Analysing The Digestive System Biology Essay


1. The digestive system pathway starts with the oral cavity also called the buccal which is used to receive food for digestion. The oral cavity is made up of lips that surround the opening to the mouth; the cheeks form the walls of the oral cavity, both the lips and the cheeks help keep the food in the mouth and in place for chewing. The hard palate, form the anterior, upper roof of the mouth; rugae is found in the stomach; the soft palate forms the posterior portion of the upper roof of the mouth this is composed of skeletal muscle and connective tissue, the soft palate ends in a small cone-shaped projection called uvula which helps in producing sound and speech; the tongue is a very strong, flexible, skeletal muscle covered with mucous membrane, its located in the floor of the mouth within the mandible, it is also the principal organ of sense of taste and assists in the process of chewing and swallowing; papillae are rough elevations on the upper surface of the tongue and contain taste buds that detect sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes of food or beverages; a bolus is formed when chewing food the tongue aids the digestive process by moving the food around to mix it with saliva so that it can move toward the pharynx to be swallowed. The pharynx or the throat connects the oral cavity and is a passageway that serves the respiratory and digestive systems. The oropharynx is the section of the pharynx leading away from the oral cavity. The esophagus receives the food from the pharynx and propels it to the stomach. The food is controlled by a muscular ring known as the lower esophageal sphincter or cardiac sphincter; it opens to allow food to enter the stomach and closes so the stomach content cannot reenter the esophagus. The stomach has three major divisions and is located in the upper left quadrant of the abdomen. The stomach is made up of the fundus which is the upper rounded portion of the stomach that rises to the left and above the level of the opening of the esophagus in the stomach; the body is the central part of the stomach and curves to the right; the pylorus or gastric antrum is the lower tubular part of the stomach that angles to the right from the body of the stomach as it approaches the duodenum; the pyloric sphincter regulates the passage of food from the stomach into the duodenum; rugae are the folds of mucous membrane lining in the stomach that allow it to expand to accommodate its contents. The depressions within the rugae have gastric glands that secreted gastric juices containing digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid; gastric juices further the digestive process through the chemical breakdown of food; chyme is a liquidlike mixture of partially digested food and digestive secretions in the stomach, small amounts are released through the pyloric sphincter into the small intestine. The small intestine or small bowel fills most of the abdominal cavity with three divisions: the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. The first part of the small intestine is the duodenum; it receives the chyme from the pylorus of the stomach along with secretions from the liver and pancreas that further the digestive process; the second part is the jejunum and it connects the duodenum to the ileum; the third part is the ileum, it is continuous with the jejunum and connects to the large intestine at the ileocecal sphincter. The small intestine completes the digestive process by absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream and waste to the large intestine for excretion out of the body. Villi are tiny fingerlike projections that line the small intestine; they enclose the blood capillaries, which function in the absorption o f nutrients. The large intestine starts at the ileocecal junction and extends to the anus, which is divided into the cecum, colon, and rectum. The ileocecal sphincter prevents the backflow of wastes from the large intestine into the small intestine; the rectum connects the sigmoid colon to the anus; the anus is the opening through which feces are eliminated from the body, this act is called defecation. The anal sphincter controls the removal of waste materials from the rectum.

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2. Accessory organs of the digestive system are: the salivary glands, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. The salivary gland has three parts: parotids, submandibulars, and the sublinguals. The water in the saliva helps to liquefy food as it is chewed; the mucus helps to lubricate the food as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract; digestive enzymes help to break down the food nutrients. The two enzymes: amylase aids in the digestion of carbohydrates and lipase aids in the digestion of fats. The livers function for the digestive system is to create bile for emulsification of fats in the small intestine. The key function of the gallbladder is to store and concentrate the bile produced by the liver. The pancreas functions as both an exocrine and endocrine gland. The exocrine gland manufactures the digestive juices and the endocrine gland manufactures insulin.

3. Eight signs and symptoms of the digestive system. Achlorhydria is an abnormal condition characterized by the absence of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice. Anorexia is the lack or loss of appetite, resulting in the inability to eat. Aphagia is a condition characterized by the loss of the ability to swallow as a result of organic or psychologic causes. Ascites is an abnormal accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity. The fluid contains large amounts of protein and electrolytes. Borborygmus is an audible abdominal sound produced by hyperactive intestinal peristalsis. Constipation is difficulty in passing stools, or an incomplete or infrequent passage of hard stools. Diarrhea is the frequent passage of loose, watery stools. Nausea is an unpleasant sensation often leading to the urge to vomit.

4. Pathological conditions of the digestive system. Achalasia is the decreased mobility of the lower two-thirds of the esophagus along with constriction of the lower esophageal sphincter. Diagnostic test used to diagnose achalasia are the barium swallow and the endoscopy studies. Anal fistula is an abnormal passageway in the skin surface near the anus usually connecting with the rectum; this may occur as the result of a draining abscess. Aphthous stomatitis or canker sores are small inflammatory noninfectious ulcerated lesions occurring on the lips, tongue, and inside the cheeks of the mouth. These lesions are painful but normally heal within 7 to 14 days. Appendicitis is the inflammation of the vermiform appendix. When appendicitis begins an individual will start to develop pain in their abdomen area, sometimes they begin to experience anorexia and nausea following the onset of pain. A physician will perform an examination on the abdomen and may apply deep pressure over McBurney’s point and release the pressure quickly; if test confirm this is appendicitis the individual will have surgery to remove the inflamed appendix followed up by antibiotic therapy. Dysentery is a term used to describe painful intestinal inflammation typically caused by unsanitary conditions. A person suffering from dysentery will have frequent stools with may contain blood, to include abdominal pain and intestinal cramping. Hemorrhoids are an unnaturally distended or swollen vein in the distal rectum or anus. Internal hemorrhoids when constricted are very painful and may bleed when they enlarge and extrude from the anus; external hemorrhoids don’t typically bleed or cause pain. A hernia is an irregular protrusion of tissue, organ, or a portion of an organ through an abnormal break in the surrounding cavity’s muscular wall. X-ray films can aid in diagnosis of a hiatal hernia. Treatment is usually done with medications, diet, proper positioning, and surgery. Ileus is a term used to describe an obstruction of the intestine; treatment for an ileus is done with medical treatment or requires surgical intervention.

5. Eight diagnostic techniques, treatments, and procedures. Abdominal ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic method that demonstrates normal or abnormal findings of the abdominal organs. Appendectomy is the surgical elimination of the appendix that is inflamed. Cheiloplasty is the surgical correction of a defect lip. Cholecystectomy is the surgical removal of the gallbladder. Colonoscopy is the direct visualization of the lining of the large intestine using a fiberoptic colonscope. Fluoroscopy is a radiological technique used to examine the function of an organ or a body part using a fluoroscope. Gastric analysis is the study of the stomach content to determine the acid content and to detect the presence of blood, bacteria, bile, and abnormal cells. Urinary bilirubin is a test for conjugated or direct bilirubin in a urine specimen.

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