What are the Pancreas?

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Every system and organ of our body is vital and on their proper functioning is dependent our health. Digestive system, nervous system, skeletal system etc. are some of the major systems of our body which work with the aid of various organs. For the digestion to be completed it needs the secretions of a few enzymes. The liver produces bile which helps in processing the fats, while the saliva has Ptyalin another enzyme which helps with the food getting broken down. There are other stomach and intestinal enzymes as well which help in the digestion of food. The digestive system has  pancreas which secrete insulin into the duodenal part of the digestive system. The insulin is what plays an important role in the regulation of the blood sugar. We are all aware of diabetes  which is caused due to insufficient production of Insulin. It is the pancreas that are the production site of this major enzyme. 


What are Pancreas?

The pancreas is a long, small and flat organ of approximately 18 to 25 cm length and is located just behind the stomach in the abdomen. It is placed much closer to duodenum and just above small intestine. It is pink or light tan in color and is segmented into lobules by covering made up of thin connective You do not have access to view this node. The right portion is the largest and is called head and lies in the first curve placed inside small intestine. The smallest You do not have access to view this node portion is tail and ends just before spleen.



Who identified Pancreas?

In the 2nd century B.C. Greek anatomist, Herophilus first identified You do not have access to view this node. But the name to this organ was given several hundred years after by another Greek scientist, Ruphos meaning ‘all flesh” as an indication for its fleshy appearance. Yet another discovery related to pancreas was made centuries later by Paul Langerhans, a German anatomist in 1869. He identified for the first time the hormone producing cells inside the You do not have access to view this node and the islets of Langerhans which are now being given his name.


How doPancreas work?

The pancreas is an important organ of our endocrine and digestive system. It makes enzymes and hormones like glucagon and insulin. The enzymes manufactured by pancreas very essential for digestion process. Injuries or diseases of pancreas can result in death or severe illness. Pancreas is made up of two types of functional You do not have access to view this node. They are:

  • Group cells or the islets of Langerhans: These portions of pancreas manufacture and store hormones.
  • Ducts termed as pancreatic acini: These portions of You do not have access to view this node make and store pancreatic enzymes  and bicarbonate ions which are used for neutralizing stomach acids.



What is the function of Pancreas?

Pancreas is a vital organ of endocrine and digestive system and manufactures and stores amylase, a type of digestive enzyme which helps in the digestion of starch. It also breaks down fat by producing lipase and stores a protein processor known as trypsin. The pancreas manufactures and stores glucagon, insulin and many other hormones. Glucagon and insulin are very important for maintaining the blood sugar. When the insulin drops the blood sugar level, glucagon helps it to rise as per the need of the body.

When the food comes down to the stomach and then ultimately to the duodenum, stomach and duodenum gives signal to the pancreas asking for secreting digestive enzymes. The digestive enzymes created in the pancreas are further transferred into the duodenum and here they break down fats, proteins, carbohydrates into small molecules of nutrients and neutralize the acids. These nutrients are then used by body for nourishment.


What happens when Pancreas malfunction?

Some of the common diseases of pancreas are diabetes, inflammation and cancer. Inflammation of pancreas is called as Pancreatitis, which is fatal disease and can occur due to multiple reasons like viral inflection, long term alcohol or drug abuse, cystic fibrosis, trauma and cancer. When the immune system attacks pancreas, a person suffers from Type 1 diabetes whereas when pancreas generate less insulin Type 2 diabetes occurs. Cancer of You do not have access to view this node is almost impossible to cure, and has a less than 5 percent survival rate of five years.


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