Pancreas Location and Function


Do you know where the pancreas location is? If not, then read on and know more about its location and functions as well.

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The pancreas is an organ which is part of both the digestive and the endocrine systems. This organ produces important hormones that assist our small intestines during digestion and also help absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. Most of the time, the pancreas usually goes unnoticed and only a few take note of this organ. People, generally, will only get interested if something goes wrong.

Location of the Pancreas

The pancreas location is settled deep in our abdomen, right behind our stomach. It is a fish-shaped organ which is around 6 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. The head of the pancreas is connected to the first section of the small intestine called the duodenum, while the tail part extends itself to the left side of our body.

To help you get a better picture of its location, raise your right hand. Press together your pinkie finger and your thumb while the remaining three middle fingers should keep still and straight. Place your right hand at your belly just below your ribs, with your fingers pointing to the left. The location of your hand will be exact same level as the location of your pancreas.

Because of its deep location, problems related to the pancreas may only be recognized when pain is felt. Any pain caused by problems in our pancreas is usually felt just below the breastbone. The pain would likely stay for several days, but if the pain persists longer than it should, you should have it check right away.

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As you may well know, pancreatic cancer may occur without any symptoms and will only be discovered until tumors get large enough to be felt by pressing or when the tumor already interferes with other nearby organs’ functions. Though the pancreas is a very important organ, it can be surgically removed. But when doing this, you should have your insulin level monitored as often as possible and receive insulin injection just to stay alive.

Function of the Pancreas

Our pancreas is made up of two glands – the exocrine and the endocrine glands. The exocrine gland secretes the digestive enzymes and the pancreas helps break down the nutrients from the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and acids. These enzymes are transported down to the pancreatic duct and towards the bile duct. However, these are still in their inactive forms. Only when these inactive enzymes reach the duodenum do they start to get activated.

The endocrine gland secretes hormones and products directly to our blood vessels while our pancreas makes several hormones and pancreatic juices to help our small intestine digest food. Some of the hormones secreted by the pancreas are insulin, glucogon, amylin, ghrelin, among others that help regulate our body’s hunger and blood glucose.

Our pancreas’ basic function is to keep our digestive system working normally and maintain our blood glucose level as healthy as possible. And though the pancreas location may be hidden deep in our abdomen, it is still an important part of the body so it should be treated kindly to serve us better.

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