Tuesday, Mar 15, 2016
Digestion is a complex process, involving several organs as food travels through the body. Talking about digestion and digestive health can sometimes get a bit uncomfortable.
Perhaps that’s why as many as 70 million Americans suffer from digestive diseases.
Harbin Clinic wants everyone to know as much as possible about how to prevent digestive diseases, and we’re using the months of March and April to unveil the track to good digestive health as a way to educate and inform everyone about digestion.
The digestive tract is much like a train. When it functions smoothly, it’s a well-oiled machine, but delays or derailments can happen at several stops along the journey.
When a person swallows, food pushes into the esophagus, which is the muscular tube that carries foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. Did you know that the esophagus’s muscle contractions make it possible to eat while standing on your head, as the food is always pushed downward?
The stomach stores swallowed food and liquid and mixes it with digestive juices before emptying its contents into the small intestine. Did you know that when you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns red?
The small intestine digests foods using enzymes released from the pancreas and bile released from the liver. Did you know that the surface area of the small intestine is about the same size as a tennis court?
The liver helps process the nutrients absorbed from the small intestine and secretes bile, which helps break down fat. Did you know the liver is the second largest organ in your body?
The pancreas delivers digestive juices that break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food. Did you know the pancreas also produces bicarbonate, or standard baking soda to help neutralize stomach acid?
The large intestine absorbs water and any remaining nutrients while finishing the digestive process. Did you know a person’s large intestine will process roughly 50 tons of food in a standard lifetime?
Eating a good diet, getting regular exercise and visiting your Harbin Clinic Primary Care Doctor for annual and age-appropriate screenings can help keep your digestive tract running smoothly.
But if problems occur, your physician can contact a Harbin Clinic Specialist to prescribe diagnostic tests to help get your digestive tract back up and running.
Harbin Clinic cares completely for your digestive health. Be sure to schedule your yearly screening with your primary care provider and make sure you stay on the track to good digestive health.