What Can Happen If The Pancreas Stops Working?
Food consists of carbohydrates (e.g. starch), proteins (e.g. meat), and fat (e.g. butter), and digestion is not possible without the enzymes produced by the pancreas. All the body’s cells use glucose (sugar) as an energy source. The level of sugar in the blood is kept constant by insulin, which is made by special cells in the pancreas. If the cells are not working properly and insulin is lacking then diabetes develops. Depending upon how badly the pancreas fail there are two problems. The first is that food is poorly absorbed, which causes weight loss, and there is diarrhea, often rather fatty as the undigested fat causes pale, bulky and smelly motions. The second is, if too little insulin is made, diabetes develops with frequent passage of urine and weight loss. Failure of Pancreas may cause: Pseudocyst. Acute pancreatitis can cause fluid and debris to collect in cystlike pockets in your pancreas. A large pseudocyst that ruptures can cause complications such as internal bleeding and infection. Infection. Acute pancreatitis can make your pancreas vulnerable to bacteria and infection. Pancreatic infections are serious and require intensive treatment, such as surgery to remove the infected tissue. Kidney failure. Acute pancreatitis may cause kidney failure, which can be treated with dialysis if the kidney failure is severe and persistent. Breathing problems. Acute pancreatitis can cause chemical changes in your body that affect your lung function, causing the level of oxygen in your blood to fall to dangerously low levels. Diabetes. Damage to insulin-producing cells in your pancreas from chronic pancreatitis can lead to diabetes, a disease that affects the way your body uses blood sugar. Malnutrition. Both acute and chronic pancreatitis can cause your pancreas to produc Continue reading >>
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How Long Can You Really Live When A Pancreas Quits Working? | Yahoo Answers
How long can you really live when a pancreas quits working? Are you sure you want to delete this answer? Best Answer: I think this is related to diabetes? Well, if your pancreas stops working, you will require insulin, either from shots or an insulin pump. Your body cannot get the nutrients from food without proper levels of insulin. (Weight loss is a big symptom) Insulin helps in the digestive process and helps your cells get their required nutrients. When you're diagnosed, it's scary, but you can still live a normal live. Test your blood sugar 6 times a day and try to get on the insulin pump. You can actually live without your pancreas, though probably not too long without medical assistance. If your pancreas were completely destroyed, your biggest immediate problem would be a complete lack of insulin, which would need to be replaced quickly (difficult to say how quickly, hours to days) or you would develop DKA (DiabeticKetoAcidosis), and eventually end up in a coma and then die. If you were to replace your insulin, you would have to be very careful of hypoglycemia because you can no longer produce glucagon, one of the important counter-regulatory hormones for insulin (it's effects are largely opposite to those of insulin). Finally, you would be unable to digest foods well, especially fats, but we have replacement supplements for pancreatic enzymes as well. All in all, life would be pretty hard, but not entirely impossible. This is called type 1 diabetes! You can live a couple of months tops unless you inject insulin. Before insulin was discovered (only about 100 years ago) people used to eat weired diets of moss and other crazy things to prolong their lives but lost extreme amounts of weight before dying. This is still happening in some countries where children are Continue reading >>
5 Warning Signs Your Pancreas Is In Trouble
Quick, say the first thing that pops into your head when you read the word "pancreas." If you said "cancer," you're not alone. Most people only think about their pancreas when they hear about pancreatic cancer—which is the deadliest form of cancer in terms of 5-year survival rates. "Part of the reason survival rates are so low is that identifying pancreatic cancer early is difficult," says Andrew Hendifar, MD, codirector of pancreas oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Early detection is also tough when it comes to non-cancer pancreas problems, says Ted Epperly, MD, president of Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. Tucked deep in your abdomen, your pancreas is a long, flat organ that produces enzymes and hormones that aid in digestion. While symptoms of pancreas issues can be persnickety, both Epperly and Hendifar say