Pancreatic enzymes may play role in shock | Science News

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Pancreatic enzymes may play role in shock

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2:25pm, August 16, 2002

Among its duties, the pancreas produces digestive enzymes and dumps them into the small intestine. These chemicals are strong enough to break down meats and other foods, yet they don't normally damage bodily tissues. The inner lining of the intestine forms a barrier that keeps the enzymes in their place.

Scientists now suggest that when pancreatic enzymes leak out of the intestinal tract, they set off the devastating chain reaction known as shock. Marked by confusion, clammy skin, plummeting blood pressure, a weak heartbeat, and organ failure, shock can be induced by trauma, blood loss, or d

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