Pancreas- It's Role in Human Digestive syst... - Diabetes India

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Pancreas- It's Role in Human Digestive system every diabetes should know & Top Healthy Foods for a Healthy Pancreas.

namaha profile image

Please read the entire post to get the right Perspective.

Have a look at the Image of our wonderfully looking Pancreas and it's location in human body in the attached image above.

When we talk of Pancreas, we quickly relate it with production of Insulin.

But you would be surprised to note that only 5% of the Pancreas Body is engaged to produce Insulin. Another 95% of the pancreas body is engaged in producing digestive enzymes required for digestion and Metabolism of Proten, Carbohydrate & Fat we eat. These digestive enzymes are broadly known as Protease, Amylase & lipase respectively. While to some extent, we also do produce amylase from our salivary Glands, as soon as we eat food, we get amylase right from our mouth, but most of the digestive enzymes required by us -to the extent of 1 litre is produced by the Pancreas.

Most of human diseases are originated only during the journey of food right from Dining table to Toilet.

If the right amount of digestive enzymes from pancreas is not made available at the right time, then it results in to what is called as Digestive distress the symptoms of which could involve one or more aspect from the following : Bloating/ Flatulence, Acidity, Gas, stomach cramps, constipation, loose motion, GERD, Abdominal Distension, IBS, SIBO, Piles, Anal Fistula and fissures.

These are only body signals we receive...and if we ignore and we allow it to become chronic....

Poor digestion leads to poor absorption of nutrients by our human body and it affects different organs...organs like pancreas become inflamed...Then in the long run, it could result in to major illness such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, ....etc, hypertension....and so on.

So poor digestion could lead to poor pancreas health and poor pancreas health could lead to poor digestive health and most people with diabetes unfortunately may face one or both the issues depending upon ones age, dietary pattern and progression of diabetes....

If this is the case, Should we not take care of health of our pancreas ??? What food should we eat which our pancreas would love? Which food are dietary sources of digestive enzymes?

There is no difference opinion about it...few articles link given below for your study, which you may find useful.

However, the story does not seem to end here.... Apart from the digestive enzymes produced by pancreas, some people may face food intolerance due to lack of few other important enzymes produced by our human body other than Pancreas, which could also affect digestive health indirectly affecting our pancreas and overall health.

(1) Lactose intolerance : Lactose in Dairy can not be digested by digestive enzymes produced by needs another enzyme called "lactase" produced by small intestine....and Some people may lack an enzyme called "Lactase" Produced by small intestine. In absence of this enzyme, lactose can not be broken down in to Glucose & Galactose leading to digestive distress.

(2)Casein sensitive people : While dairy is considered as a source of animal protein /fat, again some people may lack an enzyme called DPP4 enzyme produced mainly by Endothelial cells which helps breakdown of casein- a protein found in dairy.... Result digestive distress.

(3) Gluten intolerance:

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat and rye. If some people lack DPP4 enzyme, they may not be able to digest wheat leading to digestive stress.

Most people may have intolerance of gluten to a varying degree... Please have a check..

If it becomes chronic, it can lead to an autoimmune disease called celiac disease.

In fact nowadays most of the treatment if auto immune disease is treated by "Elimination diet" By the process of monitoring how your body digestive process responds to food one by one.

(4) Fructose intolerance : Fructose does not require digestive enzymes from pancreas and Fructose does not spike blood glucose, but some people may lack "Glut5"- a transporter required to carry fructose to Liver for processing...

Fortunately, all Fruits are a mixture of glucose & fructose and glucose helps in metabolism of fructose.....moreover, many fruits are dietary source of digestive enzymes, soluble fiber and rich sources of antioxidants, phyto nutrients...vitamin C..... Which is strongly recommended to guard against virus attack.

So choose fruits which have Fructose to glucose ratio of 1:1 or less.

(5) Amines intolerance :

Amines are caused by bacteria from break down of Amino acids..

Amines such as Tyramine is found in heavily over processed food, aged and fermented products like cheese, over ripen fruits, overcooked foods, grilled and charred food.

These Amines are dangerous to body and could cause headache, migraine, insomnia if not cleared from body...fortunately our intestine can produce an enzyme called MOA (Mono amine oxidase-A) which can break down and eliminate amines from body. But there could be an issue if our body lacks this enzyme or for some people on depressions are given MOA inhibitors... These people need to avoid tyramine rich food. People in general should try to avoid tyramine rich food.

(6) Protein/ Amino acid intolerance :

We have already seen above how Gluten intolerance and casein intolerance could happen.

Apart from this, there are 21 kinds of Amino acids discovered so far... Out of this 21 Amino acids, 12 are non-essential amino acids which you don't need to take from dietary sources as our body is capable of producing these from glucose and from essential amino acids.

We need to eat only 9 essential amino acids (Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine Threonine,Tryptophan, Valine) from our diet which our body can not produce.

