Hi there. I'm your kidney. You may be familiar with my friend, little kidney, but I'm bigger than him. Not necessarily better, but definitely bigger. We look the same, especially on the internet. But let me tell you, I am so large I have about twice the nephrons he has (ladies, take note). I'm not trying to brag or anything, I'm just sayin', if you like clean blood, I can get the job done in half the time. I also produce important hormones, such as calcitriol, erythropoietin, and the enzyme renin. If that doesn't knock your socks off, then kindly take note of my marvelous hangtag, which tells you all about the joys of homeostasis. It's also filled with pictures of me (yeah, I have a twin brother, double trouble), your kidney, bad kidney jokes and pee puns, but who doesn't like an organ with a sense of humor? Picture's worth a thousand words, so why don't you just read it for a second and tell me if you like what you see? I am big enough to hug, and did I mention I love to cuddle?
Insulin is a hormone that helps turn food into energy. Insulin is released by beta cells in the Islets of Langerhans -- there are about a million of these iselts, or islands inside your pancreas! After you eat, sugar from food goes into the bloodstream. Insulin unlocks body cells so they can accept a special delivery of sugar (aka glucose). The cell transforms glucose into energy for you to run and play. When these islets don't make insulin, that's called diabetes, and it's a big bummer to those folks who have it!
Need something special for your favorite pancreas-loving person? Sweet dreams do come true, fun new pancreatic goodies just arrived at the I Heart Guts Threadless Artist Shop -- including pancreas pillows, bags, zippered pouches ideal for holding your monitor, insulin pen, test strips and glucose goodies. Or whatever your heart desires!