What is Pancreas?
Pancreas is a gland i.e. 20 cm long situated behind the stomach and is close to the duodenum in the small intestine.
Functions and importance of Pancreas:
It is an organ of the digestive system and has both exocrine and endocrine functions:
- Production and secretion of the hormones, such as insulin and glucagon.
- Regulation of Blood Sugar Level
- Secretion of pancreatic juice into the duodenum.
- Helps and aid digestion of food, particularly protein.
Common Diseases associated with Pancreas:
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
- Hereditary Pancreatitis
- Pancreatic Cancer
Definition: Inflammation of the pancreas that develops quickly. About 80,000 cases of pancreatitis occur in the US every year.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Abdominal pain. It usually settles in a few days but sometimes it becomessevere and very serious. The most common causes of acute pancreatitis are gallstones and drinking a lot of alcohol.
- Change in Stool color: Pale yellow, foul smelling stool
- Malabsorption of fat
- Abdominal pain.
- Pancreatitis can be an acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term) condition.
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain that may radiate to the back
- Pain that worsens after eating
- Chills and fever
- Tenderness of the abdomen to touch
- Lethargy and weakness
Diagnosis: blood and imaging tests.
Treatment: Immediate hospitalization; however, treatment of chronic pancreatitis may be managed in an outpatient setting.
Complications of pancreatitis may include: