Understanding the Human Digestive System

In the body, the process of processing food into energy is highly dependent on the human digestive system. This system is complex because the body will also absorb the results for cell growth and repair for human survival.

The human digestive system allows us to obtain nutrients and energy from various types of food or drink. Both are needed in the process of metabolism, repair of cells and tissues of the body, as well as supporting daily activities, such as moving, breathing, learning, and working.

Understanding the Human Digestive System - Allodokter

Not only nutrition and energy, the human digestive system also produces waste that will be excreted by the body in the form of feces (feces).

Organs in the Human Digestive System

In order to be converted into energy and various nutrients, such as amino acids, glucose, and fatty acids, foods and beverages that enter the body need to be processed first.

The following are some of the body organs in the human digestive system that will convert food into energy and nutrients and remove waste products:

1. Mouth

The human digestive process begins when food is bitten, chewed, and chewed in the mouth. Food mixed with saliva will be broken down into smaller pieces by the teeth, making it soft and easy to swallow.

The tongue also plays a role in mixing food with saliva, directing the food in the mouth to be bitten evenly by the teeth, and then pushing it into the esophagus to be swallowed.

2. Esophagus

In the process of swallowing food, the organ of the human digestive system that plays a role is the esophagus. The esophagus is a channel that has a length of about 25 cm and serves to channel food and drink from the mouth into the stomach.

In this duct, there is a ring-shaped muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle works to ensure that food or drink that has reached the stomach does not return to the esophagus or mouth.

3. Stomach

After receiving food and drink, the stomach will release acids and enzymes to continue the digestive process. Food that enters the stomach is processed into a concentrated liquid or in the form of pasta, and then will be pushed into the small intestine.

In addition to breaking down food, the stomach will also kill microorganisms that may be present in food or drink.

4. Pancreas

In the human digestive system, the pancreas produces enzymes that are responsible for breaking down nutrients, such as the enzymes lipase, protease, and amylase. These enzymes will be released by the pancreas and mixed with digestive enzymes from the stomach.

The enzyme lipase works to break down fats into fatty acids, proteases to digest proteins into amino acids, and amylase to break down carbohydrates into glucose.

5. Gallbladder

The liver is a producer of bile fluid whose role is very important in the human digestive system, which is to break down fats into fatty acids.

This bile fluid consists of cholesterol, bile salts, bilirubin, water, as well as minerals, such as potassium and sodium, which are stored in the gallbladder. As the process of digestion of food takes place, bile fluid will flow into the small intestine.

6. Small intestine

Food that has become pasta or litmus ( chyme ) in the stomach will be pushed into the small intestine with a peristaltic movement of the intestine. In the small intestine, food is broken down further with the help of enzymes from the pancreas and bile fluid produced by the liver.

The small intestine itself consists of 3 parts, namely the duodenum (12 -finger intestine), jejunum (empty intestine), and ileum (the last part of the small intestine). The duodenum is responsible for continuing the process of breaking down food, while the jejunum and ileum are responsible for the process of absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream.

7. Large intestine

Once the nutrients are absorbed by the body, all the food processed in the human digestive system will leave a residue or waste called feces (feces). The large intestine will push the food waste into the rectum, which is the last stop in the digestive tract.

The process of processing and digesting food into feces generally takes about 30–40 hours. When the rectum is fully filled and the stool in it is ready to be expelled through the anus, you will feel heartburn and an urge to defecate.

In addition to excreting feces, the large intestine also serves to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.

How to Maintain the Health of the Digestive System

Various diseases that attack the human digestive system, such as ulcers, stomach acid disease, diarrhea, constipation, Crohn’s disease, or hemorrhoids, can occur if the health of the gastrointestinal tract is not maintained.

Disorders of the digestive system can cause the process of absorption of nutrients in the body is disrupted, thus increasing the risk of malnutrition or malnutrition.

Therefore, you need to maintain the health of your digestive system by doing the following tips:

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of white water per day
  • Increase your consumption of high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit consumption of high cholesterol foods
  • Consumption of foods or beverages that contain probiotics
  • Get regular health checkups with your doctor

Keeping the human digestive system healthy is something you have to do from now on. Thanks to the work of this organ system, you get nutrition and energy from the food and drink consumed.

If you still have questions about how the human digestive system works or experience symptoms of indigestion, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and bleeding, consult your doctor further.

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