October 22, 2006
Question from Auckland, New Zealand:
At the age of seven, I was diagnosed with nesidioblastosis after falling from a car. I am now 23. I was in hospital for nine months and was discharged after having a total pancreatectomy. Does nesidioblastosis have any other symptoms that can affect you later in life? Is there any hope, in the future, of having any functionality of a pancreas restored? After having a full pancreatectomy, how badly will my digestive system be affected? Does the lack of a pancreas affect anything else?
Without a pancreas, you have to have insulin replaced to control blood sugars and enzymes replaced to aid digestion. These forms of replacement are inefficient, but can allow one to lead a near-normal life. You may still have loose stools, trouble with absorption of some types of vitamins, and still have high blood sugars. There are patients who have received pancreas transplants for type 1 diabetes. Pancreas transplantation is not a common treatment for nesidioblastosis.