is role of the pancreas in diabetes?
After your body has finished digesting
the pizza, your blood sugar levels will be high since the small intestine
has absorbed the sugars from the starches that were present in your meal.
The pancreas recognizes the increase in blood sugar and it begins to
release insulin into the blood stream. Insulin acts as a gatekeeper
for your cells by regulating the flow of glucose into them. Glucagon,
on the other hand, functions opposite of insulin. Your liver and
muscles store the excess glucose in your blood as glycogen. Whenever
your brain senses that blood sugar levels are too low, it triggers the
pancreas to release glucagon. Glucagon also serves as a gatekeeper
for your cells, triggering cells in your liver and muscles to change glycogen
to glucose and to release it into the blood stream until the blood sugar
level has returned to normal.
People with diabetes do not make enough insulin in their
pancreas. As a result, blood sugar rises. Cells are being starved
for sugar because the sugar can't get into cells and stays in the blood.
Excess blood sugar also dehydrates cells, because they lose water by
Click here to review osmosis.
does the large intestine do?
The large intestine's main function
is to extract fluid and salts. The
large intestine removes the salt by actively transporting sodium (Na+)
ions out of the large intestine and into the blood vessels (see
graphic). Chloride (Cl-) ions are passively absorbed by the
pull of positive electrical charge caused by removal of Na+.
Water flows out of the large intestine with the
removal of salt due to osmosis, since the blood
has a higher concentration of particles than the large intestine.
Water diffuses towards the particle rich blood.
If excretion of the wastes is delayed, constipation may
occur. When the wastes are retained in the large intestine, large
amounts of water will be absorbed by the body, leaving the wastes firm
and dry. In
contrast, diarrhea is characterized by a highly fluid waste that is caused
by an inadequate amount of water absorption by the intestine. Diarrhea
can be caused by increased intestinal movement due to bacteria, virus,
or stress, an increase in osmotic particles in the wastes that prevents
water from escaping into the blood, or toxins released by cholera bacteria
or other microorganisms that increase the secretion of excessive amounts
of fluid by cells in the intestine.
You have your own fermentation
vat in your gut. The large intestine is the home of several types
of bacteria, but in the large intestine these bacteria
are not harmful to your body. Instead, they are critical to the digestive
process. These bacteria produce vitamin
K, used in blood clotting. The bacteria also breakdown certain carbohydrates that your body can't break
down with its enzymes. The bacteria also cause gas. Know what I
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