Sure Signs Your Pancreas Isn’t as Strong as it Should Be

The pancreas doesn’t get much attention until there’s a problem and it’s something most of us don’t think about, but this vital organ plays an essential role in our digestion and is needed to help break down food.

When your pancreas is in trouble, pain, malnutrition, weight loss and GI issues can happen.

NGRHealth spoke with Basem Azab, MD Director of surgical oncology at Staten Island University Hospital who shares signs your pancreas isn’t healthy and what to know about the organ. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these:

The Important Role of the Pancreas

Dr. Azab tells us, “The pancreas Is an organ in the back of the abdomen that functions as a gland that secretes both enzymes to help digestion and also hormones that control sugar and metabolism in addition to several other body and GI functions.

In addition, it is associated with the main duct that leads from the liver and can be reciprocally affecting each other.”

John Hopkins Medicine states, “Your pancreas plays a big role in digestion. It is located inside your abdomen, just behind your stomach. It’s about the size of your hand.

During digestion, your pancreas makes pancreatic juices called enzymes. These enzymes break down sugars, fats, and starches.

Your pancreas also helps your digestive system by making hormones. These are chemical messengers that travel through your blood.

Pancreatic hormones help regulate your blood sugar levels and appetite, stimulate stomach acids, and tell your stomach when to empty.”

What it’s Like to Have An Unhealthy Pancreas

Dr. Azab says, “When you don’t have a healthy pancreas you can experience poor metabolism, loss of weight, pain related to certain food, poor sugar control with either development of diabetes or worsening of pre-existing diabetes.”

John Hopkins Medicine says, “Your pancreas is important for digesting food and managing your use of sugar for energy after digestion.

If you have any symptoms of pancreatic digestion problems, like loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fatty stools, or weight loss, call your healthcare provider.”

Poor Food Tolerance

Dr. Azab explains, “Poor tolerance to certain food especially fatty meals with loss of weight: may suggest poor exocrine functions of the pancreas and no digestive enzymes mixing with passing food boluses.”

Pain in Your Upper Mid Abdomen

mature woman experiencing stomach pain from fatty liver disease

According to Dr. Azab, “Another indication that your pancreas isn’t healthy is if you feel a pain in the upper mid abdomen that radiates to the back or left or right upper abdomen may reflect inflamed pancreas secondary to blockage of pancreatic duct flow.”

Unexplained Weight Loss

Dr. Azab explains, “Older people who have experienced unexplained recent weight loss and development of diabetes in persons above 65-year-old may suggest possible development of pancreatic tumor.”

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