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Diabetes is a disease in which the pancreas does not produce any or enough insulin. Secondary diabetes is a form of the disease that develops as a result of, or secondary to, another disease or condition.
Secondary diabetes can be caused by a wide range of health problems that damage, injure, interfere with, or destroy the pancreas. For example, secondary diabetes may develop from inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), or cystic fibrosis. Some conditions increase the body's need for insulin, such as the overproduction of growth hormone or cortisol. Some medicines may also affect how the body uses insulin or prevent the pancreas from producing enough insulin.
If the underlying cause of secondary diabetes can be successfully treated, insulin production may improve or return to normal.
Last Revised: July 16, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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