What Is Not Part Of The Digestive System – When most people think about their digestive system, their first thoughts usually go to foods that make their stomachs happy. And although the stomach is an integral part of the digestive tract, it is far from the only part worth knowing about.
Here at the Colorectal Clinic of Tampa Bay, we focus mainly on the lower digestive tract, but the entire system is important to sustaining our bodies and keeping us alive and healthy.
- 1 What Is Not Part Of The Digestive System
- 2 Digestive System Anatomy And Physiology
- 3 The Science Behind Why Stress Can Wreak Havoc On Your Stomach
What Is Not Part Of The Digestive System
This organ system is extremely important and its proper functioning is paramount to a patient’s overall health. Let’s take a look at the different parts of the digestive system and what roles they play in digestion.
Digestive System Anatomy And Physiology
This is where food and drink begin their journey through the system. Digestion actually begins as soon as it enters the mouth; chewing with the teeth breaks the food into smaller pieces and saliva begins to break down complex carbohydrates into simpler sugars.
The pharynx is probably one of the lesser known parts of the digestive system. In your neck, there are two separate “tubes” that converge at the pharynx. This part of your throat is responsible for guiding food and drink into your esophagus instead of into your lungs, keeping your food and air separate. Each time you swallow, a bolus is directed by your pharynx into the esophagus.
About eight inches long, the esophagus is a long, muscular tube that connects your throat to your stomach. The esophagus produces muscle contractions in a downward direction to help direct the movement of a food bolus into the stomach. When these contractions fail or are inconsistent, some people experience dysphagia.
At the junction between the esophagus and stomach, there is a small, muscular opening that can close to prevent the backflow of acid into the esophagus. In some patients, this sphincter can become weakened, causing heartburn and GERD.
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Although no segment of the digestive system is more important than another, the stomach plays a major role in digestion. This organ uses high acidity to convert food bolus into chyme一 a liquid food substance that can be further digested in the next segment of the digestive system.
Divided into three parts (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum), the small intestine is the 22-foot-long part of the digestive system responsible for extracting vital nutrients from the chyme. As nutrients are extracted through tiny villi, they enter the bloodstream directly. The pancreas and gallbladder are also critical organs that attach to the duodenum; they contribute enzymes and the means to break down complex fats in the food we eat.
, the large intestine is an organ that completes the digestive process. This tube measures about five feet long and its main purpose is to extract any remaining liquid from the waste that enters it. Contrary to popular belief, digestion does not stop as the remaining undigested food enters the large intestine.
In fact, the large intestine is where the majority of your beneficial gut flora live. Even though your body can no longer extract more nutrients, the bacteria in the colon now start to get to work. This is where gas is created; a healthy colon has many beneficial bacteria that will break down fiber and release vitamins such as B and K.
The Science Behind Why Stress Can Wreak Havoc On Your Stomach
This part of the colon is responsible for storing stool for excretion. The rectum is about five to six inches long; as it expands, stretch receptors are activated, signaling a bowel movement.
The last few centimeters of the rectum connect to the outside of the body at the anal sphincter. This area is the last stop for food on its way through the body. After shedding, the journey is over!
Here at Colorectal Clinic of Tampa Bay, we offer many colorectal services that focus mainly on the colon, rectum, and anus. If you are experiencing any of these colorectal symptoms, it may be time to schedule a consultation with our colorectal specialists here in Tampa Bay. The function of the digestive system is to break down the foods you eat, release their nutrients, and absorb those nutrients into the body. Although the small intestine is the workhorse of the system, where the majority of digestion takes place and where most of the released nutrients are absorbed into the blood or lymph, each of the organs of the digestive system makes a crucial contribution to this process (Figure 23.1. 1).
Figure 23.1.1 – Components of the digestive system: All digestive organs play an integral role in the life-sustaining digestive process.
