Pancreas Hormones

The Location and Function of the Pancreas Gland

  • The pancreas gland is a sizeable gland that is positioned alongside the stomach
  • The pancreas is approximately 15 cm long
  • The location of the pancreas is deep within the abdomen, in between the stomach and the spine. The pancreas is also connected to the duodenum (a part of the small intestine)
  • The function of the pancreas is to assist with the digestion of food, alongside producing hormones which will regulate the body’s energy levels.
  • The pancreas is considered to be both an endocrine (secretes hormones into the blood) and exocrine gland (secretes enzymes by way of ducts). The islets of langerhans are the cells making up the endocrine pancreas.
Pancreas gland hormones and their function

The pancreas gland hormones are as follows:

Pancreas Hormones that are released by the ‘beta cells’ in the islets of Langerhans 

Insulin

Insulin hormone maintains and regulates the balance of blood glucose and salt in the body. Insulin allows the body’s cells to absorb and use glucose which results in a drop in blood glucose levels.
Pancreas hormones that are released by the ‘alpha cells’ in the islets of Langerhans 

Glucagon

Glucagon plays the role of assisting insulin in its maintenance of normal blood glucose. Glucagon stimulates cells to release glucose which in turn raises blood glucose levels.

Somatostatin

When insulin and glucagon levels get too high, the secretion of somatostatin maintains the balance of glucose and salt in the blood. Somatostatin is also known to inhibit the secretion of certain hormones like growth hormone, insulin and thyroid stimulating hormone.
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