption of a fatty meal, the administration of corticosteroids, or direct trauma to the pancreas.
Rarely, tumors of the pancreas may occur. These tumors usually involve the pancreatic beta cells (these cells manufacture insulin) but other tumors of the pancreas may also occur.