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Getting to Know the Body's Immune System: Definition, Components, & How It Works

 The immune system is the body's defense system to protect against various bad microorganisms that cause infection or disease. This system consists of various components and the way they work is complex.” Jakarta – The body's immune system plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health by carrying out a series of defense mechanisms, such as recognizing and responding to foreign objects. The foreign objects in question are pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, germs, parasites and fungi. Some of these pathogens cause disturbances and damage to a person's body. Want to know more about how the immune system works? Check out the following information! Understanding the Body's Immune System The immune system is the body's defense system against attacks by foreign substances. In fact, foreign substances not only come from outside the body, such as pathogens, but are also found inside the body. Foreign substances originating from within the body are dead cells or cells

the 2 Functions of the Pancreas Organ in the Human Body

"The pancreas has a very important function for the body's metabolism and digestive system. Not only does it make hormones, this one organ also produces enzymes to help break down and digest food in the stomach."

Thedoctormedical, united states – The pancreas is located at the back of the abdominal cavity and measures about 12 to 18 centimeters in length. Just like other organs in the body, this one organ can also experience health problems due to various factors. If the work of the pancreas is disrupted or the organ is damaged, of course there will be problems with the digestive system and other health problems. 

What are the Functions of the Pancreas?

A healthy pancreas produces the right amount of chemicals at the right time to digest the food you eat. The function of the pancreas itself is divided into two, namely exocrine and endocrine functions. The following is a complete explanation of each function: 

1. Exocrine function

Not only the pancreas, exocrine glands are also found in many other areas of the body, such as sweat glands in the skin, exocrine glands in the stomach and intestines, and salivary glands in the mouth. 

The pancreas has a role to make digestive enzymes which will then be carried to the digestive tract. Each enzyme has its own function, namely:

Lipase . This enzyme works together with bile from the liver to break down fats in food. When the body doesn't have enough lipase, it has trouble absorbing fat and important fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.

protease. This enzyme is responsible for breaking down protein in food and helps protect digestion from germs that may live in the intestines. Undigested protein can cause allergic reactions in some people. 

Amylase. This enzyme has the main task of breaking down starch into sugar which will then become energy for the body. If your body doesn't have enough amylase, you may experience diarrhea due to undigested carbohydrates.

When food enters the stomach, pancreatic juice will be released into a duct system that ends in the main pancreatic duct (duct). The pancreatic duct joins the common bile duct to form the ampulla of Vater which is located in the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). 

Pancreatic juices and bile that exit into the duodenum are then used to help the body digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins

2. Endocrine function

The endocrine component of the pancreas consists of islet cells (islets of Langerhans) that make and release important hormones into the bloodstream. The two most important hormones are insulin and glucagon. 

Insulin acts to lower blood sugar and glucagon acts to increase blood sugar. Keeping blood sugar levels in balance is critical to the function of major organs, including the brain, liver and kidneys. The following are the functions of the hormones produced by the pancreas:

Insulin . This hormone is formed in pancreatic cells called beta cells. These cells make up about 75 percent of the pancreatic hormone cells. Without enough insulin, blood sugar levels can increase which may be a sign of diabetes or diabetes.

Glucagon . Alpha cells make up about 20 percent of the cells in the pancreas, one of which produces glucagon. If blood sugar is too low, glucagon will help increase it by sending a message to the liver to release stored sugar reserves.

Gastrin and amylin . Gastrin is formed in G cells in the stomach, but some is also made in the pancreas. This hormone stimulates the stomach to make stomach acid. Meanwhile, amylin is formed in beta cells and functions to help control appetite and emptying the stomach.

What Happens If the Pancreas Does Not Work Properly?

Pancreas that does not work optimally triggers many health problems

Pancreas that is in a healthy condition will be able to make hormones and enzymes at the right time and in the right amount when you eat. However, if there is a disturbance in its function, this organ cannot make enzymes for digestion or the hormone insulin more optimally.

This condition can cause several health problems, including diabetes and food intolerance. In addition, abnormalities in the pancreas can also cause several symptoms, such as weight loss, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatty stools. 

