Pancreatic Regeneration: What IF The Human Pancreas Can Regenerate?

By | August 3, 2014
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pancreatic-regenerationI’ve thought a lot about pancreatic regeneration. In fact I’ve tried to research it as my time allows. Most people know that the human liver will regenerate itself and that a small amount, maybe 25% of a normal, healthy liver can be transplanted into a human and that liver will regrow to normal size.  What if the human pancreas will also undergo pancreatic regeneration? I brought up this subject in a previous post on my other pancreatitis blog. In fact, this is pretty much the same posts that were written 3 years ago except it is all one post instead of I believe two or 3. The more research I do the more I begin to believe that the human pancreas can regenerate its own tissue. As you read this post you’ll find others believe the same.

pancreas-regenerationPancreatic regeneration would explain a lot to me and answer questions I have. I am going to bore you by going back over old ground because it is important to understand WHY I am beginning to believe there is in fact a possibility of pancreatic regeneration.

If you go back over older posts and re-read my story you will note where Dr. Langdon did a “Dr. House” maneuver to enable him to confirm his suspicion of pancreatitis. He used two drugs (injected) that caused me to have an acute pancreatitis attack in his office.

He drew blood every 30 minutes until my enzymes spiked and then he drew blood I think twice more and asked me how many times this had happened and after I told him many times he said I should be dead. That was as blunt as he ever became in regards to death. Ok …

So, I have wondered over the years WHY my last CT scan was clean. My current doctor didn’t believe I had experienced either acute or chronic pancreatitis. In order to get my current doctor to prescribe my nausea drugs I had to prove what I said because my CT scan showed no damage. I had to call Dr. Langdon’s old firm and luckily they had my records in storage and were able to pull them and send them to my current doctor. Now …

pancreas-regenerationMy current doctor was amazed.

Of course he said that it was OLD material but I asked him if he thought there is a cure for Pancreatitis?

And of course he said no.

And so I asked him “since there is no cure and the guy who diagnosed me is one of those rare, brilliant men who writes papers for NEJM to share with other docs so they can learn and now teaches at the largest med school in Texas don’t you think there is a very real possibility he was quite correct in his diagnosis?”

Of course my doc said yes and gave me my nausea drugs.

If you remember Dr. Langdon did a CT scan and endoscopy (after the in-office pancreatitis attack) and then told me I might have 10 years until I couldn’t eat anything and would need a pancreas transplant and that they usually didn’t go well. He never came right out and said I’d be dead in 10 years. He also never came out and said I had pancreas damage either. But my abdomen was VERY tender and he must have come to his prognosis of transplant etc from something don’t you think? Anyway …

After he left for Texas something happened. I had been having recurrent attacks quite frequently. After a bad one I noticed this LUMP about center mass where it was most tender. I had NO doc, he was in Texas and you know about my personal experience with most doctors so I just never had it checked out. So I do NOT know what that lump was. But …

It was NOT a pretty picture. I was NOT well, it was hell. But …

Cut-Fat-OffThe more fat I cut from my diet the more well I became. Then I started drinking grapefruit juice (’81 or ’82) and my attacks stopped. That made life a lot more pleasant. Heck I even began to think I might live. Now let’s flash forward to 1994. That’s when I found grape seed extract.

With diet and grapeseed extract I began feeling like my world had changed for the better. In 1995 I found curcumin. I had enough research behind me to where I started doing Vit C, grape seed and curcumin. I started feeling even better.

vegan-cookingThen, cuz I wasn’t quite pain free I decided to go completely vegan.

What an amazing difference!

In a short time I actually felt good! Now …

I can not tell you what a short time was because I didn’t write it down but I’m thinkin’ about 6 months into the vegan thing coupled with all 3 supplements.

I noticed the lump was gone and stayed gone.

My abdomen began to feel normal, not tender all the time.

In about a year I felt almost great! So …

What IF that lump was a cyst or swollen damaged tissue? What IF, after years of MY rigid regimen of diet and supplements, my pancreas actually healed itself? I am not saying that IS what happened, I am just saying “What IF?” And …

That is WHY my last pancreas CT scan was clean?

Pancreatic Regeneration: What Does Science Say?

medical-science-about-pancreatic-regenerationOk, if you have not been to my Squidoo page and already read the 10 pieces of research I have there you should go and read. You can see them here. It is pretty cool stuff and makes one think.

