Disorders of the Stomach and the Duodenum

Most digestion of food occurs in the stomach and duodenum. This portion of the digestive tract produces and receives from other organs a wide range of chemicals to break down food for nutrient absorption. The stomach uses both mechanical means and chemicals (such as hydrochloric acid and pepsin) to break down food. The duodenum releases hormones that stimulate the pancreas to ensure the proper release of enzymes to digest carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The duodenum releases another hormone to stimulate the gallbladder to contract and release bile (which is made in the liver and stored in the gallbladder) into the duodenum to digest fats. This tremendous concentration of powerful chemicals accounts for many of the problems that can occur in the stomach and duodenum.

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