We all know the general anatomy of our gut such as the stomach, small intestine and large intestine. But not many of us bother to get to know about the parts that usually don’t get the attention they deserve, and this lack of attention could be the reason you don’t know more about them but their names in the first place. Pancreas is one of those body parts that’s not given much thought until something wrong goes with it.
The reason why you shouldn’t ignore this organ is that it’s a vital part of your digestive system and plays a crucial role in controlling blood sugar.
Here is what every woman should know about this tadpole-shaped organ that sits in your abdomen, near the stomach and intestines.
When you start eating, your pancreas releases essential enzymes and hormones including lipase and amylase, into the small intestine where they help break down protein and fats, thus, helps with the digestion.
Apart from the aforementioned digestive enzymes and hormones, your pancreas has specific cells called beta cells that produce insulin, a hormone that helps take away sugar from the foods you consume and moves it through your bloodstream and into your cells where it can be used for fuel. In people with type 1 diabetes, these beta cells are attacked by their immune system, which results in reduced production of insulin. In this case, your doctor will prescribe supplemental insulin several times a day to control the blood sugar levels.
Gallstones in the gallbladder can cause you to develop a condition called pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. These small, pebble-like masses can block the duct through which those digestive enzymes reach into the intestine from the pancreas. Signs that indicate that you have acute pancreatitis include fever, pain in the upper abdominal, vomiting and tenderness in the belly.
Drinking is another cause of pancreatitis. But if you think you don’t have to worry about it because you drink occasionally. Well, make no mistake because a single binge drinking session is as harmful as alcohol use over a long period and trigger an acute attack or cause low-level inflammation that can last for months to years. If your poop smells really bad or your stools float because your body isn’t digesting food as easily as it should, you may have pancreatitis.
Pancreatic cancer is perhaps not one of the most common cancers but it is one of the deadly ones. It is often not detected until it is too late to treat because there are often no signs and symptoms at early stages. The risk of disease is high in people who smoke, are overweight or have a family history of the condition.
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