How Does Diabetes Affect Your Pancreas

There is a direct connection between your diabetes and pancreas. Find out how does diabetes affect your pancreas.


Pancreas is an organ located deep within your abdomen right behind your stomach. It produces hormones and enzymes that help in digestion. One of these hormones is insulin, responsible in glucose regulation in your body. Insulin enables body cells to use glucose as energy.

Diabetes and Pancreatitis Connection

Pancreatitis refers to the inflammation of pancreas. Prolonged inflammation, lasting for several days, is referred as acute pancreatitis. This condition can be treated successfully however it may require hospitalization. It can eventually become a life threatening condition. Chronic inflammation of your pancreas can cause damages in cells responsible for producing insulin hence leading to diabetes.

Pancreatitis as well as Type 2 Diabetes have a lot of similar risk factors. Studies show that people who have type 2 diabetes can have up to threefold increased risk of the acute pancreatitis. Other factors leading to pancreatitis are gallstones, drinking too much alcohol, high triglyceride levels and high calcium levels in the blood.


Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer Connection

Diabetes also increases risk of pancreatic cancer. This is especially so if you are suffering from diabetes for a long time. In fact, diabetes is one of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer usually in cases when the metabolic condition develops after the age of 50.

Furthermore, if your diabetes has been under control but you notice sudden inability to control your blood sugar, consult a doctor immediately. It can be an early sign of pancreatic cancer.

For those who have diabetes and pancreatic cancer at the same time, it is difficult to determine which condition caused the other.

What To Do

Since your pancreas is important in managing the level of insulin in your body, it is important that you discuss with your doctor how diabetes affect your pancreas. On a good note, not all diabetes patients will develop problems with their pancreas and vice versa.

Nevertheless, you should continue to incorporate lifestyle changes in order to minimize your risk of developing pancreatitis. As what your doctor will advise you, manage your diabetes by maintaining a healthy diet, controlling your carbohydrate intake and keeping an active lifestyle.

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