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What Causes The Pancreas To Stop Working

Pancreatitis Information

Pancreatitis Information

Table of Contents Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. This condition usually begins at an acute stage, and in some cases, may become chronic after a severe and/or recurrent attack. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the digestive enzymes attack the tissue that produces them. One of these enzymes, called trypsin, can cause tissue damage and bleeding, and can cause the pancreas blood cells and blood vessels to swell. With chronic pancreatitis, the pancreas may eventually stop producing the enzymes that are necessary for your body to digest and absorb nutrients. This is called exocrine failure and fat and protein are not digested or absorbed. When chronic pancreatitis is advanced, the pancreas can also lose its ability to make insulin; this is called endocrine failure. The pancreas is a large and important gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum. It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. Where is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a solid gland about 10 inches (25cm) long. It is attached to the back of the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and is shaped like a tadpole. Its head is just to the right of the mid-line and its body and tail point upwards at an angle so that the tail is situated just beneath the extreme edge of the left side of the ribs. The head is closely attached to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), into which the stomach empties food and liquid, already partially digested. It is to this partially digested food that the pancreas adds its digestive juices (enzymes). A gradual or sudden severe pain in the center part of the upper abdomen goes through to your back; this pain may get worse when you eat and builds to a persistent pain Nausea and vomiting Jaundice (a yello Continue reading >>

Pancreas And Diabetes: Why Does Pancreas Stop Producing Insulin?

Pancreas And Diabetes: Why Does Pancreas Stop Producing Insulin?

Every part of an individual’s body has its own mechanisms. It is the constant production of hormones that leads to bodily as well as mental changes. This task of generating enzymes and hormones which are required for breaking food down lies with Pancreas. Being an important part of the body, its responsibility is also about producing enough insulin in the body so that the sugar level remains intact. In fact, imbalance in the production of insulin can lead to the health problem called Diabetes. Once the problem starts developing, it can be only controlled by taking suitable diet and by avoiding eating sweets. Let us see what the function of Pancreas is and its contribution towards the development of Diabetes. What is Pancreas and What is it’s Role? Pancreas is an important part of the body, which is positioned behind the lower stomach. It has the ability to produce insulin and glucagon that tends to regulate sugar level in the blood. Carrying out the double functionality of stowing hormones into the blood as well as discharging enzymes through ducts, Pancreas have always held a significant position in controlling hormonal secretion and regulation. A slightest of imbalance in the production of insulin can lead to the problem of diabetes that requires immense care in dealing with dietary management. Playing an essential part in the endocrine as well as exocrine systems, pancreas has exceptional functional system. Basically, the endocrine system is aimed at the production of chemicals as well as hormones in the body. On the other hand, exocrine system constitutes of glands in the body that tends to release saliva, sweat and digestive enzymes. As known to all, the role of Pancreas is to produce adequate amount of insulin for regulating the level of sugar in the body. The Continue reading >>

What Can Happen If The Pancreas Stops Working?

What Can Happen If The Pancreas Stops Working?

Food consists of carbohydrates (e.g. starch), proteins (e.g. meat), and fat (e.g. butter), and digestion is not possible without the enzymes produced by the pancreas. All the body’s cells use glucose (sugar) as an energy source. The level of sugar in the blood is kept constant by insulin, which is made by special cells in the pancreas. If the cells are not working properly and insulin is lacking then diabetes develops. Depending upon how badly the pancreas fail there are two problems. The first is that food is poorly absorbed, which causes weight loss, and there is diarrhea, often rather fatty as the undigested fat causes pale, bulky and smelly motions. The second is, if too little insulin is made, diabetes develops with frequent passage of urine and weight loss. Failure of Pancreas may cause: Pseudocyst. Acute pancreatitis can cause fluid and debris to collect in cystlike pockets in your pancreas. A large pseudocyst that ruptures can cause complications such as internal bleeding and infection. Infection. Acute pancreatitis can make your pancreas vulnerable to bacteria and infection. Pancreatic infections are serious and require intensive treatment, such as surgery to remove the infected tissue. Kidney failure. Acute pancreatitis may cause kidney failure, which can be treated with dialysis if the kidney failure is severe and persistent. Breathing problems. Acute pancreatitis can cause chemical changes in your body that affect your lung function, causing the level of oxygen in your blood to fall to dangerously low levels. Diabetes. Damage to insulin-producing cells in your pancreas from chronic pancreatitis can lead to diabetes, a disease that affects the way your body uses blood sugar. Malnutrition. Both acute and chronic pancreatitis can cause your pancreas to produc Continue reading >>