The health problems that may occur if the function of the pancreas is disrupted, include: 

1. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a disease that occurs when the pancreas becomes inflamed and damaged, so it cannot perform its functions optimally. Experts still don't know what causes it, but this disorder is more at risk for someone with gallstones or consuming excessive alcoholic beverages. 

Pancreatitis can occur acutely or chronically. If it occurs suddenly and can get better in a few weeks, then it is acute. However, if treatment is not immediately received, this disorder can persist for months or even years. 

As a result, it is not impossible for the pancreas to experience permanent damage. You can read the article Recognize the Often Ignored Signs and Symptoms of Acute Pancreatitis to find out what are the symptoms of this condition.  

2. Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a life-threatening disease, because the initial symptoms are not obvious. The majority of people with this cancer do not even show any symptoms, so cancer is only detected when it is at an advanced or more severe stage. 

Until now, experts still do not know what causes pancreatic cancer. However, there are several conditions that make a person more at risk of developing this disease, such as genetics, a history of diabetes and chronic pancreatitis, obesity, and the bad habit of consuming alcohol.

3. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes

When you have type 2 diabetes, the body does not use insulin properly due to insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar levels increase and are difficult to control. If you don't get treatment right away or don't get the right treatment, this disorder can prevent the pancreas from making insulin according to the body's needs. 

Meanwhile, type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system actually attacks healthy and normal pancreatic cells that produce insulin. This condition causes the body to have difficulty forming insulin and controlling blood sugar levels. This is why people with this disorder need insulin injections throughout their lives. 

4. Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis occurs due to genetic problems that make the lungs and pancreas abnormal. This condition can trigger many digestive and respiratory disorders, and increase a person's risk of developing diabetes. 

5. Pancreatic islet tumors and enlargement of the pancreas

Another health problem in the pancreas is pancreatic islet cell tumor. This is a condition that makes the formation of hormones increase significantly, the pancreas enlarges. Some conditions do not require treatment because they do not interfere with the function of the pancreas, but some require immediate treatment due to the effects of an illness. 

6. Pancreatic pseudocyst

Pseudocysts are cavities filled with fluid and can appear after a person has pancreatitis. Treatment of pancreatic pseudocysts is common with surgery, but there are also conditions that get better on their own. 

Each health problem may show different symptoms. However, there are still general symptoms that may appear when someone has a disorder of the pancreas.

How to Maintain Pancreatic Health

In order to avoid various harmful health problems, you certainly need to maintain the health of the pancreas. Here are some ways you can do it:

1. Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages

From now on, limit your intake of alcoholic beverages. In fact, you should stop doing that. This is because studies show that high alcohol intake is closely related to an increased risk of experiencing pancreatitis.

2. Low-fat diet

In addition, maintain your diet by going on a low-fat diet. Increase your intake of vegetables and fruit. In addition, intake of foods rich in omega-3 content can also help lower triglyceride levels in the body. You can eat foods rich in omega-3s such as green vegetables, fish, whole grains, and nuts.

3. Regular exercise

Studies show that someone who is obese or overweight is more susceptible to gallstones. This will put them more at risk for developing acute pancreatitis. Exercise can help maintain an ideal body weight while reducing the risk of pancreatitis. 

In fact, some studies show that a weight loss of between 5 and 10 percent is actually enough to replenish the pancreas and help this one organ function better. 

4. Avoid going on a strict diet

Not a few nutritionists say that significant weight loss in a short time can trigger blood sugar problems and increase the risk of gallstones. 

So, you should avoid going on a strict diet and ask a nutritionist directly for the type of diet that suits your health condition and body's needs. 

5. No smoking

Smoking never has a positive effect on the body. In fact, not a few studies say that this bad habit also has a close relationship with pancreatitis, both chronic and acute. 

6. Consumption of antioxidants

Consuming antioxidants can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer. This includes foods rich in vitamins E, C, and selenium. For example, blueberries, grapes, red berries, dark green leafy vegetables, and orange vegetables.

In addition, you can immediately check with the nearest doctor or hospital so that you can get treatment immediately if you show unusual symptoms in your body, especially in your stomach. That way, you can avoid life-threatening complications


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