Digestive system


The human digestive system is the system used in the human body for the digestion process . The human digestive system consists primarily of the digestive tract , or the series of structures and organs through which food and liquids pass during processing into absorbable forms into the bloodstream . The system also consists of a series of structures through which waste passes in the elimination process and other organs that contribute the necessary juices for the digestive process .


What is the digestive system?

The digestive system is the system of the human body whose function is to carry out the process of digestion , which is a process through which the food we receive is transformed so that it can be absorbed and used by the cells that make up our body. .

  • Characteristics of the digestive system
  • Features
  • Parties
  • Location
  • How the digestive system works
  • Diseases
  • Care
  • Importance of the digestive system

Characteristics of the digestive system

The main characteristics of the digestive system are the following:

  • In the digestive system is where carbohydrates, lipids and proteins are transformed into simpler units by means of digestive enzymes.
  • It is responsible for digesting the food that is consumed.
  • It has several organs that work together to take advantage of nutrients.
  • It is made up of the lower and upper gastrointestinal tracts.


We could say that the digestive system is a multifunctional system, as it is responsible for carrying out different processes that range from transporting food, secreting digestive substances, absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste from the human body.


  • Mouth : In it digestion begins, chewing and insalivation occurs , forming the food bolus.
  • Pharynx : it is a muscular tube that communicates the digestive system with the respiratory system.
  • Esophagus : it is a muscular tube that communicates the pharynx with the stomach .
  • Stomach : is a muscular organ that breaks down the food . In its upper part it communicates with the esophagus, and, in the lower part, with the intestine through sphincters.
  • Intestine thin : muscular tube where given absorption of food ; communicates the stomach with the large intestine . Formed by the duodenum, jejunum and ileum.
  • Large intestine : a muscular tube that absorbs water and mineral salts, stores the stool until it is expelled; communicates the small intestine with the anus.
  • Anus : it is the terminal orifice of the digestive system, through which the waste materials of digestion leave the body.
  • Salivary glands : glands that secrete saliva . They start with the digestion of food by moistening it to help in the chewing and swallowing process .
  • Pancreas : gland that secretes pancreatic juice to break down food, and hormones that help control blood sugar levels.
  • Liver : It is the largest gland within the body, and also one of the most important.


Recall that the digestive tract or digestive system is a set of organs so it is possible to observe the position of the esophagus with respect to other tubular structures within the cavity torá cycad . In the thoracic cavity, the esophagus is located in the posterior part of the mediastinum . Due to its position it is posterior to the trachea and main bronchi , and to the aorta artery , the largest diameter arterial vessel in the human body.

How the digestive system works

The digestive system works through the process of digestion , this process begins in the mouth when the person eats food. Through enzymes , the food is broken down into smaller parts forming the bolus of food and at that moment the process becomes involuntary. This bolus then passes through the pharynx and esophagus until it reaches the stomach .

When the food has reached the stomach it mixes with digestive juices causing the food to break down physically and chemically. The enzymes transform the bolus into a semi-liquid called chyme that descends into the duodenum. Once in the duodenum , a mucus is released that protects its walls from the acid of the chyme, while this mixes with enzymes from the pancreas and with the bile produced by the liver .

The material goes to the rest of the small intestine and the blood then absorbs the nutrients. Bile digests fats , and pancreatic juice secretes digestive enzymes , and this is where the digestion process ends. The rest of the material that is not nutrient passes to the large intestine where the cecum receives it, passing it to the colon and forming the stool .


Some examples of diseases that can be suffered in the digestive system are the following:

  • Gastritis : it is produced by an inflammation of the gastric mucosa that produces pain in the upper abdomen, vomiting, nausea, dizziness and abdominal distention.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome : its causes are not clear and it affects the function of the intestines producing gas, bloating and changes in the frequency of bowel movements and the appearance of stools.
  • Ulcerative colitis : it is an inflammation of the colon and the rectum becomes inflamed, forming ulcers with blood and pus. Diarrhea, abdominal pain and weight loss occur.
  • Crohn’s disease:  is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the intestine of the same individual. One or more portions of the digestive tract become inflamed, which can lead to intestinal obstruction, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anemia, loss of appetite, and other consequences.


Several important cares must be taken to keep the digestive system healthy, including:

  • Eat adequate amounts of fiber .
  • Consume fruits and vegetables daily, which are a source of antioxidants.
  • Drink sufficient amounts of water .
  • Reduce your intake of fatty foods .
  • Perform exercise to improve intestinal motility.
  • Wash your hands properly before any meal, to avoid food contamination and gastrointestinal infections.
  • Eat slowly to facilitate the digestive process.
  • Washing carefully the foods to be eaten raw to avoid intestinal parasites.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption , as it damages the stomach, liver and pancreas.

Importance of the digestive system

It is a very important system for the human body as it is in charge of transporting food and carrying out the process of secretion , absorption and excretion of the same. Thanks to it, the other systems function properly and we can introduce nutrients to meet nutritional and energy demands .

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