there are a handful of warning signs that warrant a call to your doctor. Here are 5 of them. (Want to pick up some healthier habits? Sign up to get healthy living tips delivered straight to your inbox!) If you notice your stool is light colored and floating, that's a sign of poor nutrient absorption. (Here are 7 things your poop says about your health.) "The enzymes your pancreas produces help you digest fats in your diet," Hendifar explains. Along with breaking down fats, your pancreas helps your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A, E, and K, he says. When pancreatic disease messes with your organ's ability to properly manufacture those enzymes, the result is feces that looks paler and is less dense. You may also notice your poop is oily or greasy. "The toilet water will have a film that looks like oil," Hendifar says. That's the dietary fat your body failed to break down, he explains. If you notice your poop looks funky now and th Continue reading >>
An Overview Of The Pancreas
Pancreas Essentials The pancreas maintains the body’s blood glucose (sugar) balance. Primary hormones of the pancreas include insulin and glucagon, and both regulate blood glucose. Diabetes is the most common disorder associated with the pancreas. The pancreas is unique in that it’s both an endocrine and exocrine gland. In other words, the pancreas has the dual function of secreting hormones into blood (endocrine) and secreting enzymes through ducts (exocrine). The pancreas belongs to the endocrine and digestive systems—with most of its cells (more than 90%) working on the digestive side. However, the pancreas performs the vital duty of producing hormones—most notably insulin—to maintain the balance of blood glucose (sugar) and salt in the body. Without this balance, your body is susceptible to serious complications, such as diabetes. Anatomy of the Pancreas The pancreas is a 6 inch-long flattened gland that lies deep within the abdomen, between the stomach and the spine. It is connected to the duodenum, which is part of the small intestine. Only about 5% of the pancreas is comprised of endocrine cells. These cells are clustered in groups within the pancreas and look like little islands of cells when examined under a microscope. These groups of pancreatic endocrine cells are known as pancreatic islets or more specifically, islets of Langerhans (named after the scientist who discovered them). Hormones of the Pancreas The production of pancreatic hormones, including insulin, somatostatin, gastrin, and glucagon, play an important role in maintaining sugar and salt balance in our bodies. Gastrin: This hormone aids digestion by stimulating certain cells in the stomach to produce acid. Glucagon: Glucagon helps insulin maintain normal blood glucose by working in the Continue reading >>
Pancreatitis Symptoms & Treament | Wake Gastroenterology
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum. The duodenum is the upper part of the small intestine. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine through a tube called the pancreatic duct. These enzymes help digest fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in food. The pancreas also releases the hormones insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream. These hormones help the body use the glucose it takes from food for energy. Normally, digestive enzymes do not become active until they reach the small intestine, where they begin digesting food. But if these enzymes become active inside the pancreas, they start digesting the pancreas itself. Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly and lasts for a short period of time and usually resolves. Chronic pancreatitis does not resolve itself and results in a slow destruction of the pancreas. Either form can cause serious complications. In severe cases, bleeding, tissue damage, and infection may occur. Pseudocysts accumulations of fluid and tissue debris may also develop. And enzymes and toxins may enter the bloodstream, injuring the heart, lungs, and kidneys, or other organs. Some people have more than one attack and recover completely after each, but acute pancreatitis can be a severe, life-threatening illness with many complications. About 80,000 cases occur in the United States each year; some 20 percent of them are severe. Acute pancreatitis occurs more often in men than women. Acute pancreatitis is usually caused by gallstones or by drinking too much alcohol, but these arent the only causes. If alcohol use and gallstones are ruled out, other possible causes of pancreatitis should be carefully examined so that appropriate treatment if available c Continue reading >>
What Happens If The Pancreas Shuts Down?
