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The digestive device breaks under food into nutrients.

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What is the cradle system?

The digestive device is comprised of the cradle tract and also other organs that assist the body failure and absorb food. It is a long, twisting tube the starts at the mouth and goes through the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, huge intestine and also anus.

The digestive system breaks under food into nutrients such together carbohydrates, fats and proteins. They can then be absorbed into the bloodstream so the body have the right to use them because that energy, growth and also repair. Unused products are discarded together faeces (poo).

Other offal that form part of the digestive system are the pancreas, liver and also gallbladder.

How go the digestive device work?

Each organ of the digestive device has an important role in digestion.


When who eats, the teeth chew food into very little pieces. Glands in the cheeks and under the tongue produce saliva that coats the food, make it easier to it is in chewed and also swallowed.

Saliva additionally contains enzyme that begin to digest the carbohydrates in food.


The oesophagus is the muscular tube that carries food native the mouth come the stomach after the is swallowed. A ring the muscle in ~ the end of the oesophagus relaxes come let food right into the stomach and contracts to protect against stomach contents from escaping earlier up the oesophagus.


The stomach wall surface produces gastric juice (hydrochloric acid and enzymes) that digests proteins. The stomach acts choose a concrete mixer, churning and mixing food v gastric juice to type chyme — a thick, soupy liquid.

Small intestine

Bile indigenous the gallbladder and also enzymes in cradle juices indigenous the pancreas empty into the upper ar of the small intestine and aid to malfunction protein into amino acids and also fat into fatty acids. These smaller particles, together with sugars, vitamins and minerals, are took in into the bloodstream v the wall surface of the tiny intestine.

It is called little because it is around 3.5cm in diameter, however it is about 5m long to provide lots the area for absorption. Most of the chemistry digestion of proteins, fats and also carbohydrates is completed in the tiny intestine.

Large intestine and anus

The lining of the huge intestine absorbs water, mineral salts and also vitamins. Undigested fibre is mixed with mucus and also bacteria — which partly breakdown the fibre — to nourish the cell of the large intestine wall and so assist keep the big intestine healthy. Faeces room formed and also stored in the last component of the huge intestine (the rectum) before being passed out of the body through the anus.

Illustration showing the miscellaneous organs that form part the the digestive system.

What are common conditions pertained to the cradle system?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux

Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD) occurs as soon as acidic stomach components move native the stomach ago up the oesophagus. It causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat.


Diverticulitis is resulted in by inflammation or epidemic of abnormal pouches in the lower component of the big intestine. It can reason mild or major pain top top the lower left-hand next of the abdomen.

Stomach ulcers

Stomach ulcers are commonly caused through the bacterium Helicobacter pylori that have the right to live in the stomach of about 4 in 10 Australians. They can reason long-term, low-level inflammation the the stomach lining in some people. It is not well understood why they reason stomach ulcers in part people and not in others.


Haemorrhoids room itchy or pains lumps that take place in and also around the anus. The lumps save on computer swollen blood vessels. Haemorrhoids can reason bleeding once you go to the restroom (do a poo) — friend might notification bright red blood on the toilet document or in the toilet. If you uncover blood top top the toilet file or in the toilet, always seek medical advice.

Sources: Gastroenterological society of Australia (The digestive system), Gastroenterological society of Australia (Heartburn (Oesophageal Reflux)), Gastroenterological culture of Australia (Diverticular disease)

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Last reviewed: April 2021

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