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Introduction to the pancreas.
The pancreas is an organ located in the abdomen. It plays essential roles in the body by converting the food components into usable energy molecules as fuel for the normal body functions. It has two main functions, it regulate blood sugars and helps in the food digestion. The wider part of the pancreas is called the head, it is located where the stomach empties digested food into the small intestines for absorption. When the food is released, the pancreas releases the digestive enzymes into the food to help further digestion (Ballian et al., 2007).
When performing normally the pancreas is essential in regulating blood glucose by releasing insulin into the blood stream. Sometimes, when the process is hindered either by organ stress or any other physiological factors, the pancreas develops problems performing its normal functions (Ballian et al., 2007). When the cells that are responsible are not capable of producing enough insulin, it causes an imbalance in the blood sugar levels. It causes diabetes mellitus or type 1 diabetes. This type of diabetes happens when the body’s immune system attack the cells in the islets of Langerhans. When these cells are destroyed, they fail to produce insulin for use in the body (Ballian et al., 2007).
Long-term effects of type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes develops when the body ceases to respond to insulin. This is a metabolic disorder which can also be caused by the inability of the islets of Langerhans to produce enough insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the blood sugar fails to be absorbed by the into the blood stream, the Buildup of sugars causes the cells to produce more insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels, eventually these cells become impaired as they can no longer keep up with the blood sugar levels. When then the effects of the insulin build up in the pancreas cells continue unnoticed for a long period of time, it causes a development of other conditions that affect other organs in the body.
Although long term effects of the type 2 diabetes are hard to detect, the conditions that develop can have long term and short term effects on the body. In rare occasions, development of tumors in the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, an insulinoma is where too much insulin is produced when it is not needed by the body (Woods et al., 1974). This also happens with the glucagon producing cells, though they are rare, stress conditions of the pancreas causes these conditions to develop if the stress continues unchecked for a lengthened period of time (Woods et al., 1974).
Diabetes is easy to ignore unless specific test are done to determine the presence of absence of the disease. When blood sugars build up in the blood vessels, other conditions begin to develop, patients who suffer from type 2 diabetes tend to develop heart and blood vessel diseases. This happens as diabetes increases the chances of a patient developing conditions like stroke, high blood pressure heart diseases and blockages of the blood vessels. Neuropathy according to Bertuloso et al., (2015) when an excess amount of sugar affects the nerves in the fingers. It causes numbness, tingling sensation on the toes and sometimes a burning sensation from the toes and spreads to the rest of the body. This usually happens during a high concentration of sugars in the body. Sometimes neuropathy affects cells in the digestive system. The damage causes diarrhea, vomiting and constipation.
If left unregulated diabetes affects other functions of the body where it can cause slow healing in wounds, kidney damage, hearing impairment, eye damage and sleep apnea (Ballian et al., 2007). Type 2 diabetes increases the chances of developing other conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. As the blood glucose levels fail to regulate for a long period of time, the risk of these diseases develop and thus patients with diabetes are required to get regular checkups on their blood sugar level (Muraro et al., (2016).
Living a healthy lifestyle can prevent type 2 diabetes. Most patients who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are always advised to develop a healthy active lifestyle. Eating healthy whole foods, eating foods that reduce the risk of excess sugar in the blood is a good way of preventing and regulating diabetes (Bertuloso et al., 2015). Fruits whole grains and vegetables enable the body to balance the blood sugar levels and thus preventing diabetes. Sitting still for long periods of time is also another cause of diabetes, for most people, it is a necessary activity as they are confined in office buildings for most of their time. Taking small walks every now and then can help reduce the risk of diabetes by causing regular blood movement through the body (Muraro et al., (2016).
Losing weight and maintaining a proper weight range can also reduce the risk of diabetes, being overweight causes the body to endure excess pressure and stress when digesting the blood sugar. Sue to the excess fat content in the blood vessels, the glucose level accumulate and therefore causes diabetes. Reducing weight by good eating habits and exercising helps the body to burn the excess fats and allow the sugar to be regulated effectively (Bertuloso et al., 2015).
Maintaining healthy endocrine system
There are no known treatment for type 2 diabetes. For this reason, prevention is then the best medicine for the disease. Maintaining a healthy endocrine system is the by consuming healthy foods such as fats that are good for the body (Muraro et al., (2016). Avoiding excessive alcohol consuming helps the body to maintain a healthy function and maintain healthy sugar levels. Excessive alcohol consumption poisons the blood by reducing the glucose levels. Drinking water regularly hydrates the blood and this way the blood sugar levels are maintain at an optimal level. Hydration reduces the risk of diabetes and other conditions that affect the blood glucose levels. (Muraro et al., (2016).
Image of the Pancreas.
Ballian, N., & Brunicardi, F. C. (2007). Islet vasculature as a regulator of endocrine pancreas
Bertuloso, B. D., Podratz, P. L., Merlo, E., de Araujo, J. F., Lima, L. C., de Miguel, E. C., … & Carneiro, M. T. (2015). Tributyltin chloride leads to adiposity and impairs metabolic functions in the rat liver and pancreas. Toxicology letters, 235(1), 45-59. function. World journal of surgery, 31(4), 705-714.
Muraro, M. J., Dharmadhikari, G., Grün, D., Groen, N., Dielen, T., Jansen, E., & van Oudenaarden, A. (2016). A single-cell transcriptome atlas of the human pancreas. Cell systems, 3(4), 385-394.
Woods, S. C., & Porte Jr, D. A. N. I. E. L. (1974). Neural control of the endocrine pancreas. Physiological reviews, 54(3), 596-619.