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Pancreas Basics

The pancreas is 6 to 8 inch gland organ composed of mostly exocrine tissue
It is located above the duodenum horizo­ntally
The pancreas has a duct running through it that extends into smaller branches which is connected to the duodenum through a duct
The pancreas produces enzymes that aid in digestion and islets of Langerhans

Sections of the Pancreas



Functions of the Pancreas

Exoc­rince Function
Endo­crine Function
Produce enzymes that
assist digestion
occurring in the small intestine
The endocrine function of the pancreas is based off of the islet cells (AKA islets of Langer­hans)
Enzymes include trypsin
for proteins, amylase for carbs, and lipase for fats
The cells are in grape like structures within the pancreas that release insulin and glucagon directly to the blood stream
When food is in the
stomach the pancreas releases its enzymes
(known as pancreatic juices) through the pancreatic duct that
joins the common bile duct to form the ampulla of Vater that connects to the duodenum (first part of the small intestine)
Insulin lowers blood sugar and is often in the body after a big meal
The enzymes help digest fats, carboh­ydr­ates, and proteins so they can be absorbed by the body as useful nutrients
Glucagon raises blood sugar levels
Keeping stable blood sugar levels is crucial to the function of the brain, liver, and kidneys

Role in Homeos­tasis

Balance blood sugar by releasing insulin or glucagon
Help the body digest macro-­mol­ecules crucial in providing the body energy

Location of the pancreas

The pancreas is located to some of the major blood vessels to facilitate the release of hormones into the bloods­tream


Role in Systems

Active in the endocrine system by releasing hormones insulin and glucagon. Contri­butes to the digestive system by producing enzymes for the small intestine.

Pancreatic Disorders

Acute or chronic inflam­mation of the pancreas due to premature release of enzymes in the pancreas and not the small intestine
Type 1 Diabetes
Innability for pancreas to produce insulin or glucagon
Type 2 Diabetes
Body tissue is resistant to glucagon and insulin thereby not responding to exposure of the hormone

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