According to WebMD a pancreas that has ceased to function properly will result in a swollen abdomen, severe abdominal pain, fever, increased heart rate, weight loss, nausea and the onset of diabetes. The pancreas is crucial to proper digestion and metabolism of nutrients, and a non-functional pancreas can put a person's life at risk. As stated by WebMD, the pancreas, located behind the stomach and next to the duodenum, is responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat through the release of powerful digestive enzymes, as well as for the proper metabolism and use of blood sugars through the release of insulin and glucagon. If a person's pancreas fails to produce insulin, he will develop diabetes. If a person's pancreas fails to produce the necessary digestive enzymes, he will be unable to properly digest food. Both conditions, if not addressed, can result in death. As WebMD explains, inflammation and malfunction of the pancreas is known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can be caused by gallstones, infections, drug interactions, trauma, metabolic disorders or alcohol abuse. The symptoms of pancreatitis may range from minor stomach pain in mild cases to debilitating pain, diabetes, drastic weight loss and death in chronic cases. If a person feels he may be experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, he should contact a physician immediately. Continue reading >>
Pancreatitis - What Happens
Pancreatitis usually appears as a sudden (acute) attack of pain in the upper area of the belly (abdomen). The disease may be mild or severe. Most people with pancreatitis have mild acute pancreatitis. The disease does not affect their other organs, and these people recover without problems. In most cases, the disease goes away within a week after treatment begins. Treatment takes place in the hospital with pain medicines and intravenous (IV) fluids. After inflammation goes away, the pancreas usually returns to normal. In some cases, pancreatic tissue is permanently damaged or even dies (necrosis). These complications increase the risk of infection and organ failure. In severe cases, pancreatitis can be fatal. Long-term pancreatitis (chronic pancreatitis) may occur after one or more episodes of acute pancreatitis. The most common cause of chronic pancreatitis is long-term alcohol abuse. What happens during the course of chronic pancreatitis varies. Ongoing pain and complications often occur. Complications may include flare-ups of symptoms, fluid buildup, and blockage of a blood vessel, the bile duct, or the small intestine. If much of your pancreatic tissue has died, you may become malnourished. This happens because the pancreas no longer produces enzymes needed to digest fat and protein. So fat is released into your stool. This condition, called steatorrhea, causes loose, pale, unusually foul-smelling stools that may float in the toilet bowl. If the damaged pancreas stops making enough insulin, you also may develop diabetes. Chronic pancreatitis increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. About 4 out of 100 people with chronic pancreatitis develop this cancer.1 Continue reading >>
Table of Contents Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. This condition usually begins at an acute stage, and in some cases, may become chronic after a severe and/or recurrent attack. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, the digestive enzymes attack the tissue that produces them. One of these enzymes, called trypsin, can cause tissue damage and bleeding, and can cause the pancreas blood cells and blood vessels to swell. With chronic pancreatitis, the pancreas may eventually stop producing the enzymes that are necessary for your body to digest and absorb nutrients. This is called exocrine failure and fat and protein are not digested or absorbed. When chronic pancreatitis is advanced, the pancreas can also lose its ability to make insulin; this is called endocrine failure. The pancreas is a large and important gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum. It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. Where is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a solid gland about 10 inches (25cm) long. It is attached to the back of the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and is shaped like a tadpole. Its head is just to the right of the mid-line and its body and tail point upwards at an angle so that the tail is situated just beneath the extreme edge of the left side of the ribs. The head is closely attached to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), into which the stomach empties food and liquid, already partially digested. It is to this partially digested food that the pancreas adds its digestive juices (enzymes). A gradual or sudden severe pain in the center part of the upper abdomen goes through to your back; this pain may get worse when you eat and builds to a persistent pain Nausea and vomiting Jaundice (a yello Continue reading >>
Surgery Treatment For Acute Pancreatitis
(iii) surgical treatment (iv) laparoscopic treatment Severe pancreatitis causes death of parts of the pancreas. The injured and dying pancreas releases digestive enzymes in the pancreas, which causes extensive death of fatty tissue in the abdomen. As a consequence patients with severe pancreatitis have dead pancreatic tissue and also widespread death of fatty tissue around the pancreas. This dead pancreas tissue is called pancreatic necrosis and the dead fatty around the pancreas is called peripancreatic necrosis. In patients with severe pancreatitis, careful observation leads to improvement without an operation in about 60 to 70 percent of people. Thirty percent of patients will develop either progressive deterioration or infection in their necrosis and require surgery . The necrotic tissue is susceptible to infection and infections are very common in patients with severe pancreatitis. When the dead pancreas is not infected, it is called sterile necrosis. When the dead pancreas is infected then it is called infected necrosis. More than 80% of deaths amongst patients with acute pancreatitis are caused by infection of the dead pancreatic tissue.The treatment of sterile and infected necrosis is complex and the patient may benefit from treatment in a specialty center that treat a high volume of these conditions. Patients with sterile necrosis have dead pancreatic tissue, however there is no infection of the dead tissue. The recommended treatment for this group of patients is close observation in the hospital. Patients are placed on intravenous feeding and undergo serial examination with CT scans for early detection of infection. We would consider surgery in patients with sterile necrosis under the following circumstances Patients who fail to improve after about two to thr Continue reading >>
Pancreas And Diabetes: Why Does Pancreas Stop Producing Insulin?
