pancreas image

The pancreas is an elongated organ located behind the stomach and has two parts.  One part of the pancreas, called the exocrine pancreas, secretes digestive enzymes like gastrin which stimulate the production of acid in the stomach. The other part of the pancreas, the endocrine pancreas, secretes hormones called insulin and glucagon. These hormones regulate the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.  Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is crucial to the functioning of key organs including the brain, liver, and kidneys.

Glucagon signals the liver to use stored carbohydrates in order to raise a low blood sugar level. If the blood sugar level gets too high, insulin signals the liver to take excess glucose out of circulation and lower the blood sugar level.