Lower GI Tract Essay


Mr. D is a 60 yr old with fever, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and nausea for the past 24 hrs. His diet has no new foods, and he has not been traveling or eating out. He had a screening colonoscopy 5 years ago that showed diverticula in his colon, but he never had any problem with them.

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Physical: Mr. D appears tired and in pain. The exam is significant for abdominal tenderness to touch.


The white blood count is elevated on CBC

Amylase, lipase and liver function tests are normal.

Abdominal CT scan shows diverticulitis


Diverticulitis occurs when the diverticula (thin areas in the intestine wall that form “outpocketing”) become inflamed. Risk factors include a low-fiber diet and constipation. Treatment for diverticulitis includes avoiding solid foods, hydration, and antibiotics.

Answer the following questions and save your responses in a Microsoft Word document. Provide a scholarly resource in APA format to support your answers Lower GI Tract Essay.

Provide a detailed description of the path of chyme and later feces from the duodenum to the anus, identifying the different portions of the small and large intestines.
1. Describe 2 important functions of the small intestine.
2. Describe 2 important functions of the large intestine
3. Diverticulitis most often affects the sigmoid colon. Based on your knowledge of its location in the abdomen, in which of the following quadrants do you predict the pain location?
4. If diverticulitis worsens, it can lead to life-threatening peritonitis. Describe 2 functions of the peritoneum.

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Lower GI Tract

The two most essential functions of the small intestine include the systematic breaking down of food. The second most important function of the small intestine is the absorption of nutrients. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine (Haghikia et al., 2015). Duodenum is responsible for breaking food down; this part of the small intestine gets digestive juices that aid in the further breakdown of food. Hormone glands in the walls of the small intestine release chemicals that are responsible for food digestion. The second function of the small intestine is the absorption of nutrients at the jejunum. The two most important purposes of the large intestine are salt and water absorption. The second function of the large intestine is getting rid of food particles left over (Mosele et al., 2015). What is left is mainly plant matter, fiber which usually takes much time to digest. The most dominant location affected by diverticulitis is the part of the large intestine called the sigmoid colon. The sigmoid colon is the S-shaped portion of the colon. The sigmoid colon is most likely to be affected by diverticulitis because it is very narrow, resulting in high pressure. The sigmoid is located in the third quadrant of the large intestine, which connects to the rectum. An individual suffering from this would feel pain in the lower abdomen, like in the case study involving Mr. D. The continued effects of diverticulitis can be dangerous as it leads to peritonitis (Tan et al., 2015). The parietal peritoneum has two functions: support and protection of the abdomen and other internal organs. The peritoneal layer is instrumental in giving protection to the abdomen as it covers the walls surrounding it and produces lubricating juices, reducing the friction that would otherwise occur between the organs.




Haghikia, A., Jörg, S., Duscha, A., Berg, J., Manzel, A., Waschbisch, A., … & Linker, R. A. (2015). Dietary fatty acids directly impact central nervous system autoimmunity via the small intestine. Immunity43(4), 817-829. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1074761315003921

Moseley, J. I., Macià, A., & Motilva, M. J. (2015). Metabolic and microbial modulation of the large intestine ecosystem by non-absorbed diet phenolic compounds: A review. Molecules20(9), 17429-17468. https://www.mdpi.com/112120

Tan, J. P., Barazanchi, A. W., Singh, P. P., Hill, A. G., & MacCormick, A. D. (2016). Predictors of acute diverticulitis severity: A systematic review. International Journal of Surgerypp. 26, 43–52. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1743919116000078

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