How does diabetes affect the pancreas?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 21, 2012

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Quick Bites

  • Diabetes adversely affects the pancreas in a direct way
  • The pancreas are meant to regulate the blood sugar levels
  • They also ensure adequate insulin release to this end.
  • So, pancreas producing little insulin are gravely affected by diabetes.

Diabetes refers to a medical condition that is highlighted by symptoms of high blood sugar and insufficient insulin levels or in other words, poor insulin performance. This has major implications on various organs of the body such as the kidneys, but diabetes affects the pancreas also, in a crucial sense. To understand this, it is necessary to understand the relationship between diabetes and pancreas.


Diabetes and pancreas

Blood sugar cells, as they pass through the pancreas, instigate the release of insulin from the pancreas from a particular group of cells known as beta cells. Therefore, insulin serves the purpose of recovering the sugar from the blood stream and diverting it towards muscles or other body tissues in need of sugar. Therefore it must be noted that diabetes adversely affects the pancreas in a direct way, since it is the pancreas that are meant to regulate the blood sugar levels and ensure adequate insulin release to this end. So, pancreas producing little insulin are gravely affected.

diabetes and pancreas

However, as the body resists the absorption of sugar into tissues and muscles, there arises a situation which precludes the possibility of sugar removal or clearance from the blood stream. It is in such a circumstance that the beta cells that release insulin fail to lower the blood sugar level due to the inability or resistance of the body tissues with respect to the absorption of sugar.


How diabetes affects pancreas

Effects of diabetes on pancreas could gradually lead to several problems and complications as the beta cells continuously over exert themselves even as the blood stream becomes increasingly toxic (with sustained high sugar levels, that consequently increases blood fats which have an adverse impact on beta cells and their insulin producing capacity). In such cases it becomes necessary to undergo a treatment with prescription drugs and injection of certain amounts or dosages of insulin that can thus regulate the blood sugar levels and restore balance and reduce the amount of fat in the blood stream.

In other cases of diabetes risks to pancreas, it so happens that the pancreas’ ability to make insulin is completely demolished. This implies that the beta cells, due to certain reactions with the immune defences of the body, become completely incapable of producing insulin at early stages itself and thus become impossible to regenerate. In these cases it becomes absolutely critical to ensure the intake through injection or pump of high and regular dosages of insulin. This is absolutely critical for the safety of the patient and the preservation of his or her life.

There are several other cells, such as alpha cells (in charge of increasing blood sugar levels) and acini cells (with digestion related functions and properties) which may be affected as well, but usually remain capable of functioning even under the stress of diabetes.


Read more articles on Understand Diabetes

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