UofL Health leaders are closely monitoring the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation and we are fully prepared to address the needs of our patients and team members. Learn More.

Pancreas Function

Your pancreas is an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach and is connected to the small intestine at the duodenum.

The pancreas contains enzyme-producing cells that secrete both insulin and glucagon directly into the bloodstream. Together these functions play a valuable role in regulating glucose levels in the blood. Insulin lowers blood sugar levels, while increasing glucagon in the liver. Glucagon, in turn, increases a falling blood sugar level. If these two enzymes fail to work together properly, diabetes occurs.

In severe cases, most often found in patients with Type I Diabetes, the pancreas function will fail entirely, resulting in the need for a pancreas transplant.