5 Things Every Woman Should Know About Her Pancreas

Like how to tell if it’s out of whack.

TRACY

When it comes to the gut, most people know the basic components: stomach, small intestine, large intestine. But there’s handful of seldom-considered parts that don’t get the attention they deserve, like the pancreas. Truth is, you know you have one, and that it’s kinda important, but unless something goes wrong with it, you don’t give it much thought.

 

But you should, because it’s a vital part of your digestive system and critical to controlling your blood sugar. (A good way to imagine its size and shape: Touch your right pinky finger to your right thumb, and stick out the rest of your fingers.  Now put your hand in the center of your belly, just under your ribs.)

 

Here’s what else you should know about the tadpole-shaped organ that sits in your abdomen, near the stomach and curving toward the intestines.

 

Your pancreas is your stomach's wing-woman

As soon as you start eating, your pancreas pumps out a handful of essential enzymes and hormones necessary for digestion, including lipase and amylase. “These juices are secreted into the small intestine where they help break down protein and fats after they’ve left the stomach,” says Reem Sharaiha, M.D., a gastroenterologist at New York-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine. (Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with The Body Clock Diet!) Continue…

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