Functions of Intestