Unit 6

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Unit 6: The Digestive System
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Tatianna Fulton
ITT Technical Institute

The digestive system is made up of many organs that play a role in the process of turning the food you eat into nutrients, which is used for energy, growth, and cell repair. Some of these organs also play a part in creating waste to be eliminated. The beginning of the digestive system starts in your mouth where you chew and breakdown food into pieces small enough to be digested. The throat receives food from the mouth which then goes through the esophagus to get to your stomach. The stomach is where food is held but also secretes acid to continue the process of breaking down food, changing it to a liquid or paste, food then moves to the small intestine where some nutrients from the food is absorbed and helps breakdown food more. The next organ is the large intestine that is responsible for the processing waste so that defecation is easy and suitable to exit through the rectum.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid flows back into your esophagus, the reflux irritates the lining of your esophagus and causes GERD.
GERD symptoms include a burning sensation in your chest, sometimes spreads to the throat, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, dry cough, hoarseness or sore throat. If you have to take heartburn meds more than twice a week or experience frequent GERD symptoms, then you need to see a doctor.
“When you swallow, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach” (Staff, 2013). Is this is weakened, stomach acid can flow back up into the esophagus causing heartburn.
Diagnosis of GERD is based on your symptoms, a test to monitor the amount of acid in your esophagus, an X-ray of your upper digestive system, a flexible tube to look inside your esophagus, or a test to measure the movement of…...

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