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About The Human Esophagus

The information on this page is about the human esophagus and where applicable other body parts that are associated or related to the esophagus.


Esophageal Muscle

Just above the point where the esophagus joins the stomach, some of the circular muscle fibers in its wall are thickened. These fibers are usually contracted, and function to close the entrance to the stomach. In this way, they help prevent regurgitation of the stomach contents into the esophagus. When peristaltic waves reach the stomach, the muscle fibers that guard its entrance relax and allow the food to enter.

Esophagus

The esophagus is a muscular tube which carries food and liquids from the throat to the stomach for digestion after it has been chewed and chemically softened in the mouth. Food is forced downward to the stomach (or upwards, if one is standing on his head) by powerful waves of muscle contractions passing through the walls of the esophagus. Because these contractions are so strong in the throat and the esophagus, we can swallow in any position -- even upside-down! If the food is bad, poison, or more than we can "stomach," it may travel back by the same force to be thrown out through the mouth, which is called vomiting. The esophagus has a ring of muscle at the top and at the bottom. These rings close or contract after the food passes through and enters the stomach, where there is an abundance of churning acid waiting to digest the food. If the bottom muscle weakens, stomach contents, along with the stomach acid, may return to the esophagus and cause an uncomfortable, burning sensation known as "heartburn", although it is not connected with the heart at all, but be careful next time you are forced to swallow your pride.

The information on this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended or recommended as a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor/physician or other qualified health care provider regarding any medical condition or treatment. Some or all of the information on this page may be supplied by a third-party and not controlled by the DianaMossop.com website or authors and is therefore is not the responsibility of the DianaMossop.com website or its authors.

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