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Pancreas: Function

The pancreas is a small organ, approximately six inches long, located in the upper abdomen, and adjacent to the small intestine. It lies toward your back. Because it is so deep within your body, doctors have difficulty diagnosing disease in the pancreas.
The Pancreas

Completes the job of breaking down protein, carbohydrates, and fats using digestive juices of pancreas combined with juices from the intestines. Secretes hormones that affect the level of sugar in the blood. Produces chemicals that neutralize stomach acids that pass from the stomach into the small intestine by using substances in pancreatic juice. Contains Islets of Langerhans, which are tiny groups of specialized cells that are scattered throughout the organ.

These cells secrete: Glucagonraises the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood

Insulinstimulates cells to use glucose Somatostatinmay regulate the secretion of glucagons and insulin.

What are the functions of the liver? The liver regulates most chemical levels in the blood and excretes a product called bile, w further digestion and absorption. All of the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes t breaks down the nutrients and drugs in the blood into forms that are easier to use for the re been identified with the liver. Some of the more well-known functions include the following: Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion.

Production of certain proteins for blood plasma. Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body. Conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage. (This glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy.) Regulation of blood levels of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins. Processing of hemoglobin for use of its iron content. (The liver stores iron.) Conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea. (Urea is one of the end products of protein metabolism that is excreted in the urine.)

Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances. Regulating blood clotting. Resisting infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the blood stream. When the liver has broken down harmful substances, they are excreted into the bile or blood. Bile by-products enter the intestine and ultimately leave the body in the feces. Blood by-products are filtered out by the kidneys and leave the body in the form of urine.

The stomach's main function is digestion. It does this by: Storing the food we eat.

Breaking down the food into a liquidly mixture called chyme. Mixing enzymes which is are chemicals that break down food. Slowly empties that liquidly mixture into the small intestine.

The stomach uses pepsin (enzyme) and peptidase (another enzyme) to break down proteins in your food. The acid released by the stomach doesn't break down food it only provides a good environment for the enzymes to work in. By this point the food is mushy and the stomach then passes this mixture on to the small intestine which will further break down the food. The stomach mixed the food with stomach acid to break it down and digest it.

Function of the Small Intestine

The small intestine is responsible for absorbing most of the nutrients found within your food. By the time ingested food reaches the small intestine, it has been mechanically broken down into a liquid. As this liquid flows across the inner surface of the small intestine (which has many small folds to increase the surface area), nutrients within the food come into contact with the many small blood vessels that surround the small intestine. This blood then leaves the small intestine, carrying away nutrients, water electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, fats and medications to the entire body. It can take three to six hours for a meal to pass from one end of the small intestine to the other, and that is dependent on the makeup of the food passing through; meals containing a lot of fiber move more quickly.

Functions of Large Intstine

The large intestine takes about 16 hours to finish the digestion of the food. It removes water and any remaining absorbable nutrients from the food before sending the indigestible matter to the rectum. The colon absorbs vitamins which are created by the colonic bacteria - such as vitamin K (especially important as the daily ingestion of vitamin K is not normally enough to maintain adequate blood coagulation), vitamin B12, thiamine and riboflavin. It also compacts feces, and stores fecal matter in the rectum until it can be discharged via the anus in defecation.

The large intestine differs in physical form from the small intestine in being much wider and in showing the longitudinal layer of the muscularis have been reduced to 3 straplike structures known as the taeniae coli. The wall of the large intestine is lined with simple columnar epithelium. Instead of having the evaginations of the small intestine (villi), the large intestine has invaginations (the intestinal glands). While both the small intestine and the large intestine have goblet cells, they are abundant in the large intestine. The appendix is attached to its inferior surface of the cecum. It contains the least of lymphoid tissue. It is a part of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue, which gives the appendix an important role in immunity. Appendicitis is the result of a blockage that traps infectious material in the lumen. The appendix can be removed with no apparent damage or consequence to the patient. The large intestine extends from the ileocecal junction to the anus and is about 4.9 ft long. On the surface, bands of longitudinal muscle fibers called taeniae coli, each about 1/5 in wide, can be identified. There are three bands, and they start at the base of the appendix and extend from the cecum to the rectum. Along the sides of the taeniae, tags of peritoneum filled with fat, called epiploic appendages (or appendices epiploicae) are found. The sacculations, called haustra, are characteristic features of the large intestine, and distinguish it from the small intestine.