I am always looking for new scientific evidence to prove that my thoughts may be at least somewhat correct and one of my blog readers left a comment with a link to an article that I feel you must read. It is mainly about alcohol, it’s role in alcoholic pancreatitis and the close relationship between the pancreas and the liver in regards to alcohol and it’s role in creating an atmosphere conducive to pancreatic disease (pancreatitis) and liver disease. It is a fairly complicated, in-depth article however; if you still drink alcohol this article may help you to understand why you need to quit drinking alcohol and of course more importantly why it is necessary in order to create an atmosphere conducive to pancreatic tissue regeneration after damage due to pancreatitis.

This is an exceptional article (in pdf format so you can save it to your computer) that may instill hope for those who wish to someday feel good again. Read it here.

I wish to thank my reader for sending me the link to this information because I had not found it myself and I learned something that I thought may be possible is in all actuality quite probable. Enjoy the read it is great information about alcoholic pancreatitis with a section on pancreatic regeneration but may seem like eating cardboard to some. It is VERY scientifically intense. Alcoholic pancreatitis: Lessons from the liver

Pancreatic Beta Cell Regeneration

yuval-dorYuval Dor, Ph.D., a professor at the Institute for Medical Research Israel- Canada, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, led the study which shows for the first time that a high rate of glucose metabolism, a process that converts glucose into energy that cells can use, triggers beta cells to regenerate. Coupled with a mechanism that prevents the immune system from attacking beta cells in the first place, the long-awaited finding may help pave the way to a full cure for type 1 diabetes. The study, which took five years to complete, was published in the April 6 issue of Cell Metabolism.

“Our work shows that as glucose is metabolized, it tells the beta cells to regenerate,” says Dor, who is also a 2010 recipient of the JDRF Gerold and Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award. “It’s not blood glucose per se that is the signal, but the glucose-sensing capacity of the beta cell that’s key for regeneration.” Read the whole article.

Earlier research by Yuval Dor and associates. Read.

Using Stem Cells To Promote Pancreatic Regeneration

Stem-CellsOf course they are working with stem cells to learn whether or not stem cells can help regenerate pancreatic B cells, reverse autoimmune disease and more. If some of this is achievable it may be a big boon for type 1 and insulin dependant type 2 diabetics.

“Our young diabetic patients must check their blood glucose levels and be injected with insulin at least 4 times a day. Concurrently, they live with the constant threat of incidents secondary to unpredictable acute hypoglycemic episodes and the ever-present worry of chronic complications. Although human ES cell research carries with it enormous scientific potential in the treatment and possible cure of many diseases, in the near future, the advances in the realm of immunoregulation may precede those in the stem cell arena. To me, finding safe ways to block autoimmunity seems to be the first goal we should achieve in order to give our patients a reliable solution to their heavy, lifelong burden, since it is a prerequisite for both the efficient use of an ES cell–based therapy and the reestablishment of euglycemia capitalizing on the pancreatic regenerative pathway.” Read the whole article here.

Pancreatic Regeneration After Pancreatitis

I think it’s possible. I’ve thought so for several years. Another reader left a link to an intriguing article abstract which shares a very compelling case study. “It does for example seem very likely that the pancreas has the ability to regenerate according to this report”  – Jake. You can read Jake’s original comment on this post: Plant Based Diet Heals The Pancreas

If one pancreas can undergo pancreatic regeneration after resection as the above article suggests then yours may do the same under the proper circumstances. When proper diet and highly effective, anti-inflammatory supplements are used correctly it is my opinion that pancreatic regeneration is possible. Just another comment from another reader that made me sit up and take notice: “Yesterday I got the results from a recent CT scan, (which is a more precise form of diagnosis than ultrasound) and to my suprise they found “no evidence of disease in pancreas”. This means that the scarring in my pancreas has healed in less than a year and I stand a much better chance of escaping this horrible disease, and the future looks bright!” You can read the original comment on my other blog right here in the comment section.

14 thoughts on “Pancreatic Regeneration: What IF The Human Pancreas Can Regenerate?

  1. Frank S

    Hi Healthy Guy

    I’m sorry if this post is a duplicate but I think something went wrong with my browser during my first post.

