The pancreas, a triangular-shaped organ in the human body, has an important function. There are two main functions of the pancreas, but they are very much needed to maintain a healthy body, especially in the digestive system and metabolism. Come on, find out more about the pancreas and its various roles below!
What is Pancreas
Let’s first know what is the pancreas?
The pancreas is an organ that is part of the human digestive system.
The pancreas organ has a tapered triangular shape and is often said to resemble a fish. The location of the pancreas is at the back of the stomach, close to several organs in the stomach, namely the stomach, intestines and gallbladder. The length of the pancreas organ is about 12-18 cm and has a width of about 3.8 cm.
Parts of the Pancreas
The pancreas organ is divided into 4 parts, namely the head, neck, body and tail. Come on, understand the explanation of each part of the pancreas below.
The widest part of the pancreas organ is the head area. The function of the head of the pancreas is its role in digestion because the bile duct which is located in this area is useful for digestion.
The pancreas also has a neck area which is about 2 cm long. The function of the pancreas in the neck is as a link between the head and the body.
The location of the body part of the pancreas is behind the head of the pancreas which extends to the left. The body of the pancreas is the longest part of the pancreas organ with the front covered by peritoneum or dense tissue that lines the abdomen.
At the back of the body, the pancreas is the part that is close to the spine and is behind the other organs in the stomach.
Behind the body of the pancreas there are large blood vessels so that the function of the pancreas is to carry blood to the pancreas.
The tail of the pancreas is the last part of the anatomy of the pancreas organ. It is round in shape and is on the left side of the body of the pancreas. The location of the tail of the pancreas is close to the spleen and is above the left kidney.
The tail may be smaller than the other parts, but the tail area of the pancreas is very important for hormone production.
Location of the Pancreas in the Body
The location of the pancreas is indeed at the back of the stomach, but it is clear that the pancreas is between the spinal cord and the stomach, above the left and right kidneys . Or, you could also say that the location of the pancreas is between the duodenum and the spleen with the top adjacent to the stomach.
The main overall function of the pancreas is to maintain digestion and metabolism, but for the pancreas to do this, it needs to function properly. The pancreas functions to maintain the digestive system and metabolism in the following ways:
The function of the exocrine pancreas is to produce enzymes that are used when digesting food in the small intestine. The pancreas functions to produce enzymes in the pancreatic gland and is secreted and then channeled into the pancreatic duct to be carried to the small intestine.
There are several enzymes produced by the pancreas, let’s find out what they are and the function of each of these enzymes:
- Lipase: Digests fats in food
- Protease: Breaks down protein in food and converts it into amino acids
- Amylase: Digests carbohydrates in food then broken down into simple sugars, such as glucose
- Nuclease: Digests nucleic acids in food such as DNA and RNA
In addition to exocrine cells, the pancreas also has endocrine cells. The function of the pancreas with endocrine cells is to produce hormones that regulate blood sugar levels and the body’s metabolism.
The hormones produced by endocrine cells are insulin, glucagon and somatostatin. Come on, find out the function of each hormone below!
- Insulin: functions to lower blood sugar levels by making all cells in the body use glucose as an energy source.
- Glucagon: The function of glucagon is to increase blood sugar levels by stimulating the liver to release glucose that is still in the form of glycogen.
- Somatostatin: The function of somatostatin is to inhibit the production of insulin and glucagon so that blood sugar levels become regular.
Diseases of the pancreas can occur and diseases that can arise due to disruption of pancreatic function are:
If the endocrine cells in the pancreas are disrupted, it can cause diabetes. This is because one of the functions of the pancreas is to produce insulin and if it is damaged, the body cannot produce insulin, so blood sugar levels will increase.
Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas occurs when a blockage of the pancreatic duct causes digestive enzymes to enter the pancreatic tissue and damage it. If pancreatitis occurs, then a person can feel abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever and bleeding.
This condition occurs when the pancreas does not function properly so it does not produce enough enzymes for digestion which will cause difficulty for the body to properly digest food. If this happens it can cause diarrhea, bloating and weight loss.
Pancreatic cancer can occur when abnormal cells grow in the pancreas and divide uncontrollably. Pancreatic disease in the form of cancer is a disease that is very difficult to detect and to treat.
The occurrence of cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes abnormalities in the pancreas and lungs. If a person suffers from cystic fibrosis, then they can suffer digestive problems, respiratory problems and the risk of developing diabetes increases.
Pancreatic Islet Tumor and Pancreatic Enlargement
Islet tumors that occur in the pancreas can be a condition that causes a decrease in hormone production. In addition, it can also cause enlargement of the pancreas.
Pancreatic pseudocyst disease has a cavity with fluid in it. This condition occurs after pancreatitis and the way to treat pancreatic pseudocysts is surgery. But this doesn’t always happen because it can also heal by itself.
Disrupted pancreatic function can cause liver dysfunction, causing health problems in the body, such as liver cirrhosis.