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Gi Function

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Copstead-Kirkhorn: Pathophysiology, 4th Edition
Chapter 35: Gastrointestinal Function
Key Questions
1. What are the major structures of the gastrointestinal tract and their corresponding functions? Mouth and salivary glands: Transport of food to the esophagus and protection of the airway from aspiration of food particles.
Pharynx: Transport of food to the esophagus and protection of the airway from aspiration of food particles. Esophagus: Movement of food to the stomach by peristaltic waves. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) prevents reflux of stomach contents.
Stomach: Reservoir for food, mixing, and initial digestion of proteins; secretion of hydrochloric acid, instrinsic factor, and gastrin. The pyloric sphincter prevents reflux of intestinal contents.
Small intestine: Digestion and absorption of nearly all nutrients in the duodenum and jejunum; absorption of bile salts in the terminal ilium. The brush border contains numerous digestive enzymes. The enzymes secretin and cholecystokinin are secreted by intestinal mucosa.
Pancreas and gallbladder: The pancreas delivers digestive enzymes and bicarbonate to the duodenum. The gallbladder delivers bile salts to the duodenum.
Large intestine: Reabsorption of water and storage of feces. Feces are delivered to the rectum for defecation (pgs. 805-812).
2. How does the autonomic nervous system influence gastrointestinal motility?
Sympathetic nervous system activity is generally inhibitory to GI motility and secretion.
Parasympathetic nervous system activity generally enhances motility (pgs. 813-814).
3. How do segmental and propulsive movements influence the digestive and absorptive functions of the small intestine?
Segmental and propulsive movement mixes the chyme and digestive enzymes to enhance digestion and spreads out the chyme along the intestinal mucosa to aid absorption (pg. 818-820).

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