    I was a really heavy drinker for many years. I’ve been having some serious symptoms for three months now so I quit drinking. Two months ago I went to hospital because I got scared by the symptoms and told the GI I was an alcoholic. They had abdominal ultrasound (no CT) and blood tests done. Then the GI came and told me there was nothing wrong with me. I hope that at least they are right about my liver but anyway…

    But I keep having those serious symptoms and I’m afraid to say it but…from all I read on other sites and your blog I have symptoms of pancreatitis. I’ve read and checked the symptoms several times and yes, I have them, and I’m damn scared but then it is all my fault I got the disease.

    So doctors seem to have trouble diagnosing some conditions, really. I don’t want to go another hospital for another wrong diagnosis.

    I happen to live in Texas and you mentioned your doc Langdon moved to Texas…does he still practice there and if so, would you know how I can contact him, please?


    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Frank, sorry to hear you are not well. I tried locating Dr. Langdon but didn’t follow up with who I found that may be him. I imagine, since that was 35 years ago and he was middle aged then that he is probably retired if he’s still alive. He may be still alive if this is him. If you call and are able to talk with him ask him if he ever practiced at “the rockwood clinic” in 1979. If so that would be him. If it is him he is an absolute diamond of a doctor and probably saved my life.

  2. Amy

    This post gives me hope.

    I have a history of alcohol abuse although I haven’t been a drinker for at least 10 years, and drank only very sporadically, in a recidivist manner, in the 10 years before that.

    BUT…I did eat A LOT of crap food (processed, fast food) after I slowed down the drinking. Traded one addiction for another. I honestly suspect the crap food may have been worse for me than the booze. But c’est la vie.

    I never had pancreatitis before a few months ago (that I can pinpoint, although there were some episodes after drinking that could have been), but my blood sugar control steadily declined, especially in the last 8 years (since I first got a meter and started checking it). So I’ve suspected for a while my pancreas is not quite up to snuff.

    Then I took some pancreatic glandulars (whole tissue, not just enzymes) back around March or April and have been having occasional acute pancreatitis attacks ever since. Always in response to food. It took me about three attacks to figure out what was going on, since I’d never had this happen before. The pain radiating into the back was the tipper. The attacks never last longer than 8 hours from the first ominous twinge to abatement of symptoms, but a couple of them have been very, very unpleasant. Interestingly, I’ve found that deliberately getting all the food out of my stomach (via induced vomiting) usually leads to a resolution of symptoms. The sooner I start vomiting,the sooner I have resolution of symptoms. But it can take a while (like, a few hours) since you have to clear everything that might provoke your pancreas or gall bladder to continue to work, and is most unpleasant unto itself (aside from the pancreatitis). But shortly after I get those last few chunks out is always when the symptoms of the attack go away. Sorry for TMI.

    I haven’t seen a doctor yet (in a few weeks) but this post gives me hope I can beat this. I’ve revolutionized my health in the last couple years, and except for this everything (including blood sugar control) is on a big upswing. I don’t want to live my life with the threat of pancreas damage and decline in function hanging over my head.

    Thanks, Health Guy!

    1. The Health Guy Post author

      You’re welcome Amy. You may want to see a doc. It is important to actually know what is wrong. You could have gallbladder issues. Vomiting (according to medical sites) doesn’t usually reduce the pain of pancreatitis BUT it does with GB issues. Yet, nothing is 100%. So what it (the info from med sites) may or may not be true. It only stands to reason that ridding the entire digestive tract (not just the stomach) of offending foods could do remarkedly well towards helping relieve the inflammation of the pancreas. I have personally experienced the same. That is exactly why I formulated the food diary prep with a fast and enemas. To cleanse out all offending foods. If “purge vomiting” works for you great. Sounds like real fun lol. I simply prefer to expell it from the other end. 🙂

  3. Shawn

    Glade to see this site is still up! People read it, love it and live it! This information will change your life for the better just stick with it. I posted on this site that I was Dx with CP Dec 18th 2014 via Endoscopic ultrasound, I also had a CT and regular abdominal ultrasound which showed scaring/fatty infiltration of the head, my Doc said I had 30/40 percent damage throughout the pancreas. I immediately made all the life style changes as recommended in this site. I also went on the “Gerson Therapy”. I have been doing 10 juices per day and sticking to the strict diet and yes doing upside down coffee. I have been on this therapy plus diet change for 1 year. In Oct of 2015 I had an abdominal ultrasound performed at the Mayo and the results are normal no fatty infiltration or scaring can be seen, now this is not as accurate as ESU but I have my life back! Thank you Healthy Guy keep this site alive so other may live!

