There are many components of the human digestive system, with the stomach frequently the most prominent. Sure, it’s an important component, but the small and large intestines could very well be the unsung heroes of the alimentary system.
At the office of The Gastroenterology Group of Northern New Jersey, we offer the highest-quality care, and we’re experts in all aspects of gastroenterology. With that in mind, here’s a short primer on the importance and workings of your intestines.
The Small Intestine
This hard worker is a tubular structure in the abdominal cavity that carries food and liquid in continuation with the stomach up to the colon. Its primary job is to chemically digest and then absorb a whopping 90 percent of foods’ and liquids’ nutrients and minerals, thanks to its large inner walls.
Proteins, lipids (fats) and carbohydrates are the small intestine’s main target. The processed material then travels via osmosis to the all-important bloodstream. The undigested and unabsorbed materials pass into the large intestine.
The average newborn’s small intestines are about 78 inches long and eventually grow to around 16 feet, depending on a person’s adult height.
The Large Intestine
Also known as the large bowel, this alimentary canal is about 6 feet long—much shorter than the small intestine. Its responsibility is to absorb water from the small intestine’s leftovers and absorb electrolytes, vitamins and water from waste substances alongside the formation and elimination of stool. The rectum is the final part of the gastrointestinal tract. Stool is made up of indigestible food, bacteria, inorganic salts and unabsorbed substances, as well as ample water for it to pass out of the body.
At the office of The Gastroenterology Group of Northern New Jersey, we’re dedicated to your digestive health. For more information on our practice and the many services we provide, call our office today.
By The Gastroenterology Group of Northern New Jersey
January 22, 2020