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What is the normal functionality of the Pancreas – an essential organ of the body ?

Before trying to know the functionality of the pancreas, it is very important to what exactly the pancreas is. The Pancreas is an organ which is located deep in the abdomen in between the abdomen and the duodenum. It is considered to be a gland organ which contains both endocrine as well as exocrine glands. The endocrine gland present in the pancreas is responsible for the production of many important hormones like insulin, somatostatin, and glucagon. On the other hand the exocrine gland present in the pancreas is responsible for the secretion of various digestive juices which pass to the small intestine and promote the proteins, lipids and carbohydrates break down hence leading to a proper digestion. The glands present in the pancreas have their own functionality. This article will give detailed information on the normal functionality of the pancreas.
The functions of the pancreas are divided into the functionalities of the two parts of the pancreas, namely endocrine pancreas and exocrine pancreas. Following are the functionalities of the Endocrine Pancreas:

Functionality of the Endocrine Pancreas:
The Endocrine Pancreas is responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of the hormones which are produced by the endocrine glands. These hormones, which are produced by the endocrine cells, are released into the bloodstream instead of ducts. The endocrine gland of the pancreas consists of four types; one of the most important being the beta cell. These cells are arranged in the form of small islands. Therefore these cells are also called islet cells or pancreas islets. Beta cells present in the endocrine glands are responsible for the production of insulin and releasing it into the bloodstream, which indicates the body cells to commence using fresh nutrients obtained from the food. Other types of cells present in the endocrine gland are not so commonly known but their functionality includes the production of other hormones like somatostatin, glucagon, and pancreatic polypeptide.
The glucagon hormone by the cells of the endocrine gland is responsible to signal the liver to produce glucose and release it into the blood to increase the level of glucose present in the blood. The hormones, insulin as well as glucagon are essential for maintaining the blood sugar level.
Somatostatin is the hormone responsible for the regulation of production of other endocrine hormones and slowing down the production of hormones like insulin and glucagon.

Functionality of the Exocrine Gland:
Exocrine glands of the pancreas organ deals with the digestion process of the body. There are two types of cells present in the exocrine glands which secrete various digestive juices and promote the digestion of the food. These two types of cells are called the acinar cells and the duct cells.
The Acinar cells of the exocrine glands are essential for the secretion of the biological scissors which is a very important enzyme for digestion. These enzymes are in an inactive form so that they do not digest the pancreas itself and this inactive form is called the zymogen.
The duct cells of the pancreas are responsible for making the pancreatic juice by mixing a fluid secreted by it with the zymogen. The food that passes through the stomach gets mixed up with this digestive juice and gets neutralized due to the bicarbonates present in the juice.

Therefore the pancreatic function as a whole is to look after the hormone production as well as the production of the digestive juices. Any problems persisting in these two systems may cause severe pancreatic problems including pancreatic cancer which is considered to be one of the most dangerous of the cancers.

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