The Pancreas ~ What it’s for

The pancreas is probably an organ you’ve never really thought about. It is located in the upper part of your tummy (abdomen) behind your stomach, and is protected by your ribs in the back. The pancreas can be described as having a head, body and a tail. The head is located more toward your liver on the right, while the tail runs to your left, under your stomach, a nearly to your spleen. The pancreas has two general jobs which are very important = it releases digestive juices (enzymes) and that process is called an exocrine function. The other general job it does is putting different chemical messengers called hormones into your blood, which help with a wide variety of functions in your body. This job is called an endocrine process.

The pancreas releases hormones into the blood these help control your blood sugars (glucose). These two important chemicals are called insulin and glucagons.

The pancreas also makes several chemicals called digestive enzymes. These are released into your intestines when you eat to help digest your food.

The pancreas also releases a fluid that contains bicarbonate – basically, baking soda. This helps to balance, or neutralize, the acids coming into the intestine from the stomach.

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