One of the most important systems in the body is the digestive system. Without it, there would be no converting of the food we eat into energy or the elimination of toxins from the body. A healthy digestive system is invaluable.
If you’re curious as to how the digestive system works, here it is.
The Digestive System
The digestive system is divided into 2 sections: the upper GI tract and lower GI tract. It includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and small and large intestine, and rectum. These organs are integral to the digestive process and are collectively called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. They work well together if you have a healthy digestive system.
The Digestive Process
The first part of the digestive process begins in the mouth when you eat food. The food moves through your throat and passes through your esophagus. Upon reaching the lower esophageal sphincter, a flap opens to let the food into your stomach. The sphincter flap closes to prevent the stomach acids from flowing back into your esophagus, which is a condition called acid reflux.
When the food is in your stomach, the stomach muscles work to mix the food with digestive juices. Then, the contents exit the stomach and enter the small intestine. The muscles of the small intestines mix the food and digestive juices with the secretions of the liver (bile) and pancreas (insulin), and further digest the food.
The walls of the small intestine absorb the liquid and nutrients into your bloodstream. Waste products are moved into the large intestine. The waste products are a combination of undigested food, fluids, and old cells that coat the GI tract. The large intestine converts the liquefied products into stool.
Once the conversion into stool is complete, it moves into the rectum. The rectum is the very end of your GI tract, located at the end of your large intestine. Stool stays there until you are ready to make a bowel movement.
There is a plethora of issues that can affect any part of the GI tract. When any issue happens, it can have a cascading effect on your GI health. GI issues are treated by a gastrointestinal doctor or gastroenterologist.
Treating Gastrointestinal Issues in Austin, Texas
For the best gastrointestinal care in Austin, look no further than Austin Gastroenterology. Since 1980, we are the trusted resource for all things concerning the GI tract in the greater Austin area.
Our team of skilled, board-certified gastroenterologists provides top-of-the-line GI services that include diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of GI diseases and disorders. We recommend only the best and proven treatments to our patients.