Can a personlive without their pancreas?If it is possible, what would the person have to do to maintain a normal lifestyle?

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Maintaining a normal lifestyle without a pancreas would be difficult but it could be done. Yes, you can live without a pancreas. The pancreas in its endocrine role plays a huge part in regulating your blood glucose concentration. It produces hormones that raise and lower the blood sugar as needed. When the blood sugar level is too low the pancreas secretes glucagon, a hormone that raises the blood sugar. When the glucose is too high the beta cells of the pancreas secrete insulin (hormone) that acts to lower the blood sugar.

Living without a pancreas would be a constant struggle of maintaining the blood glucose levels within an acceptable range. You would have to check the blood sugar many times every day, every couple of hours, and you would have to eat very frequently, also every couple of hours. A very strict adherence to the prescribed diet would be necessary. Insulin injection would probably be needed several times a day.

thewriter | Student

Yes, a person can live without the pancreas. The pancreas is a part of both the endocrine system and the digestive system. A person without a pancreas needs to take all the hormones and enzymes produced by the pancreas from external sources.

The pancreas produce bicarbonates that help neutralize the acids produced by the stomach. They also produce enzyme to digest fats and proteins. So a person without pancreas would have to consume these after anything is eaten so that the proteins and fats can be digested and the pH level in the stomach is kept at the right level. These are available in the form of pills.

The endocrine function of the pancreas involves the production of insulin to facilitate the proper use of glucose by the body cells. This is essential for survival. To take care of the lack of insulin due to the absence of the pancreas, insulin has to artificially taken in the form of injections.The person has to carefully calculate the amount of insulin to be taken based on the carbohydrate consumption so that blood sugar levels remain within the normal range.

It is possible to live without the pancreas though life would not be as comfortable and as easy as it is while the pancreas are present.