This is what quickly kills your pancreas and ways to prevent it.
The pancreas is a gland organ. It is located in the abdomen. It is part of the digestive system and produces insulin and other important enzymes and hormones that help break down foods.
The pancreas has an endocrine function because it releases juices directly into the bloodstream and it has an exocrine function because it releases juices in the ducts.
Enzymes of digestive juices are secreted by the pancreas into the small intestine, there it continues breaking down food that has left the stomach.
The pancreas is an organ that is 6 to 8 inches long. It extends horizontally across the abdomen.
A healthy pancreas produces chemicals to digest the food we eat.The pancreas is made up of two part with different functions.
– Exocrine part : this part secrete a clear watery alkaline juice which directly goes to the intestine and contains several enzymes, this enzymes break down food into small molecules that can be absorbed by the intestine they include;
• Trypsin and Chymotrypsin which digest proteins in intestine.
• Amylase which breaks down carbohydrates.
• lipase which breaks down fats into fatty acids and cholesterol.
-Endocrine portion (Islets of langerhans) which secretes insulin. The endocrine portion contain cells called beta cells which release insulin when blood sugar level rises.
• Insulin which helps move glucose ( blood sugar ) into the muscles and other tissue for use a energy and also helps the liver take excess glucose and store it for later.
What is pancreatitis and why does it happen:
Now that I have given you the full picture of what actually occurs and what the pancreas contain.
The enzymes inside the pancreas must be activated before they are secreted to act on food substances, should any of the processes to be compromised for any reason , the enzymes are activated within the pancreas itself. This means that the pancreas begins to digest itself using its own processes this enzymes then begin to break down the pancreas and trigger inflammation of the pancreas leading to what is called Pancreatitis.
In simple term ,when your pancreas becomes swollen or inflamed and cannot perform its functions this condition is called pancreatitis and because the pancreas is so closely tied to your digestive processes it affected by what you choose to eat.
Conditions that can lead to pancreatitis include;
– Abdominal surgery.
– Drugs ( heroin ).
– Cystic fibrosis.
– Hypercalcemia ( high calcium levels in the blood)
– Hypertriglyceridemia ( high triglycerides in the blood ).
– Injury to the abdomen.
– Pancreatic cancer.
Risk factors for pancreatitis;
Factors that increase your risk of pancreatitis include:
– Excessive alcohol consumption ( People who consume 4 to 5 drinks a day).
– Cigarette Smoking (smokers are more likely to develop chronic pancreatitis).
– Obesity ( you are more likely to get pancreatitis if you are obese).
– Family history of pancreatitis ( Due to genetic factors).
Forms of pancreatitis :
There are two main types of pancreatitis:
– Acute pancreatitis.
– Chronic pancreatitis.
Acute pancreatitis is sudden inflammation of the pancreas which may be mild or life threatening but usually subsides. Gallstones and alcohol abuse are the main causes of acute pancreatitis.
While chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve. It gets worse over time and lead to permanent damage. chronic pancreatitis eventually impairs a patient’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones.
Signs and symptoms :
– Acute pancreatitis signs and symptoms include;
• upper abdominal pain.
• abdominal pain that radiates to your back.
• abdominal pain that feels worse after eating
• fever and rapid pulse.
• nausea and vomiting.
• tenderness or pain when touching the abdomen.
– Chronic pancreatitis signs and symptoms include;
• Upper abdominal pain.
• Losing weight without effort or intention.
• Oily smelly stools ( steatorrhea ).
Make an appointment with a doctor or any health facility when you have persistent abdominal pain ,which sometimes it becomes Soo severe that you can’t sit still or find a position that makes you comfortable.
The best possible way to prevent pancreatitis is lifestyle modifications or living a healthy life. This can be achieved by ;
– Stoping smoking or not doing it at all.
– Exercise regularly.
– Avoid alcohol consumption.
– Maintain a healthy weight.
– Eat low fat diets ( Grains and fruits and vegetables)