Food Travels Through the Body Essay

Food Travels Through the Body Essay

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The esophagus is an eight-inch tube which connects the pharynx to the stomach. This organ is very muscular. After swallowing, chewed masses of food are carried across the length of the esophagus. A muscular ring called the “lower esophageal sphincter” or “cardiac sphincter” is located at the inferior end of the esophagus. Automatically, this sphincter shuts the end of the esophagus to keep stomach contents from traveling backward. Once food travels through the esophagus, it is ready to be transferred to the stomach.
The stomach is a bag-like organ which is responsible for the temporary storage of ingested food. This J-shaped organ is located on the left side of the abdominal cavity. Multiple longitudinal folds, which are called “rugae,” contract to allow the incredibly elastic stomach to expand when food enters. Astonishingly, the stomach can hold a capacity of 1.5 liters of material. Other than storing food, the stomach also functions to digest food both mechanically and chemically. It is where the majority of gastric glands are located. As it fills with food, gastric glands within the stomach lining secrete digestive juices and acids that are very powerful. Everyday two liters of corrosive gastric juices are produced by the gastric glands. These digestive juices contain enzymes which break down proteins. In The Way We Work, author David Macauley states, “Digestion without enzymes would be like a football game without players—no action and no result” (119). Amino acids, which are present within protein, must be reduced into simple components. Enzymes accomplish this task. Amino acids split when the protein molecule attaches to the correct enzyme. As indicated before, hydrochloric acid in the stomach dissolves food and kills di...

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...of the most common are the following: gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease. These and other disorders definitely disrupt the digestive system.
Gastric ulcers are breaks in the stomach’s mucous membrane that turn into open sores. These ulcers vary in size and can be microscopic or have a diameter of more than an inch. People with ulcers experience pain in the upper abdomen after eating. These ulcers are caused by excess gastric acid that eat away the stomach lining. Ulcers can heal by using medications that help to lower gastric acid quantities. In severe cases, bleeding ulcers can burn a hole through the stomach wall causing the stomach’s contents to spill out. If this occurs, surgery is required to close the opening. Gastric ulcers certainly cause discomfort in the stomach.

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