How Does Diabetes Affect the Pancreas?

link between diabetes and pancreas

You probably know that the pancreas is responsible for insulin production. But, having diabetes can exacerbate pancreatic function. Here is the link between diabetes and pancreas.

The Connection

As you may already know, if there is something wrong with the pancreas it may affect whether and how much it produces insulin. Sometimes, complications can lead to diabetes. But, if you already have diabetes can the pancreas make it worse?

In fact, it can make it worse. And, create a vicious cycle of illness. According to a study, having type 2 diabetes can increase the likelihood of developing acute pancreatitis. And, the increase is substantial: up to 2 to 3 times more likely to develop this condition.

The link between diabetes and pancreas may lead to more serious conditions, too. If you’ve had diabetes for more than 5 years, you may be at higher risk for pancreatic cancer.

Additionally, if you developed type 2 diabetes after your 50th birthday, it may really be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. Because one may cause the other, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly which one came first.

Especially since both type 2 diabetes and pancreatic cancer share the same risk factors. This may include obesity, aging, poor diet, and physical inactivity.


Fortunately, having one condition does not automatically lead to the other. And, you can reduce the risk of either disease by incorporating some lifestyle changes.

Some changes you may make include reduced alcohol intake, eating a healthy diet, regular exercise, and reduce carb intake.

Additionally, you may also want to consult with your doctor about the best ways to keep a healthy weight, as well as keeping to your treatment plan if you already have diabetes.

Final Thoughts

Although there is a link between diabetes and pancreas, related diseases are not a foregone conclusion. You can take preventative measures. Make healthy changes in your lifestyle. And finally, keep your insulin levels under control if you already have diabetes.

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