Pancreatitis is the medical term that describes inflammation of your pancreas. One of the most common health problems associated with pancreatitis is high blood sugar levels -- a condition known as hyperglycemia. There are two main types of pancreatitis, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center, and both may cause necrosis, or tissue death, and bleeding around your pancreas. Certain dietary practices may be helpful as an adjunct therapy in treating your pancreatitis. Ask your doctor if this treatment approach is right for you.
Pancreatitis and High Blood Sugar
Your pancreas is an organ and gland that synthesizes and secretes insulin -- the hormone that helps control your blood sugar levels. Pancreatitis may damage your insulin-generating cells over time, which means that your insulin levels may drop. Without sufficient insulin, sugar, or glucose, will remain in your blood, causing numerous long-term health problems. Though pancreatitis may cause high blood sugar in some individuals, other pancreas-related disorders, such as pancreas infection or pancreatic cancer, may also cause this health problem, notes the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
A Beneficial Diet
A beneficial diet in treating your pancreatitis and high blood sugar levels may include the following foods, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center: spinach, sea vegetables, kale, whole-grain products, tomatoes, cherries, olive oil, blueberries, bell peppers, squash, tofu, beans and cold-water fish. Consider reducing or eliminating certain foods and beverages, including red meats, refined and processed foods, corn, soy, milk, eggs, coffee, alcohol and foods that are high in trans fatty acids, from your diet as well.
A Useful Food
Foods high in iron and B-vitamins, such as kale, may be particularly useful in treating your pancreatitis and high blood sugar. Kale promotes antioxidant protection, notes George Mateljan, a nutritionist, biologist and author of "The World's Healthiest Foods." Antioxidants contained in kale include beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Other beneficial nutrients in kale include vitamins A, C and K and manganese. Kale has also historically been used to help improve your vision, protect you from cancer and reduce inflammation throughout your body.
Pancreatitis and high blood sugar are both serious health problems that may require medical management and intervention. A combination of therapies, including conventional and alternative treatment measures, may be most beneficial in treating these health problems. The use of diet and nutrition alone for these problems is not recommended and does not ensure a favorable health outcome. Further scientific research evidence may be required to assess the true health benefits of foods and dietary strategies commonly used in treating these conditions.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Pancreatitis
- National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: Diabetes Overview
- "The World's Healthiest Foods"; George Mateljan; 2007