Can Pancreatitis Cause Diabetes?

Pancreas is a very important organ of the human body. It is mainly responsible for food digestion. It helps in the digestion by producing many hormones and enzymes. When people suffer from pancreatitis which is an inflammation of the pancreas, a lot of complications can thus appear. One such complication can be diabetes. In this article, we shall try to find the answer to the question “Can Pancreatitis Cause Diabetes?”

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Relationship Between Diabetes and Pancreas:

Most of the studies indicate that there exists a direct relationship between diabetes and pancreas. It is the pancreas which produces enzymes that, in turn, will help you digest your food. It is this organ that also produces the much important hormone, the insulin. Insulin, as we know, is responsible for regulating the production of glucose. The constant maintenance of the glucose is much essential for the normal functioning of the body. Without that, glucose shall start accumulating in the blood cell causing high sugar or glucose levels. This, in turn, is nothing but diabetes.

If the pancreas is unable to produce the much-needed insulin in the body, the level of glucose so produced by eating food will start getting clotted in your blood. The cells, therefore, will not get enough energy to digest the same. This leads to hyperglycemia and eventually to diabetes. Similarly, if the hormone is inefficiently utilized, diabetes can be caused in a patient suffering from pancreatitis.

How can Pancreatitis Cause Diabetes?        

Before understanding the direct reason as to how the condition pancreatitis can cause diabetes, we first need to understand the very meaning of pancreatitis.


Pancreatitis is nothing but the inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis is caused when such an inflammation of the pancreas comes all of a sudden and brings the acute amount of pain. This can be a life-threatening condition where the patients can remain hospitalized for a long time as well.

As per one of the studies conducted by the NHS, around 50 percent of the patients who are affected by pancreatitis are prone to develop other conditions including diabetes. The reason may be really simple. As seen above, it is the pancreas that is mainly responsible for the production of the hormone, insulin. However, when the organ gets inflammation due to various reasons, the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for the production of the hormone are damaged. Thus, diabetes is caused. Thus, as a result of pancreatitis, a patient will require administering insulin through various external sources. The most common form of diabetes that is mainly known to be caused as a result of the pancreatitis is known as secondary diabetes.

The reverse is also true. It is a known fact that even diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes also results in causing pancreatitis. The major causes that lead to both diseases are quite similar in nature. These are as follows:

  • High levels of calcium found in the bloodstream
  • Use to too much alcohol
  • Stones in the gallbladder
  • A disorder which, like diabetes, is an autoimmune condition
  • The levels of triglyceride in the blood known to be very high

Diabetes Medicines Causing Pancreatitis:

Not only does pancreatitis increase the chances of a patient to contract diabetes, but the reverse is true as well. when patients are given certain medicines in diabetes, they are more and more exposed to the chances of getting pancreatitis. Some of these medications include Januvia, Byetta, amongst a host of others.

Thus, diabetes is a complicated disease to deal with. You need to understand that there are other diseases that can cause different types of diabetes as well. Hence, you need to be really particular about the type of lifestyle you choose for yourself. Eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, keeping yourself hydrated at all times, taking medicines on time are some of the various factors that you should make a part of your lifestyle so that you are able to enjoy clean, healthy life.

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