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What you should know about | Digestion

The goal of our digestive tract is to take food we eat and turn it into fuel for our tissues. With this fuel, our bodies are able to grow, heal and carry out our activities of daily living.


This system includes our: 

✨ Esophagus

✨ Stomach

✨ Duodenum (first section of the small intestine)

✨ Jejunum (middle section of the small intestine)

✨ Ileum (last section of the small intestine)

✨ Colon or Large intestine

digestion

✨ Rectum or Anus

✨ Liver

✨ Pancreas

✨ Gallbladder


As soon as we smell or see our food, the chemical process of digestion starts. This sensory stimulus activates our vagus nerve, which triggers the production of enzymes (ie. lactase, amylase, pepsin, etc.), acid and other digestive aids.


Chewing helps to manually break down foods, which then are sent down the esophagus to the stomach for further processing. Acid in the stomach is responsible for breaking proteins and carbohydrates into smaller molecules that can then be absorbed once the fall of partially digested food (aka chyme) migrates to the small intestine.


The small intestine is where we absorb the nutrients we’ve gained from what has been broken down. At this point, the pancreas and gallbladder contribute digestive aids such as amylase, bile and lipase to the mix to help break down fats and sugars. Once these nutrients are absorbed, they are transported to the bloodstream and shipped for delivery throughout the body.


After all of this nutrition has been extracted from the food, the remaining refuse materials including fibers are shuttled to the large intestine. Here is where remaining electrolytes are absorbed and water follows, a process we know as forming a stool. The large intestine is also home to the community of bacteria, yeast, and other flora that make up our gut microbiome and are responsible for regulating our GI related immune system. After making its way through the colon, the dehydrated stool is eliminated through the rectum. 


Any imbalance in this process can contribute to malnutrition, bowel movement irregularities, or chronic symptoms such as nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, heartburn, reflux, belching, gas, etc. 


Ready to start your gut health journey? Book your FREE 10-minute discovery call today! 👩🏻‍⚕️ 🌿

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Disclaimer | This is not medical advice. 

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