Every part of an individual’s body has its own mechanisms. It is the constant production of hormones that leads to bodily as well as mental changes. This task of generating enzymes and hormones which are required for breaking food down lies with Pancreas. Being an important part of the body, its responsibility is also about producing enough insulin in the body so that the sugar level remains intact. In fact, imbalance in the production of insulin can lead to the health problem called Diabetes. Once the problem starts developing, it can be only controlled by taking suitable diet and by avoiding eating sweets. Let us see what the function of Pancreas is and its contribution towards the development of Diabetes. What is Pancreas and What is it’s Role? Pancreas is an important part of the body, which is positioned behind the lower stomach. It has the ability to produce insulin and glucagon that tends to regulate sugar level in the blood. Carrying out the double functionality of stowing hormones into the blood as well as discharging enzymes through ducts, Pancreas have always held a significant position in controlling hormonal secretion and regulation. A slightest of imbalance in the production of insulin can lead to the problem of diabetes that requires immense care in dealing with dietary management. Playing an essential part in the endocrine as well as exocrine systems, pancreas has exceptional functional system. Basically, the endocrine system is aimed at the production of chemicals as well as hormones in the body. On the other hand, exocrine system constitutes of glands in the body that tends to release saliva, sweat and digestive enzymes. As known to all, the role of Pancreas is to produce adequate amount of insulin for regulating the level of sugar in the body. The Continue reading >>
Help For Symptoms Of Pancreas Problems And Promoting Pancreas Health
Select a Topic What is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a large organ approximately six inches long and is a key part of the digestive and endocrine systems. It is located deep within the upper abdomen, surrounded by the stomach, small intestine, liver and spleen. This organ is shaped like a pear, broad at one end and narrow at the other end. It is divided in three sections – the broad end of the pancreas is called the head, the midsection is called the body and the narrow end is called the tail. If pancreas health is compromised a number of serious disorders can occur within the body. Functions of the Pancreas The first function belongs to the exocrine pancreas. The pancreas produces digestive juices and enzymes to help digest fats and proteins. When food has been partially digested by the stomach, it is pushed into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Secreting its enzymes into the duodenum helps to prevent the protein-digesting enzyme known as trypsin from eating the protein-based pancreas or its duct. Pancreatic digestive juices and enzymes are released through a small duct attached to the duodenum to mix with the food. The exocrine pancreas also produces enzymes that break down carbohydrates (amylase) and fats (lipase) as well as sodium bicarbonate which helps to neutralize the stomach acids in food. The second function belongs to the endocrine pancreas. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin together with a variety of other hormones. Insulin helps to control the body’s blood sugar (glucose) levels. It is produced by small groups of pancreatic cells called the Islets of Langerhans, which are also known as the "islet cells" Insulin is secreted when your blood sugar is raised and it causes the muscles and other bodily tissues to take up glucose f Continue reading >>
What Is The Pancreas?
. www.digestivedisorders.org.uk/ .. (List of fact sheets online .. Click here 1/2006). The pancreas is a large and important gland behind the stomach close to the duodenum. It digests your food and produces insulin, the main chemical for balancing the sugar level in the blood. This leaflet describes what and where the pancreas is, how it works, what can go wrong with it, how your doctor can diagnose diseases of the pancreas and how they are treated. Where is the Pancreas? The pancreas is a solid gland about 10 inches (25cm) long. It is attached to the back of the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and is shaped like a tadpole. Its head is just to the right of the mid-line and its body and tail point upwards at an angle so that the tail is situated just beneath the extreme edge of the left side of the ribs. The head is closely attached to the first part of the small intestine (duodenum), into which the stomach empties food and liquid, already partially digested. It is to this partially digested food that the pancreas adds its digestive juices (enzymes). The tube draining the liver of its bile (the bile duct) lies just behind the head of the pancreas and usually joins the bowel at the same place where the fluids from the pancreas enter the bowel. Running behind the body of the pancreas are many important blood vessels. Because of its position in the body, it is not easy for a surgeon to operate on the pancreas. What can the Pancreas do? Food consists of carbohydrates (e.g. starch), proteins (e.g. meat), and fat (e.g. butter), and digestion is not possible without the enzymes produced by the pancreas. The pancreas makes a number of different enzymes each of which is responsible for breaking down the different types of food into small particles suitable for absorption. The Continue reading >>
