The Pancreas: A Vital Organ with Dual Functions
The pancreas, often referred to as the “hidden organ,” is situated in the abdominal cavity, behind the stomach, precisely located beneath the liver and between the stomach and the vertebral column.
The pancreas is composed of three main parts: the head, body, and tail. The head of the pancreas is enveloped by the duodenum.
Within the pancreas, there are small ducts (tubes) responsible for transporting fluids produced by the pancreas into the pancreatic duct. This duct conveys fluids along the length of the pancreas, from the tail to the head, and into the duodenum.
The common bile duct passes through the head of the pancreas, carrying bile from the liver and gallbladder into the small intestine. The bile ducts and the pancreatic duct meet just before entering the duodenum, having a common opening into the small intestine.
The pancreas produces juices and enzymes that traverse these ducts into the intestines, where they mix with food.
These enzymes play a crucial role in maintaining health by aiding in the digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, allowing them to be absorbed by the intestines.
Pancreatic juices have a significant impact on overall health.
The pancreas produces insulin, which is absorbed into the bloodstream that irrigates various organs. Insulin is essential for regulating blood sugar (glucose) levels.
The pancreas is an organ without which we cannot survive. It serves two vital functions within our body: endocrine and digestive.
Therefore, the pancreas is the only organ that secretes the enzymes responsible for breaking down sugar. Additionally, it produces hormones responsible for normalizing blood sugar levels.
This function is extremely important for our well-being because an imbalance in blood sugar can be life-threatening.
Given the importance of this organ, it is imperative to be aware of the signs that indicate it may be unwell:
What are the diseases of the pancreas?
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Acute Pancreatitis
- Chronic Pancreatitis
- Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency
- Pancreatic Cancer
What are the symptoms of an unhealthy pancreas:
- You have an inexplicable craving for meat.
- You feel an equally inexplicable need for sweet and fatty foods.
- After consuming alcohol, you feel extremely fatigued.
- After consuming fatty or sugary foods, you experience digestive issues.
- Post-meal fatigue, excessive sweating, and nausea.
- Heightened sensitivity to strong odors (e.g., boiled cabbage or perfume).
- Unexplained toothaches.
- There are unprovoked backaches in the shoulder blade area without any trauma to that area.
If you notice these symptoms in yourself, it is essential to consult a doctor.
Additionally, it is within our power to protect our pancreas from illness. To do this, it is necessary to limit the consumption of sugar-rich foods such as:
- Sugar itself
- White bread
- Excessive honey
- White rice
Furthermore, there are several foods that can help the pancreas perform its function correctly. These are fiber-rich foods, namely vegetables and fruits.
The following foods are very beneficial for the pancreas:
In conclusion, to maintain a healthy pancreas, it is as simple as avoiding foods that are detrimental and instead consuming healthier options. It’s all about making smart dietary choices!