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Can chronic pancreatitis be caused by poor diabetes care?

By Anonymous April 13, 2011 - 9:14pm
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My 24 year old daughter has type 1 diabetes and has had poor control of her diabetes for 5 years approximately, also alcohol abuse, and an eating disorder. She is being diagnosed with pancreatits now, after/ with her last bout of DKA. Is this a coincidence, or is her abuse of her body that has caused the pancreatitis?

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Hi Anon,

Thanks for your question!

While it is possible that Pancreatitis can cause Diabetes, having Diabetes is not usually listed as a cause for Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is most commonly caused by alcoholism (you mention your daughter has had alcohol abuse in the past).
Other causes include:
Abdominal surgery
Certain medications
Cigarette smoking
Cystic fibrosis
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), when used to treat gallstones
Family history of pancreatitis
High calcium levels in the blood (hypercalcemia)
High levels of parathyroid hormone in the blood (hyperparathyroidism)
High triglyceride levels in the blood (hypertriglyceridemia)
Injury to the abdomen
Pancreatic cancer

The goals of treatment for chronic pancreatitis are to relieve pain and manage nutritional and metabolic problems. Specific steps include:

Strict avoidance of alcohol
Eating less fat
Taking pills containing pancreatic enzymes to help with digestion
Taking insulin to control blood sugar (if diabetes develops)
Eating smaller meals more frequently
Surgery and/or ERCP may be needed to:
Open a blocked pancreatic or biliary duct
Remove part (or rarely all) of the pancreas
Drain pancreatic cysts

For more information, visit our Pancreatitis page

Best Wishes to you and your daughter!

April 14, 2011 - 5:13am
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