Gut Basics

Who would have thought that some of what the physical education and biology teachers taught would come back to knock at our door. Especially, the part about digestion. In school we had more important things to be concerned with than our digestive system. Oh, but if we knew then, what we know now, we may have listened and retained a little more — at least I would have.

When it comes to talking about the gut and eliminating wastes, we often get grossed out. We do not volunteer information about poop sessions and are vague when the doctor asks because it is our personal business, right. So personal, that most people do not want to poop or even pass gas in front of someone they are attracted to because, well, that’s nasty. Right?!?! Well, actually, I wanna know that you ARE pooping because it is necessary for health and it is good to know that one is letting shit go literally and figuratively.

So… the basics… digestion starts when you become aware of food. You begin to salivate as the digestion process begins. Saliva contains enzymes that aid in breaking down food. When you eat, chew, then swallow your food moves from your esophagus to your stomach.

Once the food is in your stomach the nitty gritty of the act of digestion begins. Your stomach stores and processes the food you have consumed and releases pepsin and hydrochloric acid, which break down the food, resulting in a substance called chyme. After about two to three hours, the chyme is moved out of your stomach and makes its way along your GI tract.

Your colon or large intestine, stretch from your small intestine to your anus. It is said that it can take anywhere from 12 – 48 hours for food to flow through the colon. It is the colon’s job to complete the process of digestion by absorbing water and electrolytes from the material passed from the small intestine. This material is then formed into a stool that can be passed during the process of a bowel movement from the anus.

This wonderful information was noted from my brain and confirmed via various sources – books, articles and websites to include VeryWellHealth.com and Britannica.com.

I hope you found this information helpful, as it will prepare the way for what is to come!

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