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Biology of health and illness - the digeative system - Essay Example

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Biology of Health and Illness - The Digestive System Name University Professor Biology of Health and Illness - The Digestive System Introduction Digestion is the process where food and drinks are broken down to smaller parts that can be used by the body to generate energy and build body cells (Smith & Morton 2001)…
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Biology of health and illness - the digeative system
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Download file to see previous pages Digestion starts in the mouth where digestive juices are produced to convert the different types of foods (Garrow, Ralph & Philip 2000). The relaxation and contraction of the wall muscles in the organs enables the easy movement of foods as well as mixing the contents of the food. The food is then stored in the stomach and blended with the digestive juice produced by the stomach walls and it’s later transported to the ileum. Here, the foods are mixed up and dissolved in the digestive juices produced by the liver, pancreas and the intestines. The final process the nutrients are absorbed by the walls of the intestines while the undigested food proceeds to the large intestines where stored and later released as feces. The transportation of nutrients to the other parts in the body is enhanced by the blood and nerves (Smith & Morton 2001). There are however some factors that have a negative effect on the process of digestion, one of these factors is malabsorption. Malabsorption is the condition where the nutrients are not absorbed in the intestinal walls during digestion. After the breaking down of the foods, they are blend with the digestive juices to produce nutrients which are then absorbed by walls of the small intestines to generate energy. The various types of malabsorption include sugar malabsorption for lactose, fat malabsorption for which is mainly caused by a fault in either the bile ducts, small intestines or the pancreas. Nutrient malabsorption is caused by failure in transportation of nutrients such as iron and minerals. Malabsorption is mostly caused by disorders in the walls of the small intestines. The intestinal walls are made up of the villi and microvilli that are responsible for providing a large surface for absorption of nutrients. Therefore a fault in any part of the small decreases the surface for absorption. Faults in the intestinal walls are mainly caused by diseases such as celiac and Crohn's. However, some faulty intestinal walls are due to infections by bacteria, parasites, virus and certain drugs such as alcohol and antibiotics. Some of the external symptoms of malabsorption include loss of hair, swelling of some body parts and dry skin. Malabsorption causes illnesses such as anemia, heart failure, gallstones, rickets and Osteoporosis which affects the bone strength. The other condition that affects the process of digestion is malnutrition. Malnutrition is the situation where the diet that a person takes is not sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements in the body (Sizer & Whitney 2010). For digestion to take place efficiently the body needs adequate quantities of various nutrients which include minerals, fats, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. One of the reasons for malnutrition is due to lack of food due to hunger. The other cause of malnutrition is when a person’s diet is limited to foods with no nutrients (Brynie 2002). Malnutrition may also be caused by situations where the body requires more energy than the body is generating. These factors lead to the lack of essential nutrients in the body. Malnutrition may also be caused by certain medical conditions that affect some organs of the digestive system. The lack of different nutrients in the digestion process cause different types of malnutrition thus varying symptoms (Sizer & Whitney). However the general symptoms of malnutrition are fatigue, loss of weight and fainting. The treatment to malnutrition is replacing the nutrients so ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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