GI Tract Organs
The GI tract is a 23 to
26-foot-long pathway that extends from the mouth through the esophagus, stomach and intestines to the
The esophagus is about 25 cm in length and becomes distended when food passes through it. The remaining portion
of the GI tract is locates within the peritoneal cavity. The stomach, a distensible pouch with a capacity of
approximately 1500 ml. It stores and mixes food with secretions. It secretes a highly acidic fluid in response to
the presence or anticipated ingestion of food.
The small intestine
The small intestine is the
longest part of the GI tract accounting for about two thirds of the total length. It is divided into 3 anatomic
parts: duodenum (upper part), jejunum (middle part) and Ileum (lower part). In small intestine, the digestive
process continues. Absorption is the primary function of this part. Vitamins and minerals are not digested but
rather absorbed essentially unchanged.
The large Intestine
Next part is the large
intestine. It consists of an ascending segment on the right side of the abdomen, a transverse segment that
extends from right to left in the upper abdomen and descending segment which is on the left side of the abdomen.
The terminal portion of the large intestine consists of 2 parts, the sigmoid colon and the rectum which is
continuous with the anus.
Within 4 hrs after eating,
residual waste material passes into the colon or the large intestine. Bacteria make up major component of this
part and they assist in completing the breakdown of waste material. The waste materials from a meal eventually
reach and distend the rectum, usually in about 12 hours.
GI Tract Organs