The pancreas is below our stomach, front and center, near the bottom of the rib cage. It may be the busiest twelve inches going.

First off, just to make things more complicated (and who in the world thought that was necessary?), the pancreas is both an exocrine and an endocrine organ. The exocrine part comes with the necessary tubing to send digestive enzymes to their designated destination.

The hormone-producing (endocrine) part of the pancreas emits its hormones into inner space where they, hopefully, meet up with receptors that accept them so they can do what they were born to do: Control blood sugar. And that’s what I’ll talk about here.

The pancreas produces two hormones, insulin and glucagon, to handle our sugar levels. To lower blood sugar, it shoots out insulin. To raise blood sugar, it pumps glucagon.

Like the rest of the endocrine system, the pancreas works in bits and bursts, not a steady flow of hormones. So your body works 24/7, shooting out insulin now, glucagon then, to keep your blood sugar in balance. A ballet of amazingly intricate choreography.

We can control some things that take the pancreas down: excessive or binge drinking for one. High fructose corn syrup for another; that’s huge. As are vitamin and mineral deficiencies; no matter how much we watch what we eat, diet alone can’t cut it nutritionally.

A whacked out thyroid, either not diagnosed or inadequately treated–as in most cases–can also put the pancreas into a tizzy. This link shows up big time in cases of inherited hypothyroidism.

A low/no fat diet creates a catastrophe, not just for the pancreas, but for the entire endocrine system. Saturated fat promotes endocrine health. And not just a dab of saturated fat, either. Good fat does all sorts of good things.

Side note: Keep the carbs low, and saturated fat won’t blimp you up; it’s the dastardly carbs–especially those loaded with high fructose corn syrup, soy, MSG and other bad actors–that do you in. (And in case you think you see a loophole, no-cal sweeteners also do a number on you.)

The fact is, saturated fat offers major help in maintaining blood sugar levels. Somehow it seems to uniquely satisfy the body.

High blood sugar levels mean diabetes, aka hyperglycemia. Type 1 diabetes comes from simply not creating enough insulin to tamp down blood sugar. In Type 2 diabetes, you have enough insulin, but your receptors won’t take it in, so it’s like you don’t have enough. Hypoglycemia, on the other hand, has you drowning in insulin, which can leave you in a heap on the floor–since fainting’s pretty common in hypoglycemia.

If you eat something sweet, say a doughnut or a piece of cake, on an empty stomach, checking how you feel an hour later can give you a good clue. If you’re wired, perspiring and light-headed, you really need to be tested for diabetes. If, on the other hand, you feel like a truck hit you, and all you want to do is sleep–which you may do wherever you are or whatever time it is–it’s time to check for hypoglycemia.

Self-testing for blood sugar levels with a sugar OD isn’t safe, though. Putting yourself into difficulty regularly is, in a word, dumb. But if by chance you find yourself in difficulty, check back to what you ate/drank an hour before and see if you spot a connection.

The best diet for hyper or hypoglycemia is high saturated fat, medium protein and low carb a la Dr. Atkins. But he wasn’t the first to promote the idea.;it has 150 years of science behind it. The diet pushed by the diabetes industry keeps you sick.

Add good vitamin and mineral nutrition to your new diet, and you’ll find a whole new world.

Author's Bio: 

Here’s a fact: Our endocrine system is a nutrition hog. And our diet can’t give us the nutrition we need, no matter how hard we try. To be healthy–and stay healthy–we need to bump up our nutrition with vitamins and minerals. Which brings up another fact: Most of us have no idea what’s good, what’s hype or how to build a balanced program.

Based on years of research and experience, Bette Dowdell wrote an e-book to get you past the vitamin learning curve and into health. Pep for the Pooped: Vitamins and Minerals Your Body Is Starving For helps you build a solid health foundation even if you can’t tell one vitamin from another or explain why we need minerals.

Besides giving you the information you need, the book has links to take you directly to the right brand, the best type, at the lowest price, which will save more money than the cost of the book. Skip the guesswork and get the help you need at