Glossary Term

Pancreas

Long, irregularly shaped gland that lies behind the stomach. Some glands in the pancreas secrete insulin. Pancreas transplants give patients with diabetes a chance to become independent of insulin injections. In addition to insulin, the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes (into the small intestine) that aid in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. (Organdonor.gov April 2020)

Irregularly shaped gland that lies behind the stomach and secretes pancreatic enzymes into the small intestines to aid in the digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Islet cells within the pancreas secrete glucagon, which regulates blood sugar levels and insulin, which lowers blood sugar levels. If the pancreas fails, the individual becomes diabetic, and may need to take insulin. The pancreas can be donated and transplanted. (OPTN Glossary May 2021)

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