An Overview Of The Pancreas

An Overview Of The Pancreas

Pancreas Essentials The pancreas maintains the body’s blood glucose (sugar) balance. Primary hormones of the pancreas include insulin and glucagon, and both regulate blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common disorder associated with the pancreas. The pancreas is unique in that it’s both an endocrine and exocrine gland. In other words, the pancreas has the dual function of secreting hormones into blood (endocrine) and secreting enzymes through ducts (exocrine). The pancreas belongs to the endocrine and digestive systems—with most of its cells (more than 90%) working on the digestive side. However, the pancreas performs the vital duty of producing hormones—most notably insulin—to maintain the balance of blood glucose (sugar) and salt in the body. Without this balance, your body is susceptible to serious complications, such as diabetes. Anatomy of the Pancreas The pancreas is a 6 inch-long flattened gland that lies deep within the abdomen, between the stomach and the spine. It is connected to the duodenum, which is part of the small intestine. Only about 5% of the pancreas is comprised of endocrine cells. These cells are clustered in groups within the pancreas and look like little islands of cells when examined under a microscope. These groups of pancreatic endocrine cells are known as pancreatic islets or more specifically, islets of Langerhans (named after the scientist who discovered them). Hormones of the Pancreas The production of pancreatic hormones, including insulin, somatostatin, gastrin, and glucagon, play an important role in maintaining sugar and salt balance in our bodies. Gastrin: This hormone aids digestion by stimulating certain cells in the stomach to produce acid. Glucagon: Glucagon helps insulin maintain normal blood glucose by working in the Continue reading >>

What Would Be The Cause For Your Pancreas Not To Produce Insulin Or Partially Produce It?

What Would Be The Cause For Your Pancreas Not To Produce Insulin Or Partially Produce It?

What would be the cause for your pancreas not to produce insulin or partially produce it? does the pancreas just stop working or what causes it to stop producing the hormone insulin/ Are you sure you want to delete this answer? Best Answer: Wow! That is quite the question. I think scientists are still working this one out. Well aside from the slowing down of the pancreas from aging and genetics as in diabetes. If you injured your pancreas with pancreatitis, which could be caused from gall bladder blockages or virus or bacterial attack. If you had a bad fall or trauma as in a car accident or being beaten up and damaged your pancreas that way, this could cause it as well. Cancer of the pancreas could increase insulin or decrease it as well. Smoking is a leading cause of pancreatic cancer. If you are asking what causes diabetes, the jury is still out on this. There are contributing factors, like genetics and diet and weight and virus and bacterial infections. Upload failed. Please upload a file larger than 100x100 pixels We are experiencing some problems, please try again. You can only upload files of type PNG, JPG, or JPEG. You can only upload files of type 3GP, 3GPP, MP4, MOV, AVI, MPG, MPEG, or RM. You can only upload photos smaller than 5 MB. You can only upload videos smaller than 600MB. You can only upload a photo (png, jpg, jpeg) or a video (3gp, 3gpp, mp4, mov, avi, mpg, mpeg, rm). Video should be smaller than 600mb/5 minutes Video should be smaller than 600mb/5 minutes Continue reading >>

