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Dear Rocky

You need to understand what happens to your food on its journey through your digestive system.

The first thing you do when you eat food is chew it.

The rest of your food (most of it) is chewed into little bits and mixed with saliva so it slips down easily. It goes down a tube which is called the oesophagus and down into your stomach.

Your stomach is like a little bag at the bottom of your oesophagus. It's got quite a strong acid in it. The acid makes your food soft and gluggy. The food gets churned and churned and churned around in your stomach.

At this stage more sugars and other chemicals from your food get absorbed through the lining of your stomach.

After a while the mushy mash that is left is passed on through a part called the duodenum which is a small, fairly thick tube, fixed in position.

Then the mash enters the great long, winding small bowel. It keeps on going and gets to the large bowel. The bowels are often called intestines, or guts. In the gut, other things mix in to make the good part of the food easy to absorb through the lining of the gut. Bacteria and yeasts are there to help, too.

So your gut is like a long, smooth, muscley tube that squeezes the food through you until all that is left is the bits your body can't use. This ends up in you rectum where lots of bacteria grow by consuming the fibrous materials left over.

The stuff left over is called faeces, or poos. When you rectum gets full you squeeze the faeces out through your anus. That's usually called a bowel motion. If you eat plenty of fibre and have enough liquid to drink then your faeces are usually smooth and moist and this all happens pretty pleasantly.

Yours sincerely 

Virginia R. Claire

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