    1. The Health Guy Post author

      AWESOME news Shawn! I REALLY like hearing really cool success stories like yours! You’re welcome but ALL the Glory goes to Almighty God! Keep doing what you are doing and stay well! Oh and THANK YOU for posting this comment! Your story will give others hope and the will to not just survive but possibly thrive! Thank you Shawn! 🙂

  4. Bob

    Why is there all social media crap in the middle of your site! Hard to read! Vertical and horizontal!

    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hey Bob – the social media crap is there to enhance distribution of this material so that others can possibly be able to read it due to the fact that some kind person like yourself shared a post they found valuable. However … Since this is the second time I’ve heard this complaint from those who obviously are using a phone to read my stuff I have taken the “floating icons” down. They were not suppose to activate on small screens but obviously they do. Hopefully taking the floating icons down rectifies the problem.

  5. Kristin

    Have you had any scans other than CT? Is it possible you just had acute cases of pancreatitis? That resolves. I still value your experience and diet recommendations and am working on reducing fat and animal protein while trying not to lose anymore weight. Just wondering.

    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Kristin – I had endoscopy, CT, glucose tolerance. The doc who diagnosed me (personally did the endoscopy and ordered the first CT) said I already had CP (AP too) and in about 10 years would no longer be able to eat anything. The last CT (2005 I think) I had was clear. A couple other people (one testimony is on my about page) who have had damage show on scans have had clear scans after being on the diet and supplements for a year or so.

  6. Spero

    Had a question about alcohol. It seems like alcohol is one of the worst offenders to pancreatitis. Ive been reading The Primal Panacea which is about healing (by God’s grace) with large doses of vitamin C. But the problem is in order to get it into your tissues you either need to take it by IV or lipsomally. Lipsomal Vit C has perhaps a teaspoon of strait alcohol (like vodka) per serving. Would this amount be harmful to the pancreas, say 12 times per day? Thank you for any thoughts!

    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hi Spero – I’d avoid anything with alcohol, especially in amounts that you mention. Vitamin C is water soluble and any excess that is not absorbed is excreted.

  7. Peter V.

    Bad timing. Man, I wish I found this thread of conversations 2 years ago once I first got hit with my initial bout with Acute Pancreatitis. It would have saved me a lot of pain and suffering from my second go around late in this past fall. I too had developed AP and CP because of alcoholism and a poor diet. I started hearing rumors that taking certain acid reflux medications could have been a trigger for pancreatitis to break out.

    I was about a year to 18 months clear after recovering from my first bout of pancreatitis and then I let me guard down and got sloppy with my eating habits. I allowed myself to eat 3 slices of pizza and half-a bag of Doritos and bang… next day woke up at 5:30am with a full blown attack – throwing up everything until my toes curled. Being in denial about this not being a life long sentence has really caused me a new financial burden on my life which was of my own doing.

    I’m going to read further into the recommendations on taking grapeseed extract, Vitamin C and Curcumin to jump start my recovery. I’ve already cut back and limited my fat intake to no more than 30 grams per day. After losing 33 pounds in a month from the onset of this recent chronic pancreatitis attack, it’s made me realize, I need to do something to correct the damage I’ve done to myself. I just wish there was a financial support group available to help pay for this new mountain of medical debt my recent stay in the hospital has bestowed upon me. The stress from these hospitalizations and the CT scans, endoscopy procedures to drain the cysts and dealing with the body having to learn to eat solid food again is not a fun journey I’d curse on my worst enemy in life. Any suggestions on helping financially would be the biggest help in my life now.

    1. The Health Guy Post author

      Hey Peter V. – sorry to hear you have been unwell. I know it isn’t fun. The only things I can suggest regarding financial help is to find out if you qualify for medicaid or a similar program. Sometimes hospitals offer hardship aid. You might check with your hospital admin. Good luck.


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