Pancreatitis is the medical term for inflammation of the pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Because the pancreas is important to the breakdown of sugar in the bloodstream, pancreatitis has the potential to cause high blood sugar.
The pancreas produces insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling sugar levels in the body. If pancreatitis affects the insulin-producing cells in the organ, the body will not be able to produce enough insulin, which results in high blood sugar.
For acute pancreatitis that lasts only a matter of days, the change in blood sugar may be temporary. In cases where pancreatitis is a chronic or long-term condition, high blood sugar levels often become a permanent concern.
If blood sugar levels remain elevated from chronic pancreatitis, an individual is likely to develop diabetes, a disease caused by elevated blood sugar levels. Once diabetes develops, there is no cure for the condition.
Without treatment, diabetes has the potential to cause cardiovascular disease, nerve damage and blindness, according to the Mayo Clinic.
High blood sugars due to pancreatitis are usually controlled with oral medications such as metformin or insulin injections, according to the BBC. Diabetics also rely on dietitians, who help design eating regimens that limit the effects of food on blood sugar levels.