Plant food has all the 9 essential amino acids if you take in combination of a whole grain with a whole legume .... e.g. If Rice is deficient in Lysine and Dal is deficient in Methionine... You take dal rice, sambar rice, idly, dosa, poha with pea nuts.... Only thing is replace white rice with brown/ red /black rice,... Moreover some whole grains are complete proteins with all essential amino acids....such as quinoa, Amaranth, your plant food with a lot of vegetables & fresh fruits so that the fiber can help reduce blood sugar spike. In fact legumes and whole grains are also a source of good soluble fiber.

Now though animal protein has all essential 9 amino acids, but it also has a lot of other non essential amino acids, which are non essential as these can be produced by human body. This perhaps could put a lot of load in your digestive system..acidic load in the blood, load in the kidney for clearing nitrogen wastage.... And you never know unless you figure out if the non essential amino acids could cause an intolerance issue by " Elimination diet"process..

No wonder, all health studies have indicated poor health outcomes out of animal protein and fat.

The non essential amino acids are (alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartate, cysteine, glutamate, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, tyrosine, phenylalanine)

With ingestion of so much non essential amino acids, it gets crowded, and the pathways remaining same, the essential amino acids like Tryptophan does not get a chance to go to brain for producing brain hormones like Serotonin, melatonin....

(6) Glas bladder stone:

The duct through which digestive enzymes come from Pancreas to small intestine is common to the bile duct from gall bladder.. Some people may have some obstruction in the passage by a gall bladder stone which could lead to blockage of digestive enzymes from pancreas. ( please refer to the image above- Small intestine and Doudenum are same)

This could lead to digestive distress.

(7) A last thought, those of you are on high dose of DPP4 inhibitors, you need to be careful while eating wheat and dairy... Because gluten and dairy casein requires DPP4 enzymes for digestion and dpp4 inhibitors targets our natural DPP4 enzymes - no doctors would talk but you need to understand the logic.

Conclusion... You are your best doctor..your body gives you enough signal in terms of digestive distress to act could be a simple food intolerance issue which you need to act upon now to take care of your long term health. Please don't ignore.

Disclaimer : this is for education and information purpose. This can not be a substitute for proper medical advice

11 Replies

Every part in body is legend. Who created such a body no body knows except name them according to our standard choice. A small part that does it work for human. All parts do their work as described by some one .

Thank you for this post. I did free online course on human body to understand the working of different components of human body.

Every human needs to take a closer look at each component of human body.

Saireddy profile image
Saireddy in reply to sandybrown

Thanks please share your link to follow

ABBA999 profile image
ABBA999 in reply to Saireddy

Here it is:

Please see the web page for more details on pancreas.(1)

"The most common pancreatic disease is pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas which could come in acute or chronic form. Other pancreatic diseases include Diabetes mellitus, Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, Cystic fibrosis, Pseudocysts, Cysts, Congenital malformations, Neoplasms and Hemosuccus pancreaticus."(2)

"High triglyceride level in the blood is a risk factor for pancreatitis."(3)

"The most common, pancreatic adenocarcinoma, accounts for about 90% of cases, and the term "pancreatic cancer" is sometimes used to refer only to that type."(6)

"Diabetes is often managed by a number of health care providers including a dietitian, nurse educator, eye doctor, endocrinologist, and podiatrist."(7)

It is possible for a person to live without a pancreas, provided that the person takes insulin for proper regulation of blood glucose concentration and pancreatic enzyme supplements to aid digestion.









What all tests show up pancreatitis? Does USG abdomen will confirm the presence or absence of pancreatitis?

ABBA999 profile image
ABBA999 in reply to vyas123

What is " pancreatitis?"?

namaha profile image
namahaAdministrator in reply to vyas123

Vyas123 & Abba999

Amylase and lipase tests are used to detect pancreatitis. The tests measure the amount of these enzymes circulating in your bloodstream. These enzymes are typically checked when you have symptoms of acute pancreatitis or another pancreatic disorder and your doctor wants to confirm the diagnosis.

Hypertriglyceridemia is a rare, but well-known cause of acute pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas). A serum triglyceride level of more than 1000 to 2000 mg / dl is the identifiable risk factor. It typically presents as an episode of acute pancreatitis or recurrent acute pancreatitis.Diagnosis

* Blood tests to look for elevated levels of pancreatic enzymes.

* Stool tests in chronic pancreatitis to measure levels of fat that could suggest your digestive system isn't absorbing nutrients adequately.

* Computerized tomography (CT) scan to look for gallstones and assess the extent of pancreas inflammation.




Hi can you please let me know what kind of food to be eaten for diabetic people..loved your article

namaha profile image

Dear ksumabalu

I think you missed my previous posts...then you would have understood what food I take . 😀

Well , food is a personal choice.

And everybody may react differently to different dietary pattern !

Whatever is suitable to you may or may not be suitable to you ..because our health conditions are different our beta cell status , insulin resistance status are different..

I tried many kinds of diet .....but my current diet gives me a lot of comfort to continue..

It is whole plant based diet meat , no dairy...

It is all fruits , vegetables , whole grains , legumes, nuts & seeds to some extent ..

This food is also being followed by the "mastering diabetes program". You may please refer my previous posts ( last 7-8 months ) to understand more

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