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Pancreas and Diabetes

Pancreas and Diabetes. The pancreas is an organ located deep within your abdomen, between the spine and the stomach.

It releases the hormone insulin into your bloodstream, which aids in digestion and regulating your blood sugar. When your blood sugar level rises too high, you are more prone to developing diabetes, specifically, if your pancreas is not functioning properly or your body can’t use the insulin it produces.

Diabetes and other pancreatic disorders like pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer are related. However, this does not mean that if you have these pancreatic issues, you are a diabetic by default. Of course, it still depends on other factors, such as your blood sugar level and your body’s capacity to produce insulin.


Diabetes and Pancreatitis

When your pancreas becomes inflamed, it is a common sign of pancreatitis. It occurs when your digestive system’s proteins (enzymes) begin to act while still in your pancreas, which can irritate nearby cells.  Diabetes does not cause pancreatitis. However, type 2 diabetics are more likely to get it.

Pancreatitis can be caused by several factors, including smoking and infections. However, excessive alcohol consumption and gallstones, which are tiny masses in the gallbladder, are the most prevalent causes.

Pancreatitis has two different types:

  • Acute pancreatitis appears out of nowhere and lasts a few days.
  • Chronic pancreatitis appears and disappears over time, and diabetes may develop if it happens repeatedly.

Doctors can treat pancreatitis. If you have a severe case, you might need to stay in the hospital. You will need more insulin therapy if you have type 2 diabetes because it is more possible that your body won’t be able to process insulin. You can reduce your risk by reducing your weight, leading a healthy lifestyle, quitting smoking, and abstaining from alcohol.


Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer

A form of cancer that develops in the pancreas is called pancreatic cancer. It may be linked to type 2 diabetes as a symptom or as something that increases your risk of developing it.

Moreover, pancreatic cancer is twice as common in people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes for at least five years or more, you have a higher chance of developing the condition.

It’s uncommon, but pancreatic cancer can also lead to diabetes by destroying the cells that produce insulin in the organ. Type 2 diabetes may be a sign of pancreatic cancer if it develops after age 50. If you previously had it, a rapid change in your blood sugar levels after you’d managed it for some years could be a warning sign.

If you have pancreatic cancer, controlling your diabetes may be more challenging. Your doctor can alter your prescription or advise you to check your blood sugar more frequently. Find out more about managing your condition by consulting with a nutritionist or diabetic specialist.

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