Pancreas is a long gland, situated in your upper abdominal area, near the stomach and duodenum.

It plays a great role in digestion owing to production of special enzymes and hormones.

Digestive enzymes (amylase, lipase and trypsin) help decompose carbs, fats and proteins, improve intestinal uptake of nutritive elements. These chemicals are normally secreted in inactive form and begin to work, only when they reach the intestine.

Three hormones, generated by your pancreas, are insulin, glucagon and somatostatin.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

You’ve probably heard that insulin decreases blood sugar levels. It moves glucose from foods into the cells and converts it into energy. Insulin stores excess of sugar in the liver, transforming it into the chemical glycogen.

Your body can use this stored glucose, when needed, with the aid of hormone glucagon.

Somatostatin, in its turn, regulates releasing of these hormones and has ability to prevent it.

Sometimes your pancreatic tissue may inflame because of premature activation of digestive enzymes. When they start to work within the pancreas, its cells become irritated. That usually leads to pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

This problem may occur abruptly and last during a short period of time. In this case condition is called acute pancreatitis.

Specialists say that severe acute pancreatitis can cause internal bleeding, cells damage and even threaten to your life.

Chronic pancreatitis is a long-lasting disorder, characterized by constant damage of the pancreas. As a result, inflamed tissues are replaced by scar tissue, which can’t function as healthy pancreatic cells.

Alcohol abuse, gallstones, smoking, trauma and infection are the most common culprits of the pancreatitis.

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Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Is your pancreas inflamed? Check up these warning signs of pancreatitis:

#1. Abdominal pain – it’s one of the most frequent symptoms, associated with pancreatitis. People with this disease usually complain of belt-like aching in the upper part of your belly, which become worse after eating, particularly fatty meal.

#2. Nausea – both acute and chronic pancreatitis may cause sickness, especially after drinking alcohol or taking high-fat foods.

#3. Vomiting – those, who experienced acute pancreatitis, say that abdominal pain came together with nausea and repeated vomiting.

#4. Loss of appetite – even smell or a mention about food may be unpleasant, if you suffer from acute pancreatitis.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#5. Weight loss – it’s not only about your reduced appetite. Pancreatic dysfunction impairs digestion and absorption of the foods, resulting in significant weight loss.

#6. Fever – your body temperature may get elevated up to 100F-101F within several hours after beginning of pancreatitis.

#7. Changes in the stool – lack of enzymes leads to poor digestion that makes your stool oily and smelly.

#8. Back pain – inflamed pancreas may be the underlying reason of your back pain, aggravated by coughing and movements.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#9. Bloating – belching, sense of fullness and heaviness in the abdomen may be linked with acute or chronic pancreatitis.

#10. Diabetes – damage of special pancreatic cells, which normally synthesize insulin, sometimes leads to improper conversion of glucose. Consequently blood sugar levels become significantly increased.

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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