How Long Can You Really Live When A Pancreas Quits Working? | Yahoo Answers

How Long Can You Really Live When A Pancreas Quits Working? | Yahoo Answers

How long can you really live when a pancreas quits working? Are you sure you want to delete this answer? Best Answer: I think this is related to diabetes? Well, if your pancreas stops working, you will require insulin, either from shots or an insulin pump. Your body cannot get the nutrients from food without proper levels of insulin. (Weight loss is a big symptom) Insulin helps in the digestive process and helps your cells get their required nutrients. When you're diagnosed, it's scary, but you can still live a normal live. Test your blood sugar 6 times a day and try to get on the insulin pump. You can actually live without your pancreas, though probably not too long without medical assistance. If your pancreas were completely destroyed, your biggest immediate problem would be a complete lack of insulin, which would need to be replaced quickly (difficult to say how quickly, hours to days) or you would develop DKA (DiabeticKetoAcidosis), and eventually end up in a coma and then die. If you were to replace your insulin, you would have to be very careful of hypoglycemia because you can no longer produce glucagon, one of the important counter-regulatory hormones for insulin (it's effects are largely opposite to those of insulin). Finally, you would be unable to digest foods well, especially fats, but we have replacement supplements for pancreatic enzymes as well. All in all, life would be pretty hard, but not entirely impossible. This is called type 1 diabetes! You can live a couple of months tops unless you inject insulin. Before insulin was discovered (only about 100 years ago) people used to eat weired diets of moss and other crazy things to prolong their lives but lost extreme amounts of weight before dying. This is still happening in some countries where children are Continue reading >>

The Connection Between Diabetes And Your Pancreas

The Connection Between Diabetes And Your Pancreas

A direct connection exists between the pancreas and diabetes. The pancreas is an organ deep in your abdomen behind your stomach. It’s an important part of your digestive system. The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones that help you digest food. One of those hormones, insulin, is necessary to regulate glucose. Glucose refers to sugars in your body. Every cell in your body needs glucose for energy. Think of insulin as a lock to the cell. Insulin must open the cell to allow it to use glucose for energy. If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t make good use of it, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, leaving your cells starved for energy. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, this is known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms of hyperglycemia include thirst, nausea, and shortness of breath. Low glucose, known as hypoglycemia, also causes many symptoms, including shakiness, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can quickly become life-threatening. Each type of diabetes involves the pancreas not functioning properly. The way in which the pancreas doesn’t function properly differs depending on the type. No matter what type of diabetes you have, it requires ongoing monitoring of blood glucose levels so you can take the appropriate action. Type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes the immune system erroneously attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas. It causes permanent damage, leaving your pancreas unable to produce insulin. Exactly what triggers the immune system to do that isn’t clear. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role. You’re more likely to develop type 1 diabetes if you have a family history of the disease. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. People who ha Continue reading >>

What Is The Pancreas?

What Is The Pancreas?

. www.digestivedisorders.org.uk/ .. (List of fact sheets online .. Click here 1/2006). The pancreas is a large and important gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum. It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. This leaflet describes what and where the pancreas is, how it works, what can go wrong with it, how your doctor can diagnose diseases of the pancreas and how they are treated. Where is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a solid gland about 10 inches (25cm) long. It is attached to the back of the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and is shaped like a tadpole. Its head is just to the right of the mid-line and its body and tail point upwards at an angle so that the tail is situated just beneath the extreme edge of the left side of the ribs. The head is closely attached to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), into which the stomach empties food and liquid, already partially digested. It is to this partially digested food that the pancreas adds its digestive juices (enzymes). The tube draining the liver of its bile (the bile duct) lies just behind the head of the pancreas and usually joins the bowel at the same place where the fluids from the pancreas enter the bowel. Running behind the body of the pancreas are many important blood vessels. Because of its position in the body, it is not easy for a surgeon to operate on the pancreas. What can the Pancreas do? Food consists of carbohydrates (e.g. starch), proteins (e.g. meat), and fat (e.g. butter), and digestion is not possible without the enzymes produced by the pancreas. The pancreas makes a number of different enzymes each of which is responsible for breaking down the different types of food into small particles suitable for absorption. The Continue reading >>

5 Warning Signs Your Pancreas Is In Trouble

5 Warning Signs Your Pancreas Is In Trouble

Quick, say the first thing that pops into your head when you read the word "pancreas." If you said "cancer," you're not alone. Most people only think about their pancreas when they hear about pancreatic cancer—which is the deadliest form of cancer in terms of 5-year survival rates. "Part of the reason survival rates are so low is that identifying pancreatic cancer early is difficult," says Andrew Hendifar, MD, codirector of pancreas oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Early detection is also tough when it comes to non-cancer pancreas problems, says Ted Epperly, MD, president of Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. Tucked deep in your abdomen, your pancreas is a long, flat organ that produces enzymes and hormones that aid in digestion. While symptoms of pancreas issues can be persnickety, both Epperly and Hendifar say there are a handful of warning signs that warrant a call to your doctor. Here are 5 of them. (Want to pick up some healthier habits? Sign up to get healthy living tips delivered straight to your inbox!) If you notice your stool is light colored and floating, that's a sign of poor nutrient absorption. (Here are 7 things your poop says about your health.) "The enzymes your pancreas produces help you digest fats in your diet," Hendifar explains. Along with breaking down fats, your pancreas helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, and K, he says. When pancreatic disease messes with your organ's ability to properly manufacture those enzymes, the result is feces that looks paler and is less dense. You may also notice your poop is oily or greasy. "The toilet water will have a film that looks like oil," Hendifar says. That's the dietary fat your body failed to break down, he explains. If you notice your poop looks funky now and th Continue reading >>

