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Pancreatic Introduction

The pancreas is an organ that has two important functions in digestion: the production of enzymes to digest food and the production of hormones to control blood sugar. The pancreas is positioned beneath and behind the stomach in a location referred to as the retro peritoneum.

It is surrounded by the stomach, small intestine, spleen, and liver. The pancreas has a structural shape similar to a fish with the three main parts being the head, body, and tail.

The pancreas is responsible for producing enzymes to digest food. These enzymes pass through the pancreas into the intestine through a pipe referred to as the pancreatic duct. Without these enzymes, food is not digested and absorbed, leading to malnutrition, weight loss, and diarrhea.

The pancreas makes insulin and glucagon, two important hormones that control blood sugar. Patients who do not make enough insulin develop diabetes mellitus.

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