Gastrointestinal And Nutritional Assessment. Essay

2984 words - 12 pages

Gastro intestinal and nutritional assessmentIntroduction, why choose this topic.I've chosen gastrointestinal and nutritional assessment because I find it easier and more interesting to elaborate on the digestive tract and the diet offered to the service users. It is an interesting topic as; firstly the gastrointestinal system is broken down into so many different and specific parts or processes. Secondly the link between gastrointestinal and nutritional assessment is very much like a puzzle. When one gets used to it, it becomes so clear and simple that it induces one into more research but also more practice, as both require precise knowledge and experience. I will now start my essay by explaining the gastrointestinal system.Paragraph 1- Describe what the gastrointestinal system is?The gastrointestinal system in its simplest version is the study and illustration of the digestive system. It starts in the top part of the body, the mouth, and ends in the bottom part, the anus. Gastrointestinal tract activities include ingestion, mechanical digestion, chemical or enzymatic digestion, propulsion, absorption and defecation. Overall hence, these different stages are summarized in only two words, which are digestion and absorption. There are of course more aspects, which relate to parts outside of the digestion and absorption but I will explain those briefly further on during my essay. Starting with ingestion, it is the stage where food is voluntarily put into ones mouth. Then it is propulsion, this can easily be defined as the process where food is sent (propelled) from one organ to the other. This depends on a process called 'peristalsis'. Peristalsis is the flow and movement of the muscles in the organs, which enables the food to move forward to the other stage, which is food breakdown. Food breakdown can be divided into two more processes, which are mechanical and chemical digestion. The former is the mixing of food in the mouth, the process of it going through the stomach and intestine where the food is broken down into smaller parts. Chemical digestion is the breaking down of food molecules to their smallest area. This is done by enzymes, protein molecules that reduce the food to its simplest state. It is of course a very complex study and I thought that the easiest way is to illustrate that via a table.After food breakdown comes absorption. This can be described as the transport of the broken down molecules from the gastro intestinal tract to the blood or lymph. The major site for absorption is the small intestine. Finally the last step in the digestive system is the elimination process. It is scientifically termed as defecation. It is of course the getting rid of indigestible substances from the body via the anus in the form of faeces. There are some more complex terms and activities, which take place during the digestive phase. For instance in the mouth there are two actions taking place, these are mechanical and chemical digestion, which occur...

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