The stomach is a muscular sac that is important for absorbing food and preparing food for further digestion.
Gut transit time refers to the total amount of time taken by food to travel from the mouth to the anal canal and out as stool. In the mouth, food is chewed, mixed with saliva and swallowed. In the stomach, food gets mixed with stomach acid and the process of digestion begins. Food is then released into the small intestine and this is where the bulk of digestion and absorption takes place. In the large intestine, water is re-absorbed and then the rest of the food matter is excreted. Gut transit time is dependent on a number of factors. Foods high in fiber transit faster compared to low fiber foods. Radiological examination is used to determine an individual?s gut transit time. Normal transit time is 12-24 hours. Beyond 72 hours gut transit time is considered delayed and less than 10 hours is too fast for proper digestion to take place. Medications such as opioids and some neurological pathologies result in slowed transit time.