I started writing this week’s post and I wanted to talk to you about constipation and then I found this article that was already wrote by a fellow chiropractor talking all about how the digestions system works. So for this week, enjoy this article talking about how normal digestion works and then next week I will have some info for you all about constipation and things that you can do to assist both yourself and your children in having normal digestive patterns!
I don’t mean potty-mouth “poop,” I mean isn’t your-body-AMAZING “poop”!!! I know poop probably doesn’t make you think about how incredible your body is, but it should!! Your body’s ability to take valuable nutrients out of WHATEVER you eat and turn it into living tissue is nothing short of AMAZING. And so is your ability to eliminate whatever is NOT of use to you!! All of this together is the extraordinary work of your digestive system.
Digestion, the act of breaking down the food we eat for use in the body, starts before you even put food in your mouth. Chemicals in your saliva are prepared simply by smelling, seeing, or even thinking about food. AMAZING!! Once you put something in your mouth, your saliva and your teeth begin the actual breakdown process. After chewing something thoroughly, your tongue pushes the food toward the back of your throat and into the opening called your esophagus.
The esophagus is like a stretchy pipe about 10 inches long that connects your mouth to your stomach. Once the food is in your stomach, it is broken down into a liquidy mixture. The muscles of your stomach along with gastric juices break all the little balls of food that you have swallowed into smaller pieces. The juice in your stomach is also pretty AMAZING! First, it’s acidic and would cause severe burns to your skin, but it doesn’t damage your stomach at all because the walls of your stomach are protected by a special mucus layer. The juice needs to be acidic to help break down the food, but it also can kill harmful bacteria that might have been in the food you ate.
From your stomach the mixture moves on to your small intestine which isn’t really small at all. It’s between one and two inches around and 22 feet long!!! It’s all packed up in there though in some AMAZING way so you would never guess how long it actually is! The small intestine breaks down the food even further and begins to absorb the nutrients, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from your food. Your food may spend several hours in this phase where it becomes very watery. The nutrients move on to be used by the body and the remaining waste product proceeds to the large intestine.
The large intestine is about twice as wide as the small intestine (about three to four inches around) but only about five feet long (but also all packed up inside you). Here is where most of the water is reabsorbed for use in the body, leaving a solid material… a poop. The large intestine pushes the poop into the rectum, the last stop in the AMAZING digestive system, where it is stored until you are ready to go to the bathroom.
It’s important to know that every step along the digestive system requires clear communication from your brain via the nerve system to run efficiently and effectively. Misalignment of spinal bones can distort that communication and keep any part or all of your digestive system from working the way it was meant to. Your family chiropractor checks your spine for vertebral Continue reading on page 2 Chiropractic Newsletter Your Amazing Body Provided and published by ICPA. For more information, visit discoverkidshealth.com 2 subluxation and adjusts you when necessary. This ensures that your nerve/communication system works efficiently and allows your digestive system to do its work. AMAZING!!
—By Judy Nutz Campanale, DC, ACP