Diabetes Treatment Causes Pancreatitis?

March 4, 2013

Mixed PillsIt’s controversial, but many soft studies have declared that two common diabetes drugs may double the risk of pancreatitis. The latest study seems to add more weight to the claim, despite criticism.

The diabetes drugs works to increase a hormone called GLP-1, which works to inrease insulin sensitivity in pancreatic cells, helping to reduce diabetes symptoms. The productions of GLP-1 requires the presence of nutrients in the gut, and then the hormone is short lived.

Pancreatits (Pancrease Inflammation) occurs suddenly, and feels like an intense pain near where you’d experiece heartburn. Pancreatitis symptoms also include nausea and vomitting. The source of the inflammation is the pancrease’s own enzymes, which somehow get triggered in the pancrease, rather than the digestive tract.

You can piece together why people have looked into a correlation between pancreatitis and a drug that increases the amount a hormone—which is naturally short lived and very self-regulating—works on the pancrease.

Of course, those who favor the diabetes treatment point out that it isn’t the sort of study they could get behind. It was small, and lacked the level of controls needed to be taken seriously by the major medical players. Instead, the study was just an evaluation of overlap between people on the drug and people with pancreatitis.

Even if the study is accurate, detractors also point out that obesity, smoking, drinking, and other similar lifestyle factors have a much higher risk of causing pancreatitis.

What do you think? Is it worth reconsidering a potentially beneficial treatment for diabetes?

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