Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum-the first part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive juices, or enzymes, into the duodenum through a tube called the pancreatic duct. Pancreatic enzymes join with bile-a liquid produced in the liver and stored in the gallbladder-to digest food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body regulate the glucose it takes from food for energy.