Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Pancreas - Its Role in Blood Sugar Control

The Pancreas - Its Role in Blood Sugar Control

The pancreas is both an exocrine and endocrine organ. It produces products that enter a tubule and/or a blood capillary respectively. 

Lets look at the endocrine function and how it balances your blood sugar (glucose) that is a break-down product of your digestion of carbohydrates, a complex molecule.

Too much or too little glucose causes problems. Your body systems function to create a perfect enviroment for each cell in your body. That balance is called homeostasis. Your body is continually making slight changes to keep this balance perfect. Lets look at a simple situation of how this takes place.

After a meal your blood sugar increases above its normal levels. This triggers the pancreas to increase its output of insulin, a hormone, to bring the sugar level down to normal levels.

If you haven't eaten for a period of time, the pancreas produces a hormone called glucagon that starts a procedure to increase the amount of glucose in your blood stream that involves your liver, another very important organ.

The main goal of these seemingly antagonistic actions is to maintain homeostasis, a normal level of blood glucose.

If your pancreas output of insulin declines, from a variety of causes, from its normal output, you have diabetes if the output cannot return the level of glucose to normal levels.

You need to seek a physician that specializes in diabetes.

This is a very introductory explanation of a negative feedback system that helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Please see an appropriate Diabetologist for a more detailed explanation if so desired.