Robert Gordon University
The digestive system is basically made up of gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas and gall bladder. The digestive tract is a series of hollow organs starting from mouth to the anus. Therefore, the organs involved in the digestive system include mouth, stomach, intestine, anus and esophagus. Digestion plays an important role as the body requires nutrients that can be gained from food and drink which ultimately helps to work properly and stay healthy (Cleveland). The digestive organs help to break down nutrients and absorb them to use in the form of energy and growth.
The part of the digestive system helps to move the food and liquid through digestive tract and once it breaks down, the body can absorb it and move to the parts wherever required. Large intestines help in absorbing water, and other wastes flushes out of the body in the form of stool. Furthermore, nerves and hormones play vital role in controlling the process of digestion. The digestive organ includes mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver and large intestine (MUSC).
Mouth: The mouth is the beginning point of the digestive tract. The salivary glands get active once the food enters the mouth and teeth helps to chew the food and break them into smaller pieces that are ore easily digestible. The food gets mixed with the saliva in the mouth to break down into a form that can be easily absorbed and used by the body. While swallowing, the food gets passed into the throat and enters esophagus with the help of tongue.
Esophagus: This part of the digestive organ is located near the windpipe and received the food passed from the mouth while swallowing. Furthermore, Mental Health Nursing and epiglottis is a small flap present over the windpipe that actually helps in preventing choking (Niddk). The muscular contractions within the esophagus are known as peristalsis that ultimately delivers the food to stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter allows the food to get in and sphincter also prevents the food to flow back to esophagus.
Stomach: The stomach acts as a container and allows the food to get mixed with enzymes. These enzymes help in breaking down the food into usable form. The stomach also comprises of cells in the linings that secretes acids and enzymes that are responsible for carrying out the process of food breakdown. After, processing the food contents in the stomach, it gets released into the small intestine.
Small Intestine: The small intestine comprises of three segments- ileum, duodenum and jejunum. It makes use of enzymes that are released from pancreas and bile from liver, in order to break down food. In this process, peristalsis helps to move the food and mix it with digestive juices. Duodenum is largely responsible for undertaking the breakdown process and other two components of small intestine are responsible for absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream (Cleveland). The contents in the small intestine begin with the semi-solid form but turns into a liquid form due to the process of digestion. This change occurs due to water, enzymes, mucus and water. Furthermore, once the nutrients are absorbed from the food, the leftover are passed through the small intestine and finally enters the large intestine.
Pancreas: The digestive enzymes get secreted in pancreas and enter to duodenum in order to break down fats, protein and carbohydrates. It also makes insulin that metabolizes sugar.
Liver: The major function of liver is to process the nutrients that get absorbed from the small intestine. Bile that gets secreted from the liver helps in the digestion of fat and vitamins (MUSC). Liver acts as a chemical factory for the body where raw materials are absorbed from small intestine and produces chemicals required for the proper functioning of the body. It also detoxifies harmful chemicals out of the body.
Large Intestine: The large intestine helps in the processing of waste and ultimately emptying the bowels in an easier manner. It is a long muscular tube that helps to connect small intestine with the rectum. The function of large intestine is to pass the waste left over from the digestive system or stool through colon. This process is undertaken by the means of peristalsis where wastes are in liquid form and then in solid form. Once the stool gets passed through colon, it removes water and gets stored in sigmoid till it get emptied into the rectum (Niddk). The stool comprises of various bacteria that are useful in processing waste products and once the colon gets filled with feces, the process of elimination begins via rectum.
Cleveland. â€œDigestive System | Cleveland Clinic.â€ Cleveland Clinic, 13 Sept. 2018, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/7041-the-structure-and-function-of-the-digestive- system.
MUSC. â€œDigestive Organs.â€ Muschealth.org, 2021, muschealth.org/medical- services/ddc/patients/digestive-organs.
Niddk. â€œYour Digestive System & How It Works | NIDDK.â€ National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 13 Jan. 2019, www.niddk.nih.gov/health- information/digestive-diseases/digestive-system-how-it-works.
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