Within your digestive system, there are many amazing organs and systems at work. Through all of these different organs, your body is able to function at its best. One of the parts of your digestive system is the pyloric sphincter. This part is located between the duodenum and the stomach, and it actually separates these two body parts. To perform this activity, the pyloric sphincter is made of smooth, muscle fibers that are organized in a ring. To learn more about the pyloric sphincter’s function, read on.
The Function of the Pyloric Sphincter
This section of the body is placed within the pyloric canal and is designed to connect the duodenum to the stomach. Your pyloric sphincter is essentially designed into two parts. While the pyloric canal connects to the duodenum, the pyloric antrum connects to your stomach. When your pyloric sphincter functions properly, it performs the following activities:
As anyone with acid reflux disease knows, reflux can be extremely painful. This condition occurs when food or acid come back up from the stomach instead of staying where they belong. When your pyloric sphincter is functioning properly, it tightens as digested food passes through it. This prevents food and acid from coming back up. With a properly functioning pyloric sphincter, everything that goes through it stays in your stomach and continues on to your intestines.
Your sphincter can either contract or relax. Through performing these two activities, it helps your body to process food. Once the pyloric sphincter contracts, it keeps the food in the stomach so that it can be broken down by digestive juices into a mixture known as chyme. After the food in your stomach has broken down, the sphincter opens up and lets food enter the duodenum. By regulating this activity, your pyloric sphincter ensures that the food has enough time to be properly absorbed by your body and broken down by the stomach.
Potential Medical Problems With the Pyloric Sphincter
When everything is functioning properly, you will not even notice that your pyloric sphincter exists. From time to time, certain problems may develop. One of the most common medical conditions associated with this body part is pyloric stenosis. When this happens, the pyloric sphincter becomes too narrow for chyme to pass through. It may not open and close when it is supposed to, so this could cause the digestive system to stop functioning properly. There are a number of reasons why pyloric stenosis develops, and one of the most common reasons is stomach answer.
Since some of the causes of pyloric stenosis can be serious, you will want to make an appointment with your doctor if you think that you may have a problem with your pyloric sphincter function. Your doctor will perform tests like medical imaging to see what is happening in your body. One of these tests is known as an endoscopy and involves inserting a camera into your body to see how your body is working on the inside.
If your doctor determines that you are having an issue with the functioning of your pyloric sphincter, they will most likely send you to a specialist who is more experienced with the digestive tract. At the specialist, additional tests and a diagnostic history may be done to check for potential problems. Depending on the root cause of your poor pyloric sphincter function and your symptoms, your treatment option may vary from taking medication to having a surgery.
It is extremely important to make sure that you schedule a check up as soon as you think that you have a problem. Many conditions are treated much easier early, and serious medical problems can become fatal if left untreated.
The Workings of the Digestive System
To function at its best, your digestive system requires many different pieces and processes. For a better understanding of your digestive system, check out the following parts and their functions.
Mouth: Food enters the mouth where it is broken down by saliva and enzymes.
Esophagus: This tube is within your throat and pushes food toward your stomach. Muscles contract and relax as they easy the food down the tube.
Stomach: Sphincter muscles at the top of your stomach open up to let food in before closing it in. Throughout the day, your stomach stores and digests the food.
Intestines: This section of your body consists of the small and large intestines. Little, finger-like organs known as phalanges absorb nutrients as the food passes by and breaks down your food further.
Pancreas: This organ contains pancreatic juice that helps to break down your food through enzymes. In addition, it helps to neutralize some of the acids contained in the food you eat.
Liver: The liver is responsible for creating bile to break down the fats that you digest. It is also responsible for storing glucose, vitamins and minerals for future use.
Gall Bladder: This tiny sac is placed beneath your liver. It stores bile, which is transferred to your small intestine to help with your digestion. Although it helps your digestion take place, it is possible to live without a gall bladder.