Your digestive system plays a crucial function – breaking down the food you eat and what you drink, turning them into nutrients and energy for the healthy functioning of the body, and sending them through the gastrointestinal tract for elimination. Your digestive system begins at your mouth and ends at your anus, quite literally a central role in your body.
With so many moving parts, there are bound to be details about the digestive system that may surprise you. Here are a few fun facts about your digestive tract:
Many Different Organs Make Up Your Digestive System
We tend to think of the stomach when we think of digestion, but the digestive system comprises a number of organs working together to carry out the digestive process. The digestive organs include the mouth, salivary glands, throat, esophagus, stomach, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum.
It Has Its Own Nervous System
Doctors say that the digestive system has its own “brain,” and this refers to the enteric nervous system. This nervous system fires off commands such as producing hormones, controlling muscle contraction, and can even sending a message to the brain to stop eating.
Detergents Are Present in Your Digestive Tract
Your bile, which the liver produces, contains acids that are detergents which help you digest food and absorb nutrients. Similar to laundry detergent, which contains proteases, amylases, and lipases, the human digestive system also uses these enzymes to break down protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
The Small Intestine Is Huge When Spread Out
We naturally assume that the small intestine is small – smaller than the large intestine. Right? Wrong. While it may be narrower than the large intestine, the small intestine actually measures 22 feet in length, and its surface area is a whopping 2,700 square feet due to the folds and finger-like projections of tissue.
It Can Feel When You’re Stressed
Ever wonder why you experience an upset stomach during periods of great stress? Your bowel (large intestine) may become irritable, or you may produce excessive stomach acids, and this is because the digestive system can sense the stress you’re feeling.
Gastroenterology Center in Brooklyn and Westlake, Ohio
If you are experiencing strange digestive symptoms or would like to stay on top of your gastrointestinal health through regular screenings, our gastroenterologists at North Shore Gastroenterology can diagnose and treat all types of digestive disorders and provide life-saving health checkups. Our team is composed of compassionate physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, ready to provide you the personalized care you deserve.
We are an independent practice with affiliations with the top tertiary care centers in Cleveland, and we are proud of our state-of-the-art endoscopy center in our Brooklyn and Westlake locations.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation or a screening, contact our friendly staff today by calling North Shore Gastroenterology at (440) 808-1212 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you and helping you feel great!