Pancreatitis: A Complication, a Concomitant, or a Cause of an Anorexia Nervosalike Syndrome

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A 12-year-old male with apparent anorxia nervosa was found to have concurrent pancreatitis of unknown etiology. The anorexia was primarily manifested by a refusal of all oral intake. For two months prior to psychiatric hospitalization, the patient complained of intermittent abdominal pain. Occasionally, during the daily nasogastric tube feedings, the patient complained of postprandial mid-epigastric discomfort. A gradual increase in intensity, duration, and frequency of this pain with the associated onset of nausea and vomiting prompted further investigation which revealed chronic pancreatitis. The diagnostic difficulties and therapeutic implications are discussed.

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