Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

3/22/04

Q:
What can cause a person to develop diabetes and pancreatitis at the same time? (I do NOT drink alcohol of any kind). I saw a GI specialist and he didn't know what caused the pancreatis. I have learned to control my sugar, last AC1 was 4.8, however, it is difficult dealing with pancreatic enzymes every time I eat or drink anything other than water. Additionally, I am unable to eat many foods now. Is there something that can cause both illnesses at the same time?

A:
If one condition "causes" another, we would say that pancreatitis would be the precipitator of diabetes. Both diseases of the pancreas and gall bladder give rise to pancreatitia, as can infections. Depending on the severity of the inflammation, insulin production, which occurs in the pancreas, can be impaired. This is not necessarily a permanent condition. With such a good A1C, it appears that your beta cells are functioning again as they should. The pancreatic enzymes are targeted at protein, which occurs to some degree in many foods. As to whether or not your condition is "forever" depends on the severity of your condition. What do your tests show? It sounds as though, in time, you will experience normal functioning. Meanwhile, put up with the inconvenience, thinking that time should heal.



Get Our Newsletter

Accountability