Diabetes mellitus refers to “increased urine output with sugar”, which occurs when there is too much sugar in the serum for the kidney to absorb. There are two major types of diabetes mellitus, Type 1 (insulin deficient) and Type 2 (insulin resistant). Type 1 is autoimmune in nature and is associated with destruction of the insulin producing islet cells by the immune system or with chronic inflammation, as in chronic pancreatitis. Type 2 is most often associated with obesity. There is a genetic predisposition to both types of diabetes.
About one half of all hereditary pancreatitis patients will eventually develop diabetes mellitus. The rate in other types of chronic pancreatitis is not clear.
If diabetes does develop, it is critical to take pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) and to follow a consistent, nutritious diet in order to synchronize the digestion and absorption of food with the insulin regulating therapy.
For more information on diabetes mellitus, visit the web site of the American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/