Have you ever wondered where do all the food and drinks that we eat every day go?

Yes, they go all over our bodies to be used as energy, growth, and cell repair. That’s why the digestion process is an important cycle, so we can keep our body healthy.

How does the human digestive system work? What is it made up? Let’s dive in further!

What is the human digestive system made up of?

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal tract (GI) liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

The mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and anus are the hollow organs that make up the GI tract, while the GI is a hollow organ joined from the mouth to the anus.

The small intestine is divided into three parts: duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. As for the large intestine, it includes the appendix, cecum, colon, and rectum.

The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch that connects the cecum to the stomach. The first part of the large intestine is the cecum. Then, the colon will come next, and finally the rectum as the last part.

How does the human digestive system work?

Every part of the digestive system has a job to help food and liquid move through the GI or break food and liquid into smaller parts. However, it can also do both.

Moreover, our nerves and hormones play a big role in supporting our digestive system too.

There are hormones released by our body to control how our digestive system works. These hormones will signal our body when to make digestive juices and our brain when we are hungry or full.

On the other hand, our nerves work as a connector between the central nervous system and the digestive system. Therefore, when we smell or see food, our brain commands the salivary glands to make our mouths water as a preparation to eat.

Wondering how our food and drink moves through GI? Let’s find it out below!

Mouth

The first process starts when we eat. When we swallow, the food is pushed to our throats. Then, epiglottis, a small flap of tissue, folds over our windpipe to avoid choking, and it passes into the esophagus.

Esophagus

Once we start swallowing, the muscles of the esophagus get the signals from the brain. That’s when the peristalsis begins. Peristalsis is a sequence of muscle activity that moves food through the digestive system in a wave-like pattern.

Lower esophageal sphincter

The food goes to the end of the esophagus and reaches the lower esophageal sphincter, which is a ring-like muscle that relaxes and lets food pass into your stomach. This sphincter is normally closed to prevent stomach contents from spilling back into the esophagus.

Stomach

When the food and liquid enters our stomach, the stomach muscles combine them with digestive juices. Then, all the contents are emptied by the stomach into our small intestine.

Small intestine

The small intestine muscles combine food with digestive fluids from the pancreas, liver, and intestine and drive it forward for digestion.

The water and digested nutrients are then absorbed into our bloodstream by the walls of the small intestine. While the peristalsis keeps going, the waste products of the digestive process will go into the large intestine.

Large intestine

The large intestine absorbs water and turns the waste from the liquid into stool. After that, the stool is moved into the rectum with the help of peristalsis.

Rectum

The stool is stored in the lower end of your large intestine, the rectum. Then, during a bowel movement, the stool will be pushed out of the anus.

It’s interesting how complex our body works every day, including how our digestive system works. However, we also play a big role in maintaining our body by keeping a healthy lifestyle, so make sure to help your body stay fit!

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