WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
Your stomach is stretchy, muscular and shaped like a sack. It sits below the diaphragm and is connected to your oesophagus (the tube food goes down when you swallow) at one end and to your intestines (long, tightly packed tubes where nutrients are absorbed) at the other end.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
Your stomach has three important functions:
- It temporarily stores the food you’ve eaten until it can be digested.
- It breaks food down into a liquid.
- It sends the liquid mixture to your small intestine, where it gets broken down further.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Your stomach works like a blender, mixing and mashing all the food you swallow into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes a liquid. This is possible thanks to your stomach’s strong wall muscles and the acidic liquid it secretes, called gastric juice. Gastric juice breaks down food and kills any bad bacteria that may have entered along with your meal.
- Your stomach is the fundamental organ in your digestive system.
- When you are hungry or your stomach is expecting food, but there is nothing to digest, your stomach muscles squeeze together and the gastric juice sloshes around – and that’s what makes your tummy growl!
DID YOU KNOW?
When your stomach is empty, it is roughly the size of your clenched fist. It changes shape and size depending on how much food you’ve eaten.