The pancreas is a gland that lies crosswise in the middle of the abdomen below the stomach. It makes insulin, a hormone that controls the way we use the sugar we have digested, and it manufactures various juices that flow into the intestines to help digest the foods we have eaten.
The stomach lies in the upper left side of the abdomen. It connects with the esophagus, or foodpipe, above and the small intestines below. The muscles of the stomach churn up the undigested food received from the esophagus and break it into small particles. The stomach also digests some of the sugars we have eaten and even absorbs some of them into the body through its wall. The tiny gland cells of the stomach’s lining manufacture an acid that also helps to break up large undigested food particles into small ones. People once thought that the stomach was important in digesting foods, but this is not so. Most of the digestion goes on in the small intestines.