Gastrointestinal Tract

Gastrointestinal tract is an organ system in humans and other animals that absorbs food, digests it, absorbs nutrients and expels it out in the form of feces.


Gastrointestinal Tract Diagram

The gastrointestinal diagram given below represents the various parts of the tract that include the mouth , oesophagus, stomach, intestines and therefore the anus.


Gastrointestinal Tract Anatomy

The alimentary canal in humans begins at the mouth, continuing through the esophagus, stomach, and therefore the small and enormous intestines. The alimentary canal is about 9 meters long. There are many supporting organs, like the liver, which helps by secreting enzymes that are necessary for the digestion of food.


The Human GI Tract can be Divided into Two Halves, Namely:

  • Upper GI tract

  • Lower GI tract


Upper Gastrointestinal Tract

The Upper GI Consists of the Following Organs:

Mouth

It includes the teeth, tongue, and buccal mucous membranes containing the ends of the salivary glands that continue with the soft palate, floor of the mouth, and underside of the tongue. Mouth functions by chewing the food, constantly by the muscular action of the tongue, cheeks, teeth through the lower and upper jawbone.


Pharynx

The pharynx is enclosed in the neck and throat which functions as part of both the digestive system and the respiratory system. It protects the food from entering the trachea and lungs.


Esophagus

It is a muscular tube-like structure which carries food to the stomach as its function. After the food reaches the esophagus from the mouth, the swallowing becomes involuntary and the esophagus takes the charge.


Stomach

Stomach is a place where most of the digestion occurs. The stomach may be a J-shaped bag-like organ that stores the food temporarily, breaks it down, mixes and churns it with enzymes and other digestive fluids and eventually , passes it along to the small intestine.


Lower Gastrointestinal Tract

The Lower GI Consists of the Following Organs:

Small Intestine

The small intestine may be a coiled thin tube, about 6 meters long , where most of the absorption of nutrients takes place. Food is mixed with enzymes from the liver and therefore the pancreas within the intestine . The surfaces of the small intestine functions by absorbing the nutrients from the food into the bloodstream, which carries them to the rest of the body.


Large Intestine

The large intestine, also referred to as the Colon, may be a thick tubular organ wrapped round the intestine . Its primary function is to process the waste products and absorb any remaining nutrient and water back into the system. Stool is formed in the body by the remaining waste that is sent to the rectum to get away from the body.


Gastrointestinal Tract Infection

Gastrointestinal infections are often caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause inflammation of the alimentary canal , gastroenteritis. These might infect both, the stomach and therefore the intestine. The microorganisms that can cause these infections include adenovirus, campylobacter, E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, etc.


Gastrointestinal Tract Diseases

Few of the Gastrointestinal Tract Diseases Include:

Constipation

Constipation refers to infrequent or incomplete bowel movement. This is caused due to inadequate fibers in the diet.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a condition during which the colon muscle contracts more often than in normal people. It causes bloating, abdominal pains and cramps, diarrhea, etc.


Colon Cancer

Colon cancer begins in the large intestine and affects older people. It begins as small, non-cancerous clumps. These clumps gradually convert into cancer. It can be treated by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.


Hemorrhoids

These are swollen blood vessels that line the opening of the anus. They are caused by excess pressure due to the strenuous movement of the bowel.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. Define Gastrointestinal Tract.

Ans - Gastrointestinal tract is an organ system in humans and other animals that absorbs food, digests it, absorbs nutrients and expels it out in the form of feces.

Q2. What is Gastrointestinal Infection?

Ans - Gastrointestinal infections are often caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause inflammation of the alimentary canal , gastroenteritis. These might infect both, the stomach and therefore the intestine. The microorganisms that can cause these infections include adenovirus, campylobacter, E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, etc.

Q3. What are Gastrointestinal Tract Diseases?

Ans - Few of the gastrointestinal tract diseases include:


Constipation

Constipation refers to infrequent or incomplete bowel movement. This is caused due to inadequate fibers in the diet.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is a condition during which the colon muscle contracts more often than in normal people. It causes bloating, abdominal pains and cramps, diarrhea, etc.


Colon Cancer

Colon cancer begins in the large intestine and affects older people. It begins as small, non-cancerous clumps. These clumps gradually convert into cancer. It can be treated by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.


Hemorrhoids

These are swollen blood vessels that line the opening of the anus. They are caused by excess pressure due to the strenuous movement of the bowel.