The pancreas is the organ that produces insulin, and it plays a most important role in regulating blood glucose levels. Diabetes is one of the most important causes of death in the world.
About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, particularly in low-and middle-income countries and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year.
There are Four common types of diabetes:
- Type 1 diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is believed to be an autoimmune situation. This means your immune system wrongly attacks and destroys the beta cells in your pancreas that create insulin. The damage is permanent. This usually occurs at a very young age.
- Type 2 diabetes: Type 2 diabetes starts as insulin resistance. This means your body can’t use insulin efficiently. That stimulates your pancreas to generate more insulin until it can no longer keep up with demand. Insulin production decreases, which leads to high blood sugar. It occurs after the age of 30 years.
- Gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes is due to insulin-blocking hormones produced during pregnancy. This type of diabetes only occurs during pregnancy.
- Pancreatic Diabetes : This is a special category of diabetes which occurs in patients who have suffered attacks of acute & chronic pancreatitis. Their pancreatic beta cells have been damaged by the disease process. Not only that but ‘alfa cells’ that increase blood sugar levels are also lost. So these patients are not just at high risk of diabetes but also at high risk of repeated attacks of hypoglycemia(low sugar level) when insulin is used as treatment.
How is pancreatic diabetes treated ?
- If you have pancreatic diabetes, consult an endocrinologist doctor.
- The doctor will advise you Insulin along with a proper diet chart to be followed.
What happens if the diabetes remains uncontrolled for a long period ?
- Long standing high blood sugar level damages the kidney & eyes.
What is pancreas transplant ?
- Like liver transplant, the surgery called pancreas transplant can be performed in patients with uncontrolled diabetes along with kidney failure.
- The procedure is usually combined with kidney transplant.
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