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Table of Contents
The small intestine is about 20 feet long and about an inch in diameter. Its job is to absorb most of the nutrients from what we eat and drink. Velvety tissue lines the small intestine, which is divided into the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
See the fact file below for more information on the small intestine or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Small Intestine worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The small intestine is the part of the intestines where 90% of the digestion and absorption of food occurs, with the other 10% taking place in the stomach and large intestine.
- The main function of the small intestine is absorption of nutrients and minerals from food. Digestion involves two distinct parts. The first is mechanical digestion by chewing, grinding, churning, and mixing that takes place in the mouth and the stomach.
- The second part of digestion is the chemical digestion that uses enzymes, bile acids, etc. to break down food material into a form that can be absorbed, then assimilated into the tissues of the body.
- Chemical digestion occurs in the small intestine and to a lesser extent in some other part of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Stomach Flu (enteritis): Inflammation of the small intestine. Infections (from viruses, bacteria, or parasites) are the common cause.
- Small Intestine Cancer: Rarely, cancer may affect the small intestine. There are multiple types of small intestine cancer, causing about 1,100 deaths each year.
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A name for either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Both conditions can cause colon inflammation (colitis).
- Colitis: Inflammation of the colon. Inflammatory bowel disease or infections are the most common causes.
- Diarrhea: Stools that are frequent, loose, or watery are commonly called diarrhea. Most diarrhea is due to self-limited, mild infections of the colon or small intestine.
- Colon Cancer: Cancer of the colon affects more than 100,000 Americans each year. Most colon cancer is preventable through regular screening.
- According to Harvard Health Publishing, there are many ways to help keep the small intestine, as well the rest of the gastrointestinal tract, healthy. These include not smoking, limiting alcohol and caffeine, keeping a healthy weight, eating a balanced and healthy diet, drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and reducing stress.
- The Division of Gastroen- terology and Hepatology at NYU Langone Health suggests that, in addition to taking preventative measures, it is also important to be screened regularly for gastrointestinal abnormalities, especially if there is a family history of disorders or cancer in the GI tract.
- Probiotics and occasional bowel stimulants may also help keep the small intestine healthy. But it is important to discuss these options with your doctor to find the best option and avoid any unnecessary side effects.
- Capsule Endoscopy: A person swallows a capsule that contains a camera. The camera takes pictures of possible problems in the small intestine, sending the images to a receiver worn on the person’s belt.
- Upper Endoscopy: EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy): A flexible tube with a camera on its end (endoscope) is inserted through the mouth. The endoscope allows examination of the duodenum, stomach, and esophagus.
- Colonoscopy: An endoscope is inserted into the rectum and advanced through the colon. A doctor can examine the entire colon with a colonoscopy.
- Virtual Colonoscopy: A test in which an X-ray machine and a computer create images of the inside of the colon. If problems are found, a traditional colonoscopy is usually needed.
- Fecal Occult Blood Testing: A test for blood in the stool. If blood is found in the stool, a colonoscopy may be needed to determine the source.
- Colon Biopsy: During a colonoscopy, a small piece of colon tissue may be removed for testing. A colon biopsy can help diagnose cancer, infection, or inflammation.
- Antidiarrheal Agents: Various medicines can slow down diarrhea, reducing discomfort. Reducing diarrhea does not slow down recovery for most diarrheal illnesses.
- Laxatives: Medicines can relieve constipation by a variety of methods including stimulating the bowel muscles and bringing in more water.
- Enema: A term for pushing liquid into the colon through the anus. Enemas can deliver medicines to treat constipation or other colon conditions.
- Colon Surgery: Using open or laparoscopic surgery, part or all of the colon may be removed (colectomy). This may be done for severe bleeding, cancer, or ulcerative colitis.
Small Intestine Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the small intestine across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Small Intestine worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the small intestine which is about 20 feet long and about an inch in diameter. Its job is to absorb most of the nutrients from what we eat and drink. Velvety tissue lines the small intestine, which is divided into the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Small Intestine Facts
- Give Me Five!
- The Test!
- The Intestines
- Small Jumble
- S.I. or False
- My Small Intestine!
- Small Intestines and the Six Thinking Hats
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Link will appear as Small Intestine Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.