Pancreas
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  Pancreas



Pancreas

    A large, elongated gland located behind the lower portion of the stomach that secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon into the blood. These hormones are essential in regulating blood sugar levels. The pancreas also secretes enzymes into the small intestine that help with digestion and neutralize acid from the stomach.

RELATED TERMS
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Gland
An organ that releases a chemical. Endocrine glands are ductless and secrete hormones directly into the bloodstream. Exocrine glands secrete externally, either through a tube or duct.

Stomach
The organ between the esophagus and the small intestine. The stomach is where digestion of protein begins.

Hormones
Biological compounds that communicate information at a distance. Hormones require specific receptors to begin their biological action and use second messengers to initiate the cellular process that uses that information.

Insulin
The hormone that drives incoming nutrients into cells for storage. Excess insulin is the primary pillar of aging.

Glucagon
The hormone from the pancreas that causes the release of stored carbohydrate in the liver to restore blood glucose levels. Glucagon uses the second messenger cyclic AMP to exert its biological action.

Blood
The life-maintaining fluid which is made up of plasma, red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets; blood circulates through the body's heart, arteries, veins, and capillaries; it carries away waste matter and carbon dioxide, and brings nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, antibodies, heat, and oxygen to the tissues.

Essential
1. Something that cannot be done without. 2. Required in the diet, because the body cannot make it. As in an essential amino acid or an essential fatty acid. 3. Idiopathic. As in essential hypertension.

Sugar
A class of carbohydrates that taste sweet. Sugar is a quick and easy fuel for the body to use. Types of sugar are lactose, glucose, fructose, and sucrose.

Pancreas
A large, elongated gland located behind the lower portion of the stomach that secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon into the blood. These hormones are essential in regulating blood sugar levels. The pancreas also secretes enzymes into the small intestine that help with digestion and neutralize acid from the stomach.

Enzymes
Proteins that act as a catalysts in mediating and speeding a specific chemical reaction.

Intestine
The tube involved in digestion and extending from the stomach to the anus. Consists of the small intestine and the large intestine.

Digestion
The process the body uses to break down food into simple substances for energy, growth, and cell repair.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Pancreas Transplant
A surgical procedure that involves replacing the pancreas of a person who has diabetes with a healthy pancreas that can make insulin. The healthy pancreas comes from a donor who has just died or from a living relative. A person can donate half a pancreas and still live normally. |At present, pancreas transplants are usually performed in persons with Type 1 diabetes who have severe complications. This is because after the transplant the patient must take immunosuppressive drugs that are highly toxic and may cause damage to the body.

Pancreatectomy
A procedure in which a surgeon takes out the pancreas.

Pancreatitis
Irritation of the pancreas that can make it stop working; most often caused by gallstones or alcohol abuse.

Pancuronium
Pancuronium is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): pancuronium bromide.

Pancuronium bromide
Pancuronium bromide is a prescription or over-the-counter drug which is (or once was) approved in the United States and possibly in other countries. Active ingredient(s): pancuronium bromide.

Pancytopenia
Pronounced reduction in the number of erythrocytes, all types of white blood cells, and the blood platelets in the circulating blood.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Plasma
The watery, liquid part of the blood in which the red blood cells, the white blood cells, and platelets are suspended.

Platelet
Small, irregularly-shaped bodies in the blood that contain granules. These cells are important components of the blood coagulation (clotting) system.

Palpitation
Pulsation of the heart, usually with an increase in force or frequency of the heartbeat.

Protozoa
Are microscopic animals that occur as single cells. Some protozoa can cause disease in humans. Protozoa form cysts, which are specialized cells like eggs that are very resistant to chlorine. Cysts can survive the disinfection process, then "hatch" into normal cells that can cause disease. Protozoa must be removed from drinking water by filtration, because they cannot be effectively killed by chlorine.

Pancreas

Prokaryote
Prokaryotes are unicellular (in rare cases, multicellular) organisms without a nucleus. The name prokaryote comes from the Greek pros meaning before and karyon meaning nut, referring to the nucleus. This is in contrast to eukaryotes, organisms that have cell nuclei and may be variously unicellular or multicellular. The difference between the structure of prokaryotes and eukaryotes is so great that it is considered to be the most important distinction among groups of organisms.

Protein
Any of a group of complex organic compounds which contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and usually sulfur, the characteristic element being nitrogen. Proteins, the principal constituents of the protoplasm of all cells, are of high molecular weight and consist essentially of combinations of a-amino acids in peptide linkages. Twenty different amino acids are commonly found in proteins, and each protein has a unique genetically defined amino acid sequence which determines its specific shape and function. Their roles include enzymatic catalysis, transport and storage, coordinated motion, nerve impulse generation and many others.

Puberty
A sequence of events by which a child becomes a young adult; characterized by secretions of hormones, development of secondary sexual characteristics, reproductive functions, and growth spurts.

Phenotype
The expression of the genes present in an individual. This may be directly observable (eye color) or apparent only with specific tests (blood type). Some phenotypes such as the blood groups are completely determined by heredity, while others are readily altered by environmental agents.

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