Digestive tract
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Digestive Tract. GI (Gastrointestinal) Tract or Alimentary Canal “How French Fries become Feces”. Vocabulary. Purloin (v)- to steal; take something dishonestly Succinct (adj)- speaking/writing in a brief and concise manner (syn. terse, pithy)

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Digestive Tract

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Digestive tract

Digestive Tract

GI (Gastrointestinal) Tract or Alimentary Canal

“How French Fries become Feces”



  • Purloin (v)- to steal; take something dishonestly

  • Succinct (adj)- speaking/writing in a brief and concise manner (syn. terse, pithy)

  • Abstruse (adj)- something which is difficult to understand

  • Clandestine (adj)- an action or activity that is secretive, furtive

  • Cabal (n)- small group of people meeting together to put in an agenda or course of action that is normally bad.

  • Malevolent (adj)-{malevolence-(n)}-having/showing ill-will, hatred, or evil toward someone; (syn: malicious)

  • Frugal (adj)- to be “cheap” or thrifty in money

  • Respite (n)- a short interval of relief from something stressful; “a peaceful break”

  • Edict (n)- a order/decree/proclamation issued by someone of authority.

  • Incorrigible- (adj)- unable to be corrected of bad habits or behavior

Oral cavity

Oral Cavity

  • Food is placed into the Oral Cavity for ingestion

    • Teeth break down food into smaller pieces, this process is known as mastication.



  • Medical Root (Dento)

  • There are 32 adult teeth

  • Made out of Calcium

  • 3 Types

    • Incisors- all purpose teeth located in the front

    • Canines-sharp “fang” teeth used for tearing meat

    • Molars- in the back, used for grinding

Major features of the mouth

Major Features of the Mouth

  • Uvula

    • Soft tissue which hangs from the Soft Palate

  • Frenulum

    • Fold underneath the tongue which helps keep it in place.

  • Palate

    • Superior aspect of mouth

    • Serves as the roof between the nasal cavity and the oral cavity.

    • Hard Palate is most anterior, followed by Soft Palate

  • Palatine Tonsils

    • Located in back of mouth

    • Their job is to attract pathogens

Salivary glands

Salivary Glands

  • Once food is in mouth, the brain secretes saliva to assist with the chemical breakdown of food.

  • 3 Salivary Glands (“Sialo”)

    • Parotid

      • Located in front of the ears

    • Sublingual

      • Located under the tongue

    • Submandibular

      • Located under the jawbone

      • All can become block and infected

  • The tongue (“linguo”) and teeth assist in the mechanical breakdown of food by masticating

    • The tongue is held in place by the Hyoid bone, a bone in the middle of throat.

  • The tongue has taste buds of sweet, sour, bitter, salty

Pharynx throat

Pharynx (throat)

  • The Pharynx is comprised of three sections, though it is one large cavity.

  • The last two sections are shared by the digestive and respiratory systems

    • 1. Nasopharynx

      • Most superior; not relevant in the digestive tract

    • 2. Oropharanx

      • Posterior part of oral cavity

      • Food is pushed to the oropharynx by the tongue

Pharynx throat cont

Pharynx (Throat) (cont)

  • 3. Laryngopharynx

    • Most inferior part of throat

    • Here, the throat divides into two roads.

      • 1. Digestive- the pharynx becomes the esophagus to take food to stomach

      • 2. Respiratory- the trachea (windpipe) begins to carry air to lungs.

  • Epiglottis- small flap that covers the trachea so food doesn’t enter it.

  • The epiglottis remains open at all times aside from swallowing to allow for breathing

  • Once food is eaten it is called a Bolus

  • Diagnostic tools of upper gi tract

    Diagnostic Tools of Upper GI Tract

    • Barium Swallow

      • Barium “lights up” when drunk.

      • Xrays are then taken

    • Endoscopy

      • A camera (endoscope) is inserted into the mouth.

      • It is guided down the pharynx, esophagus, and stomach to:

        • Take pictures

        • Remove suspicious items

        • Video

    Scissors in throat

    Scissors in Throat!!



    • Tube that carries bolus (food) from throat to stomach

    • Esophagus looks like a deflated balloon.

      • “Food” passes through it like a snake eating a rat.

