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The Pancreas & Diabetes Connection

The pancreas is an often-overlooked, yet integral part of the human digestive system. Numerous hormones originate in the pancreas and combine with other pancreatic enzymes to assist with digestion. Insulin – a pancreatic hormone – has a specific function to regulate glucose in the body and nourish cells with energy from the sugars being broken down in the stomach. Any sort of disorder within the functioning of the pancreas creates an environment in the body that will cause long-lasting, adverse health conditions resulting in diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

This form of diabetes is essentially a miscommunication within the brain and body that renders the pancreas non-functional due to the immune system getting the wrong message that dictates it protect itself from and fight off insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas.

The wild thing about type 1 diabetes is that the official diagnosis for why it occurs in specific individuals is not entirely known. A hereditary and genetic link does however correlate for many who are afflicted by type 1 diabetes and its unpreventable and incurable effects on the body. Insulin shots are mandatory in order to treat the disease both short-term and long-term.

Type 2 Diabetes

Spiking either too high or too low, blood glucose levels face severe resistance to pancreas-created insulin within type 2 diabetics. With this type of diabetes, the pancreas often still functions, however, the amount of insulin produced is insufficient in order to perform the functions necessary to regulate blood glucose levels. Insulin injections are also needed on a regular basis in order to survive.

Beyond the pancreas specifically, common contributing factors to this disorder include both poor health and lifestyle habits, as well as genetics. Maintaining proper dieting and exercise contribute significantly to battling this disease.

Results from numerous epidemiological studies and clinical trials point to the protective nature these lifestyle changes can have on the body wholesale and in better managing the effects of diabetes [1]. Without proper mitigation, high-risk individuals can find themselves in danger of other detriments such as heart disease, kidney dysfunction, problematic vision, and nerve issues just to name a few.


Pancreatitis – caused by inflammation of the pancreas – is a condition that can also affect tissue within the pancreas, as well as insulin production. The correlations that relate from having pancreatitis to then eventually being diagnosed with diabetes share many similar risk factors and causes that can be tamed with improved lifestyle changes.

Overall, individuals that are afflicted by both types of diabetes are always on the hook to manage the internal chaos that their pancreas caused by affecting the proper functioning of vital blood-glucose levels internally. Proper functioning is maintained with regular insulin shots, prescribed medications, and blood-glucose monitoring.

However, the key to not letting these diseases – including pancreatitis – consume and deteriorate the individual completely is to maintain proper functioning and improve upon it with lifestyle modifications that include proper exercise, diet, and weight management solutions.


[1] Asif, Mohammad. The prevention and control the type-2 diabetes by changing lifestyle and dietary pattern. J Educ Health Promot. 2014.doi: 10.4103/2277-9531.127541. [journal impact factor = 1.729; times cited = 414]

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