Diabetes resulting from Pancreatitis

In 2006 I developed pancreatitis and almost lost my life. My body ate up 90% of my pancreas leaving me with Type I diabetes. The cause was never found but it took 2 very painful years to recover. Has anyone else had this experience? I feel blessed and grateful that I survived a devastating illness and although it left me with this condition I thank my lucky stars every day for my recovery and the medical professionals who saved my life. Yes, I take shots every day soon to go on the pump, I test my blood many times a day and do whatever I must to enjoy this one life I have. I feel it’s a small price to pay in comparison to what I went through. There are SO many worse diseases people suffer with as you all know so when I open my eyes every morning I’m so very happy to be alive. :slight_smile:

interesting… my wife had a bad attack of pancreatitis a number of years ago, but did not loose her islet cells. the cause of hers was a gall stone getting caught in the common bile duct and backing up to the pancreas. hers was pretty acute. one day she was fine, the next she was yellow and at deaths door. you must have been pretty sick for it to have gone longer than that. glad that you are doing well now…

Thank you for your comment and good wishes. My pancreas was so eaten up they just couldn’t determine the cause but I do believe it was from a gall stone also. How is your wife doing now?

janet i’m so glad you brought this up. i was a raging alcoholic for years. after 2 episodes with pancreatitis finally i wound up dka in hospital with a bg of 1300. they told me i had diabetes. i was ok with that because at least i was alive. i knew i had destroyed my pancreas through all the years of drinking, and the pancreatitis was a precursor to diabetes. i’ve looked all over the net for info, and the only information i have found is that this is called secondary diabetes. my dr. has been treating it as if it were type 1-even though it isn’t. glad to see i’m not the only one!

that was about 14 years ago. she is living well with no gall bladder. never really gives her a problem unless there is a lot of oil in what ever we are eating (which is rare anyway) her pancreas has never had issues since. for her it was interesting, they thought that she must have been an alcoholic, but a glass of wine will put her under the table - - she never drinks and does not do any drugs. for her it was a weird genetic defect.

Hi Scott,
I’m glad you’re ok now. The cause of my pancreatitis was unknown because I never drank alcohol and the pancreas was so damaged they couldn’t determine what happened. My doctor and I was hoping the pancreas still produced some insulin but no such luck so that made me a Type I diabetic. Regardless of the type, we all share the same discomforts, every day testing, injections and/or oral medication. I’m going tomorrow, one day before my birthday, for my first pump training and I’m very excited about it. Some people don’t understand my excitement, they say it seems like I’m buying a new car. I explain if you had to inject yourself several times a day, struggle with highs and lows, prick your fingers, then you would understand.

I never drank or took drugs either. My doctor suggested I get my gallbladder removed but I haven’t yet so we’ll see what happens.

In June 2006 I was sick on Saturday and by Sunday I was vomiting all morning …couldn’t even keep water down and severe back pain. I went to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Since i don’t consume alcohol and my gall bladder was fine never did find the cause of it. I may have been lucky as I didn;t wait another day to go to the hospital.

To this day I wonder if this didn’t make my diabetes worse. Fortantely, I was able to recover after 7 days in the hospital. The hard part was no food or liquid for 5 days and the tube down my nose to my stomach draining the contents of my stomach and such.

Inside family joke is to blame Taco Bell as that was my last meal Friday night. Didn’t have again Taco Bell until last October whle in Biloxi, MS. A week later I was diagnosed with shingles. No more Taco Bell for me!

Hi Janet … I was allready a diabetic ,but was controlling sugars with diet and exercise and was doing great. was dxd in 97. But one morning in Aug 99 I woke up and I felt horrible…went to ER And BP was 97/34 I had that ER hopping LOL…IT was pancreatitis ssssooooo painful, It was horrible but due to insurance policys pancreatitis allows 4 to 7 days in hospital so even tho i was still very sick my docs partner sent me home. Lasted one day out went to see my doc and she was pissed off. long story short he almost killed me. She sent me to another hospital and had another female doc take care of me . It was like now what ? you know like when docs wisper right outside your door…scary . they always just wanted to do one more test… Well I had a pseudo cyst and they had to let it mature. ( that means no eating or drinking thru mouth fo 90 days) After all that I just never felt better and kept pushing my return to work per doc orders . she just came to me one day and said you fall into the 20 percent that never really recover. So i am now disabed my sugars are hard to controll . they call mine acute and chronic pancreatitis and so I am not happy you experienced this but I am glad finally someone else who knows how i feel. They dont know why i got mine either .

Dear Janet,
I have a friend that this has happened to also! it was the result from a antibiotic. She too is now type 1 and she is living well working part time for the rehab hospital that restored her back to daily living. She was in a coma for a long time.
She is very happy to be alive and she is well in control on her pump.

My last meal before I got sick was a little hometown restaurant we went to every Saturday morning for breakfast. I felt fine, went home and about 15 minutes later I started vomiting non-stop and I haven’t vomited in over 30 years so I told my husband to call 911. They thought I was having a heart attack and shoved aspirin down my throat which made it worse.

