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"Is there a clear link between pancreatitis and diabetes?"

ZocdocAnswersIs there a clear link between pancreatitis and diabetes?


I was just diagnosed with pancreatitis after getting a diabetes bombshell. Are the two related?


This is something you should definitely discuss with your doctor. There is a link between pancreatitis and diabetes, but probably not in your case. Let me explain. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin. It is usually found in kids or younger adults and is caused by the immune system’s attack on the cells that make insulin (which happens to be in the pancreas). Type 2 diabetes is when the body no longer reacts to insulin the way it’s supposed to. The pancreas cells make insulin, but the body's cells don't use it. Type 2 is far more common and may be what you have. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas which can occur from many different causes including alcohol and gall stones. When pancreatitis recurs many times, the pancreas slowly stops doing what it is supposed to do. One episode almost never causes diabetes. If you were diagnosed with diabetes first, then your pancreatitis is not related to your diabetes. Recurrent (or chronic) pancreatitis can cause diabetes type 1, but diabetes doesn't cause pancreatitis. This is a good question you can pose to your primary care doctor or whoever is caring for your diabetes. Understanding the cause of both is important so that you can be properly treated. Book an appointment as soon as you can.

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