Gut Check: Get Healthier & Learn How The Digestive System Works

tummyOne of the most vital pieces of our bodies, aside from our hearts and brains, has to be the digestive system. Made up of a lengthy amount of intricate parts, when the digestive system is out of whack, it throws off our entire body’s ability to do their necessary jobs in a timely fashion.

The digestive system is one of the toughest parts of the body, suffering abuse each and every day. With so much in the way of food and drink being constantly bombarded into the system, your digestive system has the task of taking it, digesting it, dividing up the good and the bad, and doing what is needed to keep us going.

Luckily for us, our bodies do an amazing job at ensuring that we are healthy, even when we pour in things that are far from it. Thanks to this intricate interface, the digestive system is the central hub of the immune system. It helps to run the metabolism and is in constant communication with all of the millions of cells within the body. 

The main purpose of the digestive system is to transport the necessary nutrients to each cell in the body. When this doesn’t occur as it should, it’s not uncommon for us to feel worn down, sick, tired and depleted of energy. Not only does the digestive system affect the body, but it also affects the mind. If these symptoms go untreated, there are a number of serious health implications that can occur.

The rate of digestive illness in this country, is sadly directly related to the foods we eat and their contents consisting of additives, chemicals and other man-made ingredients that do not sit well with the stomach. To better be aware of the many issues that face us with our gut health, here are some quick facts in relation to the digestive system. Hopefully, knowing just how serious a problem it is, will scare more people into taking care of themselves, their digestive system, and in turn, their overall health.

  • If spread flat, your digestive system would cover a tennis court.

  • Close to 70 percent of the body’s immune system is centrally located within the digestive system.

  •  Your microbiome is a cluster of cells in the digestive system that determines overall health. It is made up of close to four pounds of bacteria that help to make vitamins, and protect against infection, as well as determining the rate at which the metabolism runs.

  • The vagus nerve connects the brain and the digestive system; if it is ever severed, the digestive system is able to function on its own. This system is called the enteric nervous system (ENS).

  • Roughly 90 percent of your serotonin is made in the gut, not in the brain.

  • Digestive inefficiencies are responsible for a large number of health issues such as migraine headaches, chronic fatigue and depression.

 

 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Beth Phillips

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.