Digestive System

By: Morgan Jensen

The digestive system is a group of organs that work together to ensure proper digestion and absorption of nutrients.

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Main Organs of the digestive System

  • mouth (teeth tongue salivary glands)
  • pharynx
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum)
  • large intestine (vermiform appendix)
  • cecum
  • colon (ascending, transverse, descending, sigmoid)
  • rectum
  • anal canal
  • liver
  • gallbladder
  • pancreas


  • a hollow chamber with a roof, floor, and walls
  • food enters here and digestion starts right away
  • teeth, tongue, and salivary glands found here

Pharynx (Throat)

  • tube-like structure made of muscle
  • food passes through in its way to the stomach


  • muscular, mucus lined tube that connects the pharynx with the stomach
  • 25 cm long
  • food travels through to get to stomach


  • lies in the upper part of the abdominal cavity
  • pouch that holds food after its been chewed, swallowed, and passes through the esophagus
  • contractions of the stomach walls mix food with gastric juices to break it down into chyme

Small Intestine

  • 7 meters long
  • 3 areas: duodenum, jejunum, and ileum
  • intestinal glands secrete the intestinal digestive juice
  • the products of carbs and proteins digestion get absorbed in here


  • found in the upper right section of the abdominal cavity and partially on the left side
  • largest gland in the body (exocrine gland)
  • the liver detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs

Gall Bladder

  • pear shaped, hallow structure
  • stores and concentrates digestive liquid called bile that the liver makes

Gall Stones

  • gall stones are solid clumps of material that form in the gall bladder
  • some never cause problems and some produce painful symptoms and medical complications
  • gallstones form when cholesterol concentration in bile becomes excessive causing precipitation to occur
  • some symptoms are: pain in upper abdomen or back, nausea, vomiting, bloating, indigestion, or gas
  • gall stones are treated with surgery sometimes otherwise they can be "passed"


  • found behind the stomach
  • it secretes panreatic juice into ducts and also secretes hormones into blood
  • pancreatic juice is the most important digestive juice because it digests all three major kinds of food

Large Intestine

  • about 1.5 meters long
  • undigested and unabsorbed food material enters the large intestines
  • it includes the cecum; ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colons; rectum; and anal canal


  • worm-like, tube-like structure
  • contains lymphatic tissue
  • may play a minor role in the immunological defense mechanism of the body
  • directly attached to the cecum
  • 1 inch long

Some Digestive Juices

  • saliva- digests starch
  • gastric juice- digests proteins
  • pancreatic juice- digests proteins, fats emulsfied by bile, and starch
  • intestinal enzymes (peptidases, sucrase, lactase, maltase)- digests peptides, sucrose, lactose, and maltose

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

  • a set of symptoms resulting from a hiatal herniam that allows the stomach contests to flow back into the esophagus
  • symptoms include: heartburn or chest pain and coughing or choking during or just after a meal
  • avoid problem foods or beverages, stop smoking, or lose weight if needed to solve the problem
  • acid-blocking medications may also be used to treat


  • abnormal contact between the teeth of the upper jaw and lower jaw
  • caused by childhood habits such as sucking thumbs, pacifier use, and sucking on a bottle, extra teeth, lost teeth, impacted teeth, or abnormally shaped teeth
  • symptoms include spaces between teeth, discomfort when chewing or biting, and speech problems or lisp
  • treatment is braces, removal of teeth, jaw surgery, and wires or plates to stabilize jaw