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Cleveland Clinic Florida’s locations in Weston (left) and Wellington (right).

PROTECTING YOUR DIGESTION Cleveland Clinic Florida Offers Specialized Care For Your Digestive System’s Health Digestive health relies on a large, complex system of organs, including the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas, to turn the food we eat into the nutrients and energy our bodies need to survive. “When any one element of this intricate system fails, it can have major health consequences,” explained Dr. Conrad H. Simpfendorfer, director of The liver’s role in digestion is vital.

liver and pancreas surgery at Cleveland Clinic Florida. These three organs are key accessories to digestive health. The liver, gallbladder and pancreas do not move food through our bodies, yet their role in digestion is vital. The liver takes the raw materials absorbed by the intestine to make chemicals the body needs to function and detoxify potentially harmful chemicals that are ingested. The gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver and then releases it through bile ducts into the small intestine to help process fats. The pancreas secretes juices used to break down protein, fats and carbohydrates, as well as hormones to regulate blood sugar. Some of the most common digestive disorders involve this organ trio. More than four million Americans are diagnosed each year with liver disease, including cirrhosis and viral hep-

In addition to secreting hormones to regulate blood sugar, the pancreas produces enzymes to break down protein, fats and carbohydrates.

atitis. Another 20 million are affected by gallstones and other biliary diseases. Meanwhile, pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers, will claim an estimated 47,000 lives in the United States this year. “Because of their tremendous impact on overall health, liver, biliary and pancreatic diseases require immediate and expert medical care,” Simpfendorfer cautioned. This is where the experts at Cleveland Clinic Florida come in. wellington the magazine | july 2021 37

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