Digestive Disorders Health Center

Digestive Disorders Health Center

The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and next to the small intestine. The pancreas does two main things: It releases powerful digestive enzymes into the small intestine to aid the digestion of food. It releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body control how it uses food for energy. Pancreatitis is a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Pancreatic damage happens when the digestive enzymes are activated before they are released into the small intestine and begin attacking the pancreas. There are two forms of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis is a sudden inflammation that lasts for a short time. It may range from mild discomfort to a severe, life-threatening illness. Most people with acute pancreatitis recover completely after getting the right treatment. In severe cases, acute pancreatitis can result in bleeding into the gland, serious tissue damage, infection, and cyst formation. Severe pancreatitis can also harm other vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis is long-lasting inflammation of the pancreas. It most often happens after an episode of acute pancreatitis. Heavy alcohol drinking is another big cause. Damage to the pancreas from heavy alcohol use may not cause symptoms for many years, but then the person may suddenly develop severe pancreatitis symptoms. Symptoms of acute pancreatitis: Upper abdominal pain that radiates into the back; it may be aggravated by eating, especially foods high in fat. Fever Symptoms of chronic pancreatitis: The symptoms of chronic pancreatitis are similar to those of acute pancreatitis. Patients frequently feel constant pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to the back. I Continue reading >>

Can You Live Without A Pancreas?

Can You Live Without A Pancreas?

Please visit the new WebMD Message Boards to find answers and get support. Yes. The pancreas has two main functions: secretion of insulin, which controls blood sugar levels, and secretion of digestive enzymes and hormones. Although not a perfect solution, these functions can be replaced through insulin injections and oral pancreatic enzymes with meals. Surgery to remove the pancreas completely is rarely done, so very few people have no pancreas at all. Much more common is having a pancreas that doesnt work properly. In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas stops making insulin but continues to make digestive enzymes. In cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis, both insulin and enzyme production are often impaired. After surgery to remove part of the pancreas (such as for pancreatic cancer), in some cases the remaining pancreas cant make enough insulin, enzymes, or both. People with diabetes are at higher risk for heart attacks and strokes, and low pancreatic enzymes can lead to vitamin deficiencies. Artificial replacement doesnt work as well as a healthy pancreas, but it allows many people with pancreatic insufficiency to live full, active lives. Important: The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, blogs, or WebMD Answers are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Prevention, Tests

Pancreatitis Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, Prevention, Tests

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas , an organ in your belly that makes the hormones insulin and glucagon . These two hormones control how your body uses the sugar found in the food you eat. Your pancreas also makes other hormones and enzymes that help you break down food. Usually the digestive enzymes stay in one part of the pancreas . But if these enzymes leak into other parts of the pancreas, they can irritate it and cause pain and swelling. This may happen suddenly or over many years. Over time, it can damage and scar the pancreas. Most cases are caused by gallstones or alcohol abuse . The disease can also be caused by an injury, an infection, or certain medicines. Long-term, or chronic, pancreatitis may occur after one attack. But it can also happen over many years. In Western countries, alcohol abuse is the most common cause of chronic cases. In some cases doctors don't know what caused the disease. The main symptom of pancreatitis is medium to severe pain in the upper belly. Pain may also spread to your back. Some people have other symptoms too, such as nausea , vomiting , a fever, and sweating . Your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms and past health. You may also have blood tests to see if your levels of certain enzymes are higher than normal. This can mean that you have pancreatitis. Your doctor may also want you to have a complete blood count (CBC), a liver test, or a stool test. Other tests include an MRI , a CT scan , or an ultrasound of your belly ( abdominal ultrasound ) to look for gallstones . A test called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatogram , or ERCP, may help your doctor see if you have chronic pancreatitis. During this test, the doctor can also remove gallstones that are stuck in the bile duct Continue reading >>