The pain was incredible even with all the morphine and fentanyl patch… what a horrible experience. At one point in the hospital I was on the 5th floor and that window looked awfully inviting to me. I thought, just get up and run right through it to end it all. THEN I thought, yeah right, I’ll fly out the window, survive and break every bone in my body and be in MORE pain. LOL So, I scrapped THAT idea!!!

Anyway, I have my OmniPod on today with water in it, just getting used to it. In 2 weeks I’ll be putting in the insulin and I can’t wait. I love this thingy!!!

Hi Leticia… My insurance also ran out while in the hospital and they were going to send me home with a feeding tube in my chest for ME to manage… yeah, right! I cried and was scared to death because my husband had to work and I’d be alone so my case manager hooked me up with a nursing home which my insurance took care of.

I was there for 2 weeks with a wonderful roommate. She was close to 90 but a retired nurse and SHE took care of me like no other could. She got up in the middle of the night to make sure I was ok. She changed my sheets and everything else I needed… what a blessing. She told me I gave her purpose again and I hated leaving her when I recovered. Sometimes I feel things happen for a reason and the short time I was in that nursing home I helped an old woman feel useful again.

Anyway, YES, I know how you feel and if I could hug you I would. Thanks for responding to me and let’s stay in touch. :slight_smile:

Hi Daniel… I’m glad your friend is in control now and feeling better. I think there are many causes of pancreatitis that the medical profession just doesn’t know yet.

One doctor told me it may have been from a cholesterol lowering drug I was on “Zetia” because the side effects state pancreatitis could result from the drug. I didn’t realize that while I was taking it. Most drugs can have horrible side effects but we trust our doctors and take them anyway. They say the benefits outweigh the cons but who knows.

hi…my son george has diabetes type 1 as well as chronic pancreatitis…the docters said he will have the condition 4 ever and has to take creon with every meal he has…everything is under control now…and george his doing fine…take care…janet xx

I’m new to this forum and I back to you a different way… not sure if you received it but if not I just said I used to take creon but no longer. Seems I didn’t need it any more but regardless, it’s just a pill before each meal, could be worse. Best of luck to you and your son. :slight_smile:

Hi, Janet!

I thought I was alone with this experience. I was diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatitis simultaneously in 2000. A pseudocyst formed on my pancreas that kept growing larger, threatening my life. The surgery to drain the cyst was also life-threatening. Doctors had some nasty email exchanges over the correct course of action. (They would CC me.)

Terrible experience? Yes. Do I count my blessings every day? Yes. Like you, I know that every day counts. I test five or six times a day to try to get a handle on bg levels and I am more than happy to do so. I am not perfect, but things are getting better all the time.

Please continue to take care of yourself, and I hope the pump makes life even better for you!

Na’Themba

Thanks for the good wishes. It’s a shame we both had this experience but it’s also nice to know you’re not alone. I’m glad you healed and are doing well. I’m very excited about the pump. I go next Tuesday for my last training at which time I’ll be using insulin in the pump. I know it will take a couple of weeks to get it completely right but I’ve been practicing with the water and I love how easy it is to use.

Are you using a pump?

Janet, it’s been a while since I’ve been in the forums. How are you doing with your pump now? I don’t pump, but I’ve thought about it. Since my bg readings don’t stay in the ridiculous range anymore, my doctor no longer advises for me to use one: it has taken so long for me to gain some type of control that she doesn’t want me to change a single thing.

I read the posts from others and regret that anyone has to go through the experience of pancreatitis. they all seem to be terrifying, life-threatening trials, and some people do not fully recover. My thoughts and prayers are with all. . .

Hi Na’Themba,
I haven’t been here in a while either. I’ve been using the pump now over a month and I really do love it. There are some problems but overall it’s working out very well. I’m glad you’ve stablized and you & your doctors are right… if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Keep doing what you’re doing if it works.

All my best to you!

My story is somewhat a strange one. Just over 6 years ago I was diagnosed with Auto-Immune Pancreatitis (AIP). For those of you unfamiliar with this, it is a relatively rare auto-immune condition where ones own body attacks the pancreas. After misdiagnoses of pancreatic cancer and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, doctors finally figured it out and following a course of steroid treatment, the 'disease' went away. It may come back at any time, or it may never resurface.

Prior to the AIP, my blood sugar was always relatively low, in the 3-4 range. Now, post AIP, my blood sugar has always hovered in and around the 6 range (high 5's, low 6's).

Just to be clear, AIP and LADA are not the same thing. I have done the research on this. In AIP, the pancreas becomes so inflamed that it typically constricts the bile duct, causing the patient to exhibit pancreatic cancer symptoms, such as jaundice, etc. AIP can be controlled by a short course of prednisone (steroid) or other immune suppressants, whereas my understanding is LADA cannot.

Doctors and specialists cannot seem to tell me whether the AIP is the reason, but to me it seems logical (the AIP probably damaged my pancreas as my body 'attacked' itself) and thus my pancreas may not function properly anymore. I have done the glucose challenge test, and it was fine (i.e., my blood sugar levels went down).

So, I guess what I am wondering is if anyone has either had a similar experience with AIP, or knows someone who has? I would love to talk with them to understand if they have had a similar experience, or what their doctors are telling them?