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As with all body systems, the digestive system does not work in isolation; it works together with the body’s other systems. For example, consider the relationship between the digestive system and the cardiovascular system. Arteries supply the digestive organs with oxygen and processed nutrients, and veins drain the digestive tract. These intestinal veins, which make up the hepatic portal system, are unique in that they do not return blood directly to the heart. Instead, this blood is directed to the liver, where its nutrients are discharged for processing before the blood completes its cycle back to the heart. At the same time, the digestive system provides nutrients to the heart muscle and vascular tissue to support their function. The relationship between the digestive system and the endocrine system is also critical. Hormones secreted by several endocrine glands, as well as endocrine cells in the pancreas, stomach and small intestine, contribute to the control of digestion and nutrient metabolism. In turn, the digestive system supplies the nutrients to nourish the endocrine function. Table 23.1 gives a quick insight into how these other systems contribute to the functioning of the digestive system.
Mucosal-associated lymphoid tissue and other lymphatic tissue defend against invading pathogens; lacteals absorb lipids; and lymphatic vessels transport lipids to the bloodstream
The easiest way to understand the digestive system is to divide its organs into two main categories. The first group is the organs that make up the digestive tract. Accessory digestive organs make up the second group and are essential in orchestrating the breakdown of food and the assimilation of its nutrients in the body. Accessory digestive organs, despite their name, are essential to the functioning of the digestive system.
Also called the gastrointestinal tract (GI) or intestine, the alimentary canal (aliment- = “to nourish”) is a one-way tube of approx. 7.62 meters (25 ft) in length during life and closer to 10.67 meters (35 ft) in length measured after death when smooth muscle tone is lost. The main function of the organs of the digestive tract is to nourish the body by digesting food and absorbing released nutrients. This tube begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. Between these two points, the tract is modified as the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines to suit the functional needs of the body. Both mouth and anus are for the external environment; therefore, food and waste in the digestive tract are technically considered to be outside the body. Only through the absorption process do the nutrients in the food enter and nourish the body’s “inner space”.
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Each additional digestive organ aids in the breakdown of food (Figure 23.1.2). Inside the mouth, the teeth and tongue begin mechanical digestion, whereas the salivary glands begin chemical digestion. Once food enters the small intestine, the gallbladder, liver and pancreas release secretions – such as bile and enzymes – essential for digestion to continue. Together, these are called accessory organs because they sprout from the lining cells of the developing gut (mucosa) and augment its function; indeed, you could not live without their vital contribution, and many significant diseases are due to their malfunction. Even after development is complete, they maintain a connection to the gut via ducts.
Throughout its length, the alimentary canal is composed of the same four layers of tissue; the details of their structural arrangements vary to suit their specific functions. Starting from the lumen and moving outward, these layers are the mucosa, submucosa, muscularis, and serosa, which is continuous with the mesentery (see Figure 23.1.2).
Figure 23.1.2 – Layers of the digestive tract: The wall of the digestive tract has four basic tissue layers: the mucosa, submucosa, muscularis and serosa.
The mucosa is referred to as a mucous membrane because mucus production is a characteristic feature of the intestinal epithelium. The membrane consists of epithelium, which is in direct contact with ingested food, and lamina propria, a connective tissue layer analogous to the dermis. In addition, the mucosa has a thin, smooth muscle layer, called the muscularis mucosa (not to be confused with the muscularis layer, described below).
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-In the mouth, pharynx, esophagus and anal canal, the epithelium is primarily a non-keratinized, stratified squamous epithelium. In the stomach and intestines, it is a simple columnar epithelium. Note that the epithelium is in direct contact with the lumen, the space inside the alimentary canal. Interspersed among its epithelial cells are goblet cells, which secrete mucus and fluid into the lumen, and enteroendocrine cells, which secrete hormones into the interstitial spaces between the cells. Epithelial cells have a very short lifespan, on average from only a few days (in the mouth) to about a week (in the intestine). this process
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