The Digestive System
by Clara Taylor
What are the functions of the Digestive System?
· Breaks down the food we eat
· Turns food into energy the body can use
· Turns the food into smaller molecules so the organs can absorb nutrients
· The energy that the food is broken down into is also used for cell repair
What are the different parts of this system?
Mouth: Chews food, which grinds the food down into smaller particles so the food can digest more quickly and easily. It also moistens the food with saliva which has the enzyme amylase. Which changes the some of the starches in the food into sugar.
Esophagus: A tube that extends from the mouth to the stomach which carries the food.
Liver: Blood flows to the liver directly from the heart and also the intestines. The blood oozes through tiny units called hepatic lobules. The liver digests/breaks down the nutrients even further. (it is the largest internal organ)
Gallbladder: Stores bile (a pear-shaped sac that rests under the right portion of the liver)
Pancreas: Produces digestive juices required to break down all foods, it also produces insulin and glucagon (hormones needed to regulate metabolism)
Small Intestine: Digestive juices are manufactured by the walls of the small intestine, together with enzymes from the liver and pancreas, complete the digestion of all foods
Large Intestine: Absorbs water and salts from the material that has not been digested yet as food, and stores waste
Rectum: Releases waste
Stomach: Stomach muscles churn food and digestive juices into a mass called chyme then they contract and squeeze the chyme toward the end of the stomach. The stomach also acts as a storage place for food and helps start the digestion of food.
Further Information on the Stomach!
Breaks down the proteins in foodstuff. The stomach also produces Gastrin which promotes acids and enzymes (which are referred to digestive juices) that happen to kill bacteria, and absorb Vitamin B.
Diseases of the Digestive System include:
· Crohn’s Disease
· Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
· Colon Cancer
1. Certain types of diets that are high in red meats and processed meats.
2. Cooking meats at very high heat (frying, broiling, or grilling).
3. Lack of exercise
4. Being very overweight (or obese)
6. Heavy alcohol use
7. Having had colorectal cancer or certain kinds of polyps before
8. Having a history of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease
9. Family history of colorectal cancer
10. Race or ethnic background, such as being African American or Ashkenazi
11. Type 2 diabetes
1. A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by doing so
2. Rectal bleeding, dark stools, or blood in the stool
3. Cramping or belly pain
4. Weakness and fatigue
5. Unintended weight loss
2. Chemotherapy after surgery is also sometimes recommended if doctors may predict that the cancer might come back
3. Doctors also advise using radiation therapy if your surgeon thinks cancer cells might have been left behind during or after surgery
Could a person live without any part of your organ system?
Medical Advances for the Digestive System
- Clinical trials are using aggressive treatment methods for patients with pancreas cancer now.
Interaction with Other Systems:
· The digestive system interacts with the circulatory system because the arteries deliver blood to lots of the organs in the digestive system.
· The skeletal system helps the mouth chew and break down the food in the first step of digestion.
· The muscular system helps the esophagus muscle push food and drinks along for further digestion.