Symptoms & Causes Of Diabetes

Symptoms & Causes Of Diabetes

What are the symptoms of diabetes? Symptoms of diabetes include increased thirst and urination increased hunger fatigue blurred vision numbness or tingling in the feet or hands sores that do not heal unexplained weight loss Symptoms of type 1 diabetes can start quickly, in a matter of weeks. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes often develop slowly—over the course of several years—and can be so mild that you might not even notice them. Many people with type 2 diabetes have no symptoms. Some people do not find out they have the disease until they have diabetes-related health problems, such as blurred vision or heart trouble. What causes type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease. What causes type 2 diabetes? Type 2 diabetes—the most common form of diabetes—is caused by several factors, including lifestyle factors and genes. Overweight, obesity, and physical inactivity You are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you are not physically active and are overweight or obese. Extra weight sometimes causes insulin resistance and is common in people with type 2 diabetes. The location of body fat also makes a difference. Extra belly fat is linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and heart and blood vessel disease. To see if your weight puts you at risk for type 2 diabetes, check out these Body Mass Index (BMI) charts. Insulin resistance Type 2 diabetes usually begins with insulin resista Continue reading >>

Pancreatitis - What Happens

Pancreatitis - What Happens

Pancreatitis usually appears as a sudden (acute) attack of pain in the upper area of the belly (abdomen). The disease may be mild or severe. Most people with pancreatitis have mild acute pancreatitis. The disease does not affect their other organs, and these people recover without problems. In most cases, the disease goes away within a week after treatment begins. Treatment takes place in the hospital with pain medicines and intravenous (IV) fluids. After inflammation goes away, the pancreas usually returns to normal. In some cases, pancreatic tissue is permanently damaged or even dies (necrosis). These complications increase the risk of infection and organ failure. In severe cases, pancreatitis can be fatal. Long-term pancreatitis (chronic pancreatitis) may occur after one or more episodes of acute pancreatitis. The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is long-term alcohol abuse. What happens during the course of chronic pancreatitis varies. Ongoing pain and complications often occur. Complications may include flare-ups of symptoms, fluid buildup, and blockage of a blood vessel, the bile duct, or the small intestine. If much of your pancreatic tissue has died, you may become malnourished. This happens because the pancreas no longer produces enzymes needed to digest fat and protein. So fat is released into your stool. This condition, called steatorrhea, causes loose, pale, unusually foul-smelling stools that may float in the toilet bowl. If the damaged pancreas stops making enough insulin, you also may develop diabetes. Chronic pancreatitis increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. About 4 out of 100 people with chronic pancreatitis develop this cancer.1 Continue reading >>

Bad News - Pancreas May Have Stopped Working

Bad News - Pancreas May Have Stopped Working

Last week my husband's doctor told us that his pancreas most likely stopped working some time ago. His readings are between 213 and 293 and this is before and after eating. He was told to keep a log of his readings and to keep a food journal. He is to bring it back to her this week. She didn't have his results from that test where it tells how his readings have been for the past three months so when he goes back she'll have that. She believes that since his readings are still high that maybe his pancreas has stopped working and he may need to be put on insulin. Anybody experienced this or have any advice to lend me? What does this mean for him? Will he always have to take insulin from now on? Has he gone from Type II to Type I? When the pancreas totally stops making its own insulin, he'll have to start taking insulin, as insulin is a necessity....none of us can live without it. With the #'s he's having, I would say he still makes some insulin at this point, or it would be much higher. If he's still making some insulin, but not enough to control his levels with diet/exercise and oral meds, he may need to start it just to get acceptable levels, then perhaps he can go off it. Bad things can happen if his blood sugars stay that high over a long period of time, so he needs to do whatever he can to get better levels. You've mentioned before that he doesn't do a lot to help control blood sugars and doesn't eat what he should and has difficulty exercising. Perhaps insulin would help him better control things. If he's really scared of insulin, perhaps this is the wake up call he needs to get on the ball and do all he can to take care of himself. Firstly, if the pancreas totally stopped, he'd be in the ER now. Keep an eye and if you have constant results over 300 for a week then Continue reading >>

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