Your pancreas is an organ in your gastrointestinal system that lies just behind your stomach. Day in and day out, it produces enzymes to help break down and digest the food you eat. It also produces hormones - insulin and glucagon - to keep your blood sugar level steady. Most of us never think about our pancreas, unless something goes wrong.

"Pancreatitis" is the general term for inflammation of the pancreas, a painful problem that begins when digestive enzymes cannot flow out of the pancreatic duct normally. Instead, they back up into the pancreas and cause inflammation.