What is the Pancreas?

What is the Pancreas?

What is the Pancreas?

The pancreas is a very important organ found deep in the abdomen; it produces insulin to control blood sugar levels, in addition to making pancreatic juice that contains pancreatic enzymes that help with digestion. It is located deep in the abdomen, behind the stomach and on top of the spine in the back.

Pancreas Anatomy

The pancreas is divided to a head and neck part, which is the big bulky part of the pancreas gland, the body and the tail. Pancreatic juice is secreted into a series of ducts that make the main pancreatic ducts that empties into the first part of the intestines called the duodenum. It is located deep in the abdomen, behind the stomach and on top of the spine in the back.

External Anatomy of the Liver and Biliary Tree

Common Symptoms of Pancreatic Diseases

Pancreas disease symptoms vary between benign diseases and cancerous diseases. Common symptoms depend on the nature of the problem but in general include:

  • A dull type pain beneath the breast bone that radiates to the back. In benign diseases of the pancreas like pancreatitis, the pain is due to the
    inflammation of the pancreas gland. In tumors or cancers of the pancreas, pain is usually due to compression of the tumor to surrounding organs in the abdomen.
  • Nausea, upset stomach, or vomiting
  • Jaundice (a buildup of bile chemicals in the blood), which causes yellowing of the skin and eyes, dark urine, and itching. This is usually caused by a blockage of the bile duct that carries bile from the liver to the intestine.
  • Weight loss, poor appetite and aversion to food.
  • Fatigue, depression.
Common Symptoms of Pancreatic Diseases