The most likely cause of your friend's child's illness is a serious inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis. Read up about 'pancreatitis in children' on Google. In many cases cysts may form in the pancreas during the early stage of pancreatitis. Abdominal pain is usually quite severe and can be mistaken for appendicitis. Depending on the severity of the inflammation in the pancreas, several enzymes secreted by the pancreas can be affected including insulin. Pancreas disease may be very serious in some children and carries a risk of severe chronic problems with the pancreas or even death.
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