Let’s Talk About the Stomach The Stomach The stomach is a hallow organ that is just below the diaphragm on the left side of the abdominal cavity.  It is a thick walled organ that lies between the esophagus and the proximal part of the small intestine (the duodenum). The stomach has four parts namely the Cardiac region, fundus, body and the pyloric region. Do you know that an empty stomach is 50ml and can accommodate 1L to 1.5L of solids and liquids. A mucus membrane lines the stomach which contains glands (with chief cells) that secrete gastric juice, up to three quarts of this digestive fluid is produced daily. The gastric glands begin secreting due to the parasympathetic impulses of the vagus nerve even before food enters into it. What causes that rumbling when you perceive that delicious food: The secretion of gastric juices from the gastric glands occurs in three phases: cephalic, gastric and intestinal secretion. The cephalic phase is activated by the smell and taste of food and swallowing while the gastric phase is activate by the chemical effects of food and the distention of the stomach. Also the intestinal phase blocks the effect of the cephalic and gastric phases. Another important feature of the gastric juice is the pepsin which primarily digest proteins, hydrochloric acid and mucus. The hydrochloric acid causes the stomach to maintain pH of about 2 which helps kill bacteria that may be present in the food. On the inside of the stomach there are folds of the skin called the gastric rugae. It becomes distended (extends) especially after a very big meal.

Courtesy organsofthebody.com

Parts of the Stomach The stomach is divided into four sections with individual functions. They include: (I) The cardiac region, the point where the esophagus content is emptied into the stomach. (II) Fundus, formed by the layer curvature of the organ. It is elevated above the level of esophageal opening. (III) Body: the largest part of stomach (about 75% to 80%) of the whole stomach. It extends from just below the fundus up to the pyloric region (IV) Pylorus or atrium, the lower section of the organ that facilities emptying the contents into the small intestine. Sphincters of the Stomach There are two sphincters that keep the contents of the stomach intact namely (I) cardiac or esophageal sphincter, dividing the tract above (ii) pyloric sphincter, dividing the stomach from the small intestine. Don't forget to share

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