What Happens When Your Digestive System Is Not Working Properly?
Many of us today are labeled as foodies because of our varied interests in food. But even to those who are not foodies, food is an essential part of our daily routine. This makes the digestive system our favourite system. It starts working right from when we take food, followed by swallowing and then digesting the food. Lastly unwanted waste is eliminated. For a system that works so hard for us, it’s only fair that we get to know a little more about it.
The digestive system is a complex and comprehensive system. It extends from the mouth to the rectum and anal canal. It helps our body absorb essential nutrients and is responsible for removing waste.
Most of us don’t want to talk about any digestive disorder and rarely seek a doctor’s advice with such common problems. As digestive symptoms are often harmless, we ignore them, but minor digestive problems if left untreated can lead to more serious and chronic diseases.
Digestive problems can occur due to many reasons, such as unhealthy lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivity, or even infections. The most common digestive problems are heartburn, acid peptic disease (acidity), diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramps, heaviness, bloating, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Not to Worry! There are many ways to help your digestive system run smoothly.
First, let us understand the basic digestive system.
What Is The Digestive System?
The digestive system is medically known as the gastrointestinal tract or GI tract. It consists of a long hollow tubular structure extending from the mouth to the anus and is divided into different parts such as the oral cavity, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. The liver, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder and appendix are also part of the digestive system.
The small intestine itself is divided into three parts. The first part is called Duodenum second jejunum in the middle, and at the end is ileum. The large intestine includes the cecum, appendix, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon and rectum. The appendix is a blind sac in the form of a finger attached to the cecum.
Bacteria in your digestive tract, also known as intestinal flora or microbiome, contribute to digestion. Part of your nervous system and circulation also helps. When working together, your nerves, hormones, bacteria, blood, and digestive system organs absorb the food and fluids that you eat or drink every day.
Why Is Digestion Important?
When we eat things like bread, meat, and vegetables, they are not in a form that the body can use as fuel or energy source. Our food and drinks must be converted into small nutrient molecules before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported throughout the body into cells.
This process of conversion is called Digestion. Proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water are nutrients. The digestive system breaks down food into these nutrients so the body can absorb them and use them for energy, growth, and cell repair.
- Protein breaks down into amino acids
- A fat nutrient is broken down into small units called glycerol and fatty acids
- Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars (glucose, fructose)
How Does the Digestive System Work?
Every part of our digestive system helps transport food and fluids through our digestive tract, dividing food and liquids into smaller portions. After food is broken down into small enough pieces, the body can absorb nutrients and take them to where they are needed. The large intestine absorbs water and excretes digestive waste as faeces. Nerves and hormones control the digestive process.
How Does it Do this?
Let’s look at an overview of the process. For Example: Let’s start with food. You are feeling hungry and eating. After you put food in your mouth, you begin to chew and begin the process of mechanical digestion that turns food into pulp.
Your body also starts releasing enzymes that trigger the process of digestion and degradation of biological molecules. Most of the chemical digestion occurs in the stomach and small intestine. Food moves through your digestive system and eventually breaks down into compounds and nutrients that the small intestine can absorb into your bloodstream.
Food that does not get absorbed, moves towards the large intestine, where water gets removed from the leftover material, and whatever is left is removed in the form of faeces.
Digestive System Interaction With Other Systems:
The digestive system works very closely with the circulatory system to distribute the digested nutrients through the blood. The circulatory system also transmits chemical signals from our hormonal system that control our levels of digestion.
Nutrition is one of the most important things that you must learn. You can become susceptible to hundreds of illnesses if you don’t have a balanced diet. Malnutrition (with diseases like Kwashiorkor) is a prime example of a disease that occurs due to improper nutrition. But high-calorie diets can also lead to diseases like Obesity, Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension.
There are other diseases related to individual vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well, such as scurvy (vitamin C), beriberi (vitamin B1), or a goitre (iodine).
So make sure that your digestive system has your support. Otherwise, you will become prone to many diseases as your body gets deprived of all its essential nutrients.
You may be able to overcome digestive problems with treatments and lifestyle changes. Some disorders of the digestive system can be long-term, but drugs can help ease the symptoms. Recognizing some digestive issues and talking to a gastroenterologist can help a doctor make the right diagnosis. Remember, you don’t have to suffer from permanent digestive problems take care at the earliest.
For best treatment and to know more about the digestive system make an appointment with a Premier Hospital gastroenterologist contact us at, call 040-23515100 +91-77020 01163 or book your appointment Now!
About Premier Hospital:
Since the inception of Premier Hospital in 1991 till today, we have grown to unprecedented levels, due to our excellence in medical sciences and healthcare. Premier Hospital is the creation of Dr Mahesh Marda and when it was first established, was only a small, 30-bed hospital facility. Back then, we provided only secondary care to patients, but that certainly has changed in the present landscape.
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