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Endocrine system

Complete 6 pages APA formatted article: Endocrine system: the Pancreas, Diseases of and function. The pancreas is long and irregular prismatic in appearance. Its right extremity, which is termed to as the head, connects to the main portion of the organ (body) through a neck. The left extremity of the pancreas tapers forming the tail portion of the organ. The pancreas is located transversely across the posterior wall of the abdomen, behind the epigastric and left hypochondriac regions. The length and weight of the pancreas varies from 12.2-15 cm and 60-100 grams respectively. The pancreas resembles the salivary glands in structure, but it is looser and softer in texture. Its main sections are the head, body, and tail (Tortora & Derrickson, 2008).The pancreas acts as an endocrine as well as an exocrine organ in humans. Hormones present in blood together with the autonomic nervous play a role in regulating the secretory functions of the pancreas.

About 5% of the pancreas is responsible for the synthesis of essential hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism. The metabolic hormones are synthesized by a number of cells that clamp together like “islands” referred to as islets. The clamped cells are referred to as islets of Langerhan’s, and they are about 1 million in number, in adult pancreas. Four main cell types, ? cells, ? cells, ? cells, and PP cells are present within the islets. The mentioned cells play the role of releasing insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin hormones (Tortora & Derrickson, 2008).

Insulin and glucagon are the main hormones released by the pancreas. The ? cells secrete glucagon while ? cells secrete insulin. The two hormones perform an essential role in the regulation of sugar levels present in blood and body cells. Energy is vital for the functioning of body organs. The main source of energy for body cells is from glucose, which is a sugar. Therefore, the body system must have a mechanism that ensures that glucose gets into body cells.

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