Anatomy Involved in Crohn's Disease
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
Overview of the Digestive System
The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract, which is a long series of organs, including the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine,
and the large intestine, that runs from the mouth to the anus. The digestive tract in an adult is about 30 feet long.
Digestion begins in the mouth where saliva begins to break down food.
Food is swallowed from the mouth into the esophagus, which then moves the chewed food to the stomach. The stomach has strong muscular walls that
mix and churn the food with acid and enzymes (known as gastric juice), breaking the food into
smaller pieces. The processed semiliquid food, called chyme, is slowly released from the stomach into the small intestine.
Most digestion and absorption occurs in the small intestine. The
small intestine has 3 parts: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Enzymes and other substances made by intestinal cells, the pancreas, and the liver are secreted into the small intestine and breakdown starches, sugars, fats, and proteins. Absorption of nutrients occurs through the millions of tiny fingerlike projections called villi and the even tinier projections on the villi called microvilli. Any undigested material moves to the large intestine. The large intestine
has 3 parts: the cecum, the colon, and the rectum. The main job of the large intestine is to remove water and salts (electrolytes) from
the undigested material and to form solid waste (feces) that can be excreted. The remaining contents of the large intestine move to the rectum,
where feces are stored until they leave the body through the anus as a bowel movement. See Anatomy of the Digestive System for more information.
Must Read Articles Related to Anatomy Involved in Crohn Disease
Anatomy of the Digestive System
Digestion is the process in which food is broken into smaller pieces so the body can use them to build and nourish cells and provide energy. The digestive syste...learn more >>
Crohn Disease in Children and Teens
Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the small intestine. Crohn's disease is also referred to as inflammatory bowel disase. Crohn's disease in children and tee...learn more >>
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) covers a group of disorders in which the intestines become inflamed (red and swollen), probably as a result of an immu...learn more >>