Digestive System

If you are searching for information on the Human digestive system. We provide a thorough and comprehensive study.A simple and easy to understand explanation of the Human digestive system.

WHAT IS A HUMAN DIGESTIVE SYSTEM?

The human digestive system consists of a set of organs that are collectively called the Gastrointestinal Tract (GI) or digestive tract that digest foods. The GI tract is made up of the mouth, pharynx or throat, esophagus or food pipe, liver, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, small intestine, large intestine, colon, rectum, and anus. These organs are connected in a sequence by a hollow pipe.

HOW DIGESTIVE SYSTEM WORKS

The digestive system breaks down food material into small pieces. Bactria called microbiome helps in digestion of those foods – converting them into nutrients and vitamins which are essential for life.

How each digestive organ works

Mouth: The mouth breaks down food by chewing. The digestive juice saliva is produced to help the breaking down of foods into starches.

Pharynx or throat: The pharynx is a funnel-like organ that delivers food to the esophagus.

Esophagus: Esophagus or food pipe is a muscular tube that transports food to the stomach through a series of muscle contractions called peristalsis.

Stomach: The stomach is a muscular sac-like organ. It digests foods by mixing them with digestive juice, stomach acid and grinds to digest them into proteins.

Small Intestine: Duodenum, Jejunum, and Ileum make up the small intestine. It is a 20-foot long tube that coils inside the abdomen. It produces starch, proteins, and carbohydrates with the help of peristalsis and digestive juice.

Pancreas: The pancreas secretes enzymes to help in breaking down of foods into starch, fats, and carbohydrates.

Liver: Among its other functions, the liver secretes bile to convert foods to fats.

Gallbladder: The gallbladder is a storehouse for bile produced by the liver. This bile travels to the gallbladder through the cystic duct. During a meal, it sends bile into the small intestine.

Large intestine: The undigested food materials and old cells from the GI tract travel to the large intestine. The large intestine absorbed water from the waste foods or stools and send it to the rectum.

Rectum: The rectum is an 8-inch long tube that connects the colon of the large intestine with the anus.

Anus: When the rectum is full of waste, it sends its content to the anus. A series of contraction of muscles called sphincters helps in expelling the waste materials.

IMPORTANCE OF PROPER DIGESTION AND HEALTHY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

The digestive system converts food into proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fats. These are necessary to produce energy, perform cell repair and cell growth.

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are sugar, starches, and fiber present in foods. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 recommends 45% – 65% of carbohydrate intake for daily calorie usage.

Proteins: Foods such as meats, eggs, and pulses produce proteins. These proteins are further digested into amino acids. These amino acids play a huge role in the quality of blood. 10 – 35 percent of daily calorie usage comes from proteins.

Fats: Fats are the best energy source for the body. During digestion, fats are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol. The recommended daily intake of fat is between 20 – 30 percent of food consumed.

Vitamins: Digested foods produce water soluble and fat soluble vitamins like Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. These vitamins play a varied role in assisting the body. They help in the growth of the body and give a healthy life. Most fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. While water-soluble vitamins are passed out of the body via urine.

A healthy digestive system provides the body with a lot of benefits. While an unhealthy one causes the body to suffer from various illness and diseases.

SOME SIGNS AND ILLNESS CAUSED BY UNHEALTHY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Acid reflux: Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or Gastroesophageal Disease (GERD) happens when stomach contents go up the esophagus. This can cause a series of respiratory problems such as asthma, laryngitis, and pneumonia. It is caused due to a weak lower esophagus.

Constipation: When bowel movement during a weekly period is less than 3. It is a symptom of constipation. Constipation is a form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome caused by the slow movement of stool.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea is a loose and watery stool that is passed out frequently. It can cause malabsorption and malnutrition. Diarrhea occurs because of different reasons. But, it has been established that it is a definite sign of an unhealthy digestive system.

Sometimes, dermatitis and enamel defects could be symptoms of an unhealthy digestive system.

Sources:

• http://www.innerbody.com/image/digeov.html
• https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/your-digestive-system#1
• https://www.guthealthproject.com/8-common-health-issues-caused-by-an-unhealthy-gut/
• https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works