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What your organs do

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The human body is an amazing thing that is made up of many parts such as muscles and bones and organs. Organs are actually some of the most important parts of our bodies and all of them must be working correctly in order for us to be considered 100% healthy. Every organ has a different job to do and below is a quick roster of some of the most important internal organs in the human body.

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Heart

The heart never stops beating because it is constantly pumping blood around the body. Blood carries oxygen to all the organs and tissues and the body needs that oxygen to survive. If the body goes more than a few minutes without oxygen it will shut down and die. The blood that the heart pumps also picks up the waste – carbon dioxide—and delivers it by other long tubes (blood vessels called veins) to the lungs to be gotten rid of when a person breathe out (exhaled). The “lub dub” sound of the heart beating is the sound of the heart’s valves opening and closing as the heart squeezes (contracts) and forces the blood on its way. People’s heart beat speeds up when they exercise because muscles need more oxygen so the heart must work faster to supply it!

Lungs

Lungs inhale (take in) life-giving oxygen and expel (exhale) carbon dioxide waste. The left lung has two lobes (sections). The right lung has three lobes. Inside the lungs airways get smaller and smaller until they reach the tiny alveoli where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide in the blood. Lungs are essential to ensuring that the body can breathe in air (oxygen).

Stomach

The stomach is a storage tank for digesting food. Its walls have a lot of muscle in them so it can stretch if someone eats a lot of food. It can hold up to a gallon of food. When it is empty, it shrinks back down and its walls fold up. The lining of the stomach has cells that make gastric juice, chemicals that digest food. It has a strong acid that kills bacteria on the foods consumed. It also contains digestive chemicals to digest protein. The stomach churns the food and mixes it with the gastric juices. By the time it leaves the stomach, the food is broken down and ready to move on to the small intestine.

Small Intestine

The small intestine is about 6 feet long. It is a hollow tube where digestion is finished up and all the food nutrients are taken off (absorbed) into the blood. It is here that the pancreas gland sends its pancreatic juice into the food. Also bile made in the liver and stored in the gall bladder enters here.

Large Intestine

The large intestine is about 4.5 feet long and wider than the small intestine. Its job is to take up (absorb) any left over water, vitamins and electrolytes (like sodium and chloride) in the food waste passing through it. Food waste passes through the large intestine (also called the colon) and is passed out of the body.

Liver and Gallbladder

The liver and the gall bladder are helper organs of the small intestine. The liver is a large organ, weighing about 3 pounds. It has 4 lobes. The gall bladder is a tiny, green sac about 4 inches long. The liver is one of the most important organs of the body. Only a small part of what it does has to do with digestion. It makes bile, which breaks down fat. It also takes the blood coming from the digestive tract and changes all the nutrients into forms the body can use, storing some. It cleans alcohol and drugs from the blood, stores vitamins and reuses the iron in old, worn out red blood cells. The gall bladder stores bile made in the liver.

Kidneys

Your kidneys are bean-shaped organs, each about the size of your fist. They are located near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. The kidneys are sophisticated trash collectors. Every day, your kidneys process about 200 quarts of blood to sift out about 2 quarts of waste products and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine, which flows to your bladder through tubes called ureters. Your bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom.

Bladder

The bladder, also known as the urinary bladder, is an expandable muscular sac that stores urine before it is excreted out of the body through the urethra. The bladder is balloon shaped and located on the floor of the pelvis that is charged with storage of urine, which has been excreted by the kidneys. The bladder has muscles that either contract or relax to either accommodate or release the urine in the body.

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