Understanding the Gastrointestinal (GI) tract
The bowel or gastrointestinal (GI) tract is part of the digestive system designed to help our bodies absorb nutrients and fluids and remove waste. It is made up of a two-parts which involve a complex group of organs including the small bowel (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum) and large bowel (colon and rectum).
The small bowel connects the stomach to the large intestine; the large bowel connects the small bowel to the anus (the output in which we release stools).
The appendix is a small pouch which comes off the colon, located on the right side of lower abdomen. The cul-de-sac is the area between the bowel and the back of the uterus and vagina.
When we eat, our food passes down the oesophagus into the stomach where digestion begins. It then makes its way to the small bowel where our vitamins, nutrients and minerals are absorbed.
The leftover then makes its way into the colon where water is absorbed and finally, the remaining residue, or what we call ‘waste’ is stored in the rectum where it is held in place by various nerves and muscles until we are ‘ready’ to pass it through the anus.