    • It isposterior to the trachea, passes between the lungs, and through the diaphragm to enter the abdominal cavity to reach the stomach.

    • Esophagus is lined with smooth muscle to push the “food” down.

      • Peristalsis is the constant involuntary movement of food throughout the GI tract.

      • We do not control it.



    Stomach gastro

    Stomach =“Gastro”

    • Stomach is mainly a food reservoir and “pacer” for the small intestines.

    • It is in the upper left quadrant

    • HCL acid is released here to chemically break the bolus down

    • Pepsin, an enzyme, is released to break down protein.

    • The Rugae muscles in stomach twist and turn to mechanically break the food down.

    • Bolus enters stomach through the Cardiac (aka Gastro-esophageal) sphincter

      • A sphincter is a valve or door that prevents contents from entering/exiting

      • Sometimes, the HCL acid escapes into the esophagus and causes GERD (aka reflux or heartburn)

  • Stomach is divided into 3 major regions

    • Once it enters the stomach the bolus lies in the 1) Fundus.

      • Most superior part of the stomach

      • Mostly full of air

  • Stomach cont

    Stomach (cont)

    • 2) Body

      • The central part of the stomach

    • 3) Pylorus

      • Most distal or end part of stomach

      • Pyloric sphincter

        • Door that separates stomach from small intestines

          • It opens and closes based on how much the intestines can digest at that time

        • Food becomes “chyme” when it enters the small intestines.

    • The Curvatures

      • The Greater Curvature

        • Bottom curve of the stomach

      • The Lesser Curvature

        • The top curve of the stomach

    • Bezoar

      • Hairballs lodged in stomach that are never digested.

    • The Omentum

      • Drape of fat that extends from the Greater Curvature down over the intestines

    The stomach

    The Stomach

    • Stomach lined with Hydrochloric Acid (HCL)

      • Assist with chemical breakdown of bolus

      • Stomach also produces this mucous to protect the stomach lining from burning

      • Peptic Ulcers

        • H. Pylor bacteria disrupts balance

        • HCL acid begins burning through the rugae

      • Perforation

        • When HCL burns through the stomach lining completely and acid drips into abdominal cavity.

        • Causes: Stress, poor diet, eating disorders, etc

        • Show Video

    Peptic ulcer

    Peptic Ulcer

    Upper gi study with barium

    Upper GI study with Barium

    Small intestines or small bowel

    Small Intestines or Small Bowel

    • Main site of digestion

    • Sits in the middle of abdomen surrounded by the large intestines

    • Intestines kept together by a web of fat called the Mesentary.

      • Consists of 3 parts

        • Duodenum-1 ft long

          • Receives the digestive juices from the pancreas and liver

        • Jejunum-8 ft long

        • Ileum-12 ft long

    Pig small intestines

    Pig Small Intestines

    Villi site of absorption

    Villi-site of absorption

    • Absorption takes place by microscopic cells called villi in the small intestines.

      • They absorb nutrients which are then whisked away by the little veins to be filtered by the liver.

      • Indigestible food is carried to the Large Intestines.

    Pop quiz

    Pop Quiz

    • Define the following on a piece of paper.

      • Palate

      • Peristalsis

      • Pyloric Sphincter

      • Villi

    Accessory digestive organs

    Accessory Digestive Organs

    • The liver and pancreas assist in digestion by releasing digestive juices into the Duodenum.

    • However, chyme (food) does not enter these organs.



    • Organ responsible for “cleaning” the body and producing cholesterol and bile.

    • Divided into 4 lobes

      • Left and Right lobes are on the anterior separated by the Falciform ligament

      • On the posterior aspect are the Caudate and Quadrate lobes

      • The liver produces bile, an enzyme which breakdowns fat

      • Inside the bile is a yellowish product called bilirubin, which is a by-product of the destruction of old red blood cells (RBC).

      • Bile is stored in the gall bladder, a small pouch underneath the liver

        • When you eat a fatty meal the bile is released by the gall bladder to help with digestion.

      • The bile gets to the duodenum of the small intestines by a collection of tubes called the Biliary Tree, or “Tree of Bile”

      • When bile pieces become hardened they become gall stones (“cholelithiasis”)

        • Sometimes they get lodged in gall bladder or in biliary tree causing RUQ pain.



