Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pancreas: organ and its functions

The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen. The pancreas is positioned beneath and behind the stomach in a location referred to as the retroperitoneum. It is surrounded by the stomach, small intestine, spleen, and liver. It plays an essential role in converting the food into fuel for the body's cells. Pancreas can be thought of as “2 organs in 1”:

Exocrine portion 
•The exocrine function is devoted to secretion of digestive enzymes (such as amylase and lipase), ions and water into the intestine of the gastrointestinal (GI)tract. The digestive enzymes are necessary for converting a meal into molecules that can be absorbed across the surface lining of the GI tract into the body.
•Composed of acinar cells and ducts
•Comprises 80‐90% of the pancreas

Endocrine portion 
•Secretes hormones such as insulin and glucagon
•Composed of Islets of Langerhans

The regions of the pancreas are the head, body, tail and uncinate process. The pancreas is connected by the nervous system containing both sensory neurons and effector neurons. The sensory neurons function for pain perception so that diseases of the pancreas cause significant pain while the effect or neurons are involved in regulating the secretions of both the exocrine and endocrine pancreas.
Pancreas: organ and its functions
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