What is the digestive system?
They also produce normal droppings, which are not eaten. In the small intestines, the duodenum provides critical pH balancing to activate digestive enzymes. The liver can detoxify various metabolites ; synthesise proteins and produce biochemicals needed for digestion. Small bowel Bariatric surgery Duodenal switch Jejunoileal bypass Bowel resection Ileostomy Intestine transplantation Jejunostomy Partial ileal bypass surgery Strictureplasty. Food fat is dispersed by the action of bile into smaller units called micelles. Stomodeum Buccopharyngeal membrane Rathke's pouch Tracheoesophageal septum Pancreatic bud Hepatic diverticulum. Anatomy of the gastrointestinal tract , excluding the mouth.
Some common problems include cancer , irritable bowel syndrome , and lactose intolerance. Tests for digestive problems can include colonoscopy , upper GI endoscopy , capsule endoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography ERCP , and endoscopic ultrasound. Many surgical procedures are performed on the digestive tract. These include procedures done using endoscopy, laparoscopy, and open surgery.
Organ transplants can be performed on the liver, pancreas, and small intestine. Many health care providers can help diagnose and treat digestive problems. A gastroenterologist is a physician specialist who has received extra training in the diagnosis and treatment of the digestive disorders. Other providers involved in the treatment of digestive diseases include:. The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch attached to the cecum.
The cecum is the first part of the large intestine. The colon is next. The rectum is the end of the large intestine. Bacteria in your GI tract, also called gut flora or microbiome, help with digestion. Parts of your nervous and circulatory systems also help.
Working together, nerves, hormones , bacteria, blood, and the organs of your digestive system digest the foods and liquids you eat or drink each day.
Digestion is important because your body needs nutrients from food and drink to work properly and stay healthy. Proteins , fats , carbohydrates , vitamins , minerals , and water are nutrients.
Your digestive system breaks nutrients into parts small enough for your body to absorb and use for energy, growth, and cell repair. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you meet your individual health needs. Each part of your digestive system helps to move food and liquid through your GI tract, break food and liquid into smaller parts, or both. Once foods are broken into small enough parts, your body can absorb and move the nutrients to where they are needed.
Your large intestine absorbs water, and the waste products of digestion become stool. Nerves and hormones help control the digestive process.
Food moves through your GI tract by a process called peristalsis. The large, hollow organs of your GI tract contain a layer of muscle that enables their walls to move. The movement pushes food and liquid through your GI tract and mixes the contents within each organ.
The muscle behind the food contracts and squeezes the food forward, while the muscle in front of the food relaxes to allow the food to move. Food starts to move through your GI tract when you eat. When you swallow, your tongue pushes the food into your throat. A small flap of tissue, called the epiglottis, folds over your windpipe to prevent choking and the food passes into your esophagus. Once you begin swallowing, the process becomes automatic. Your brain signals the muscles of the esophagus and peristalsis begins.
When food reaches the end of your esophagus, a ringlike muscle—called the lower esophageal sphincter —relaxes and lets food pass into your stomach. After food enters your stomach, the stomach muscles mix the food and liquid with digestive juices. The stomach slowly empties its contents, called chyme , into your small intestine.
The muscles of the small intestine mix food with digestive juices from the pancreas, liver, and intestine, and push the mixture forward for further digestion. The walls of the small intestine absorb water and the digested nutrients into your bloodstream. As peristalsis continues, the waste products of the digestive process move into the large intestine.
Waste products from the digestive process include undigested parts of food, fluid, and older cells from the lining of your GI tract. The large intestine absorbs water and changes the waste from liquid into stool. Peristalsis helps move the stool into your rectum. At 3 or 4 inches around about 7 to 10 centimeters , the large intestine is fatter than the small intestine and it's almost the last stop on the digestive tract.
Like the small intestine, it is packed into the body, and would measure 5 feet about 1. The large intestine has a tiny tube with a closed end coming off it called the appendix say: It's part of the digestive tract, but it doesn't seem to do anything, though it can cause big problems because it sometimes gets infected and needs to be removed.
Like we mentioned, after most of the nutrients are removed from the food mixture there is waste left over — stuff your body can't use. This stuff needs to be passed out of the body. Can you guess where it ends up? Well, here's a hint: It goes out with a flush. Before it goes, it passes through the part of the large intestine called the colon say: CO-lun , which is where the body gets its last chance to absorb the water and some minerals into the blood.
As the water leaves the waste product, what's left gets harder and harder as it keeps moving along, until it becomes a solid. Yep, it's poop also called stool or a bowel movement. The large intestine pushes the poop into the rectum say: REK-tum , the very last stop on the digestive tract.
The solid waste stays here until you are ready to go to the bathroom. When you go to the bathroom, you are getting rid of this solid waste by pushing it through the anus say: There's the flush we were talking about!
You can help your digestive system by drinking water and eating a healthy diet that includes foods rich in fiber.
High-fiber foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, make it easier for poop to pass through your system.
The digestive system is a pretty important part of your body. Without it, you couldn't get the nutrients you need to grow properly and stay healthy. And next time you sit down to lunch, you'll know where your food goes — from start to finish! For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.