The PANCREAS...what is it exactly?
Most people don’t know much about this organ, but in fact, it is an important part of the human body. It often goes unnoticed…until a problem occurs.
The pancreas is an organ within the digestive system, seated deep in the upper abdomen. It is behind the stomach and connects to the spleen. It empties out into the first part of the small intestine called the duodenum. Due to the location of the organ, and its sensitivity, it is not easily manipulated.
The pancreas serves two purposes - Endocrine and Exocrine functions:
The endocrine function allows for the production of insulin, which is imperative for the metabolism and regulation of blood glucose (the thing that keeps you from being diabetic). Millions of tiny cell clusters, called islets of Langerhans, manufacture these hormones from the pancreas.
The exocrine component aids in the digestion of food. Pancreatic juices filled with important enzymes flow into the small intestine and break down the carbohydrates, proteins and fats to allow absorption into the body.
Both of these features are vital to sustaining life. If the pancreas loses its function, a person becomes a brittle diabetic and has severe malabsorption issues. This is very dangerous and potentially deadly.
So now that you have learned a little about this important organ, watch a fun video by Weird Al here!
Spreading Awareness for Pancreas Research