Published: 04/19/2013 - Updated: 12/08/2016
Author: K. Laura Garcés G
The small intestine is a basic and important part of our body for overall health of the body, which is responsible, among other things, to digest and absorb nutrients. When the food reaches the small intestine is no longer recognized, what you have eaten is at this point a mass of which we absorb nutrients and the goes into the large intestine as waste material.
The small intestine is situated in the abdominal cavity, is a shaped elongated tube; it is hollow and has thin walls in its villus. It measures about 8 feet long and is folded or twisted repeatedly.
The intestine is divided into three parts: the duodenum, where starts and connects to the stomach, jejunum, the middle, and the ileum is the final section.
The muscles of the large intestine help to mobilize food and bolus between the villi of the walls, full of tiny blood vessels, which are responsible for absorbing nutrients that go through the pancreatic juice and the bile produced by the liver. The bile helps to absorb fats while pancreatic fluid completes the digestion of proteins and sugars (which began in the stomach by the intestinal juice, produced by the walls of the small intestine).
Once this process is complete then assimilation of food nutrients by the villi of the small intestine happens, which has capillaries that carry nutrients throughout the body. This passage of nutrients into the blood is called absorption.
On the walls of the large intestine mucosa are the Brunner glands (which secrete mucus) and Lieberkühn (secreting intestinal juice). The result of this movement is glandular:
- To transform carbohydrates into monosaccharides.
- To break proteins into amino acids.
- Break down fats into fatty acids and glycerin.
Once this occurs, the digestion is complete and the product must pass through the intestinal wall (absorption), so that enter the bloodstream and can be carried to every cell in the body.
Possible problems in the small intestine
- Intestinal Bleeding
- Crohn's Disease
- Intestinal infections
- Bowel cancer
- Bowel obstruction
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Ulcers, such as peptic ulcer
Symptoms of these conditions can be very varied.
For example, in the case of a bowel obstruction, when the food or fecal material cannot leave the small intestine, either partially or completely, and by various causes such as adhesions, hernias, cancer, etc., pain symptoms may be accompanied by cramping abdominal pain, frequent vomiting, swollen belly, accented gas, constipation, etc.. In case of complete obstruction should be addressed immediately.
In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, the person may have frequent heartburn abdominal pain, vomiting, etc.
To maintain the health of the small intestine is very important to follow these recommendations:
- Diet: must be free of saturated fat and should be rich in fiber and water enough to efficiently mobilize the cud. Foods should be chewed well and avoid refined food or flour bakery.
- Avoid high consumption of medicinal products: which are irritating and erodes the intestinal lining, and which can cause tumors, intestinal obstruction, cancer, ulcers, etc.
- If you get sick in the stomach often: is necessary to practice a cleansing diet once or twice a month, eating only papaya and grapes during the day, and taking olive oil extra virgin fasting. If the pains are very common, practice this diet for 2 days straight, taking at least two liters of pure water.
- The small intestine is sensitive to moods and stress caused by strong anger or resistance to absorb the nutrition from the experiences of life, and refuse or clinging to release old attitudes or ways of reacting to life experiences every day.
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