Indigestion pathophysiology

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Indigestion

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

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Pathophysiology

Overview of Physiology

  • In humans, digestion begins in the mouth where food is chewed. Salivary amylase aids in the chemical breakdown of polysaccharides such as starch into disaccharides such as maltose.
  • The chewed food is pushed down the esophagus to the stomach through peristaltic contraction of these muscles.
  • Food enters the stomach where it is further broken apart and thoroughly mixed with gastric acid, pepsin and other digestive enzymes to break down proteins.
  • After consumption of food, digestive tonic and peristaltic contractions begin, which helps break down the food and move it through. Gastric emptying is the release of food from the stomach into the duodenum. Gastric emptying has attracted medical interest as rapid gastric emptying is related to obesity and delayed gastric emptying syndrome is associated with diabetes mellitus, aging, and gastroesophageal reflux.
  • After being processed in the stomach, food is passed to the small intestine. The majority of digestion and absorption occurs here after the milky chyme enters the duodenum. Here it is further mixed with three different liquids:

References


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