What Does The Pancreas Do?
The pancreas is a small organ located in your abdomen near the stomach. It produces digestive enzymes (amylase) which help break down food into smaller pieces for digestion. These digestive enzymes are secreted from glands called pancreatic juice-secreting cells or PJECs.
Pancreatic juice secreting cells or PJECs are found throughout the body. They produce digestive juices that aid in digestion. Some of these fluids include: bile, pancreatin, chyme, mucus and pancreatic juice.
All of these fluids are produced by specialized cells called endocrine pancreases (EP). EP’s function is to regulate the secretion of digestive enzymes and other substances necessary for proper digestion.
When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it may cause symptoms such as:
Nausea and vomiting.
These symptoms usually begin within a few days after an injury or illness causes inflammation of the pancreas. Symptoms often improve over time with rest and treatment with medication.
The pancreas has two main functions:
Secreting enzymes to assist in the breakdown of food.
Helping control the levels of sugar in your blood.
The pancreas also produces hormones that help control blood sugar levels and insulin production. These hormones are important for the proper digestion of food. If you have diabetes, strict management of your blood sugar levels is important to prevent serious health problems.
What else do you need to know about pancreas?
The pancreas is a small organ that is part of the digestive system. It is located behind the stomach and in front of the spine. The pancreas has two parts: an endocrine part and an exocrine part. The endocrine pancreas produces hormones, including insulin, which control blood sugar levels. The exocrine pancreas produces enzymes that aid in digestion.
How do you test for pancreas?
Several different tests can be used to check for problems in the pancreas. The following are tests that your doctor may recommend for you:
Blood tests may show raised levels of certain hormones, such as glucagon and insulin.
A CT scan or MRI scan may be performed to check for problems in the pancreas.
An ultrasound scan may be performed to look for problems with the pancreas.
Other tests that your doctor may recommend are listed below.
- 150 mM HCO3 (-)–how does the pancreas do it? Clues from computer modelling of the duct cell (Y Sohma, MA Gray, Y Imai, BE Argent – Jop, 2001 – researchgate.net)
- Developmental biology of the pancreas (JM Slack – Development, 1995 – dev.biologists.org)
- The plastic pancreas (O Ziv, B Glaser, Y Dor – Developmental cell, 2013 – Elsevier)
- Intercellular signals regulating pancreas development and function (SK Kim, M Hebrok – Genes & development, 2001 – genesdev.cshlp.org)
- Facultative endocrine progenitor cells in the adult pancreas (Y Dor, DA Melton – Cell, 2008 – Elsevier)
- Sox9+ ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas (JL Kopp, CL Dubois, AE Schaffer, E Hao, HP Shih… – …, 2011 – dev.biologists.org)
- Pancreas-sparing duodenectomy for duodenal polyposis (JM Sarmiento, GB Thompson, DM Nagorney… – Archives of …, 2002 – jamanetwork.com)
- Pancreas divisum: results of surgical intervention (JA Gregg, AP Monaco, WV McDermott – The American Journal of Surgery, 1983 – Elsevier)