    • Largest gland in body

      • 3 sections

        • Head- Largest part closest to Duodenum

        • Neck

        • Tail- skinny part which stretches laterally

    • Produces 2 major things:

      • 1. Trypsin- an enzyme used to breakdown protein (similar to pepsin in stomach)

      • 2. Hormones responsible for regulating blood sugar

        • Insulin- secreted when sugar is too high in the blood to lower it

        • Glycogen- secreted when sugar is too low to raise it.

    Large intestines

    Large Intestines

    • Once food is digested by villi in small intestines, the unabsorbed “food” enters the large intestines

    • The large intestines is the “poop” maker


      • Feces is brown in appearance due to the mixture of bile and bilirubin.

    • The large intestines surround the small intestines.

    The intestines with barium

    The Intestines with Barium

    Pig large intestines

    Pig Large Intestines

    Large intestines1

    Large Intestines

    • 5 feet long

    • Takes about 16 hours for food to pass through it.

    • Primary responsibility to absorb remaining water from the waste matter and then turn it into feces.

    • Bolus=Chyme=Feces

    • Flatulence is gas caused by the breakdown of food in the intestines by bacteria

    • Most flatulence is nitrogen, C02, and methane.

    • General Anatomical Features

      • Taeniae Coli- 3 bands of connective muscles that run throughout the large intestines that helps push the feces

      • Haustra- large pouches formed by Taeniae Coli

    Large intestines cont

    Large Intestines (cont)

    • Large Intestines consist of 3 parts

    • Cecum

    • Colon

    • Rectum

      • 1. Cecum (RLQ)

        • Small pouch of Lower Intestines that connects with ileum of small intestines

        • The appendix hangs from it

    Large intestines cont1

    Large Intestines (cont)

    • 2. Colon

      • The Colon has 4 sections.

      • A. Ascending Colon

        • Rt side of abdomen

        • Stops at Hepatic (Liver) Flexure

          • Flexure holds up right side of colon

      • B. Transverse Colon

        • Runs along the superior aspect of abdomen

        • Stops at Splenic (spleen) Flexure

          • Flexure holds up left side of colon

      • C. Descending Colon

        • Lt side of abdomen

      • D. Sigmoid Colon

        • “S” shaped colon that runs from descending colon posteriorly to the rectum.

    Large intestines2

    Large Intestines

    • 3. Rectum

      • Final part of large intestines

        • “Poop” reservoir holding feces to be defecated

    • Anus

      • Anal sphincter

      • Site of hemorrhoids

    Digestive medical roots


    Lingo/Glosso- Tongue

    Sialo-salivary glands






    Cholecyst-Gall Bladder

    Cholelithiasis-Gall Stones






    Tomy= surgical opening



    Graph=radiographic study of

    Digestive Medical Roots

    Med terms

    Med Terms

    • Anorexia-lack of appetite

    • Emesis- Vomiting

    • Hematemesis- bloody vomit

    • Hematochezia- bloody feces

    • Defecation- the process of “pooping”

    • Dysphagia- Difficulty swallowing

    • Aphagia- Inability to swallow

    • Incontinence- Inability to hold one’s feces or urine.

    • Cholecystitis- Inflammation of gall bladder

    • Cholecystectomy- Removal of gall bladder

    • Colostomy/Ileostomy Bag- “pooping out” of a bag attached to your stomach.

    • Proctology- the branch of medicine dealing with the colon, rectum, and defecation problems..

    More terms

    More Terms…

    • Enema- placing a water solution in your anus to cleanse the colon.

    • To Eructate- the act of belching

    • To Expectorate- the act of spitting or coughing

    • Halitosis- bad breath

    • Volvulus- the twisting of your intestines

    • Pica- a craving to eat inanimate objects

    • To intubate (v)- to forcefully open the throat

    • To aspirate (v)- the process of removing food when stuck in the throat, normally done by suction.

    • Flatus- gas

    • Deglutition- the act of swallowing



    • A.S.= Left Ear

    • A.D.= Right Ear

    • ATC= Around the clock

    • NKDA= No Known Drug Allergies

    • N/V= Nausea & Vomiting

    • Q2h= Every 2 Hours

    • Q4h= Every 4 Hours

    • SOB= Shortness of Breath

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