Diabetes, pancreatitis, and pancreatic cancer are 3 common problems that affect the
pancreas. Here is how they can affect digestion:
Diabetes. If your pancreatic beta cells don't make enough insulin or your
body can’t use the insulin your pancreas makes, you can develop diabetes. Diabetes
can cause gastroparesis. This means the digestive system works more slowly than it
should. Diabetes also affects what happens after digestion. If you don't have
enough insulin and you eat a meal high in carbohydrates, your sugar can go up and
cause symptoms such as hunger and weight loss. Over the long term, it can lead to
heart and kidney disease, among other problems.
Pancreatitis. Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas becomes inflamed. It
is often very painful. In pancreatitis, the digestive enzymes your pancreas make
attack your pancreas and cause severe abdominal pain. The main cause of acute
pancreatitis is gallstones blocking the common bile duct. Too much alcohol can
cause acute pancreatitis and pancreatitis that does not clear up. This is known as
chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatitis affects digestion because enzymes are not
available. This leads to diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. About 90% of the
pancreas must stop working to cause these symptoms.
Pancreatic cancer. About 19 out of 20 pancreatic cancers begin in the
cells that make enzymes for digestion. Not having enough pancreatic enzymes for
normal digestion is very common in pancreatic cancer. Symptoms can include weight
loss, loss of appetite, indigestion, and fatty stools.
pancreas is important for digesting food and managing your use of sugar for energy after
digestion. If you have any symptoms of pancreatic digestion problems, such as loss of
appetite, abdominal pain, fatty stools, or weight loss, call your healthcare provider.
If you have a family history of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, let your provider