If you drink regularly, you increase you risk of developing pancreatitis.
Acute: Scientists aren’t sure exactly how alcohol causes the condition. One theory is that the molecules in alcohol interfere with the cells of the pancreas, stopping them working properly. Whatever the cause, there is a clear link between drinking alcohol and acute pancreatitis – and the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk of developing the condition (3).
Chronic: You’re more likely to have repeated episodes of acute pancreatitis when you drink heavily. Over time, this will cause permanent damage to your pancreas, causing chronic pancreatitis. Around seven out of 10 cases of chronic pancreatitis are due to long-term heavy drinking (4).
And it’s worse if you smoke. Cigarettes are thought to increase the harmful effects of alcohol on the pancreas.
Gallstones (small stones, usually made of cholesterol that form in the gallbladder) are another major cause of both types of pancreatitis