An overview of the human digestive system and how it works

A juice from the liver called bile helps to absorb fats into the bloodstream. Your pancreas also makes hormones that are important to digestion. When food reaches the end of your esophagus, a ringlike muscle—called the lower esophageal sphincter —relaxes and lets food pass into your stomach.

Nerves You have nerves that connect your central nervous system—your brain and spinal cord—to your digestive system and control some digestive functions. Lower gastrointestinal tract Main article: Waste products from the digestive process include undigested parts of food, fluid, and older cells from the lining of your GI tract.

Your Digestive System

The jejunum, the midsection of the small intestine contains circular foldsflaps of doubled mucosal membrane which partially encircle and sometimes completely encircle the lumen of the intestine. From this breakdown, smaller particles of emulsified fats called chylomicrons are produced.

The nerves send signals to control the actions of your gut muscles to contract and relax to push food through your intestines. Bile produced by the liver is also used to mechanically break fats into smaller globules.

The teeth are named after their particular roles in the process of mastication— incisors are used for cutting or biting off pieces of food; caninesare used for tearing, premolars and molars are used for chewing and grinding.

After food enters your stomach, the stomach muscles mix the food and liquid with digestive juices. Your tongue helps out, pushing the food around while you chew with your teeth. Sympathetic innervation is supplied by the splanchnic nerves that join the celiac ganglia.

The bolus is further helped by the lubrication provided by the saliva in its passage from the mouth into the esophagus. Gastrointestinal tract The lower gastrointestinal tract GIincludes the small intestine and all of the large intestine.

Peristalsis is a muscular wave that travels the length of the GI tract, moving partially digested food a short distance down the tract. The digestive process starts in your mouth when you chew. This is how gallstones form when a small piece of calcium gets coated with either cholesterol or bilirubin and the bile crystallises and forms a gallstone.

It carries swallowed masses of chewed food along its length. Spleen The spleen breaks down both red and white blood cells that are spent.

Malabsorption can have many causes ranging from infectionto enzyme deficiencies such as exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract—a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus—and other organs that.

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal tract—also called the GI tract or digestive tract—and the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.

How does the Digestive System Work?

The human digestive system consists of the gastrointestinal tract plus the accessory organs of digestion (the tongue, salivary glands, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder). Digestion involves the breakdown of food into smaller and smaller components, until they can be absorbed and assimilated into the body.

The digestive system uses 3 main processes to move and mix food: Swallowing. Swallowing is the process of using smooth and skeletal muscles in the mouth, tongue, and pharynx to push food out of the mouth, through the pharynx, and into the esophagus.

The digestive system is a group of organs working together to convert food into energy and basic nutrients to feed the entire body. Food passes through a long tube inside the body known as the alimentary canal or the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract). Detailed information on how the digestive system works, including a full-color, labeled illustration of the digestive system.

Digestive System -- An Overview.

Digestive System

See related health topics and resources. The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract and other organs that aid in digestion.

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An overview of the human digestive system and how it works
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