The Connection Between Diabetes And Your Pancreas
A direct connection exists between the pancreas and diabetes. The pancreas is an organ deep in your abdomen behind your stomach. It’s an important part of your digestive system. The pancreas produces enzymes and hormones that help you digest food. One of those hormones, insulin, is necessary to regulate glucose. Glucose refers to sugars in your body. Every cell in your body needs glucose for energy. Think of insulin as a lock to the cell. Insulin must open the cell to allow it to use glucose for energy. If your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t make good use of it, glucose builds up in your bloodstream, leaving your cells starved for energy. When glucose builds up in your bloodstream, this is known as hyperglycemia. The symptoms of hyperglycemia include thirst, nausea, and shortness of breath. Low glucose, known as hypoglycemia, also causes many symptoms, including shakiness, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. Hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can quickly become life-threatening. Each type of diabetes involves the pancreas not functioning properly. The way in which the pancreas doesn’t function properly differs depending on the type. No matter what type of diabetes you have, it requires ongoing monitoring of blood glucose levels so you can take the appropriate action. Type 1 diabetes In type 1 diabetes the immune system erroneously attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in your pancreas. It causes permanent damage, leaving your pancreas unable to produce insulin. Exactly what triggers the immune system to do that isn’t clear. Genetic and environmental factors may play a role. You’re more likely to develop type 1 diabetes if you have a family history of the disease. About 5 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. People who ha Continue reading >>
You And Your Hormones
Where is the pancreas? The pancreas is a large gland that lies alongside the stomach and the small bowel. It is about six inches (approximately 15 cm) long and is divided into the head, body and tail. What does the pancreas do? The pancreas carries out two important roles: It makes digestive juices, which consist of powerful enzymes. These are released into the small bowel after meals to break down and digest food. It makes hormones that control blood glucose levels. The pancreas produces hormones in its 'endocrine' cells. These cells are gathered in clusters known as islets of langerhans and monitor what is happening in the blood. They then can release hormones directly into the blood when necessary. In particular, they sense when sugar (glucose) levels in the blood rise, and as soon as this happens the cells produce hormones, particularly insulin. Insulin then helps the body to lower blood glucose levels and 'store' the sugar away in fat, muscle, liver and other body tissues where it can be used for energy when required. The pancreas is very close to the stomach. As soon as food is eaten, the pancreas releases digestive enzymes into the bowel to break food down. As the food is digested, and nutrient levels in the blood rise, the pancreas produces insulin to help the body store the glucose (energy) away. Between meals, the pancreas does not produce insulin and this allows the body to gradually release stores of energy back into the blood as they are needed. Glucose levels remain very stable in the blood at all times to ensure that the body has a steady supply of energy. This energy is needed for metabolism, exercise and, in particular, to fuel the parts of the brain that 'run' on glucose. This makes sure that the body doesn't starve between meals. What hormones does th Continue reading >>
You And Your Hormones
What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made by an organ located behind the stomach called the pancreas. Here, insulin is released into the bloodstream by specialised cells called beta cells found in areas of the pancreas called islets of langerhans (the term insulin comes from the Latin insula meaning island). Insulin can also be given as a medicine for patients with diabetes because they do not make enough of their own. It is usually given in the form of an injection. Insulin is released from the pancreas into the bloodstream. It is a hormone essential for us to live and has many effects on the whole body, mainly in controlling how the body uses carbohydrate and fat found in food. Insulin allows cells in the muscles, liver and fat (adipose tissue) to take up sugar (glucose) that has been absorbed into the bloodstream from food. This provides energy to the cells. This glucose can also be converted into fat to provide energy when glucose levels are too low. In addition, insulin has several other metabolic effects (such as stopping the breakdown of protein and fat). How is insulin controlled? When we eat food, glucose is absorbed from our gut into the bloodstream. This rise in blood glucose causes insulin to be released from the pancreas. Proteins in food and other hormones produced by the gut in response to food also stimulate insulin release. However, once the blood glucose levels return to normal, insulin release slows down. In addition, hormones released in times of acute stress, such as adrenaline, stop the release of insulin, leading to higher blood glucose levels. The release of insulin is tightly regulated in healthy people in order to balance food intake and the metabolic needs of the body. Insulin works in tandem with glucagon, another hormone produced by the pan Continue reading >>