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When a health care practitioner identifies symptoms suggestive of pancreatitis, specific questions are asked about the person's symptoms, lifestyle and habits, and medical and surgical history. The answers to these questions and the results of the physical examination allow the health care practitioner to rule out some conditions and make the correct diagnosis.
In most cases, laboratory tests are needed. The tests check the functioning of several body systems, including the following:
Results of the blood tests may be inconclusive if the pancreas is still making digestive enzymes and insulin.
Diagnostic imaging tests are usually needed to look for complications of pancreatitis, including gallstones.
Diagnostic imaging tests may include the following:
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The pancreas is a gland located in the upper, posterior abdomen and is responsible for insulin production (endocrine pancreas) and the manufacture and secretion of digestive enzymes (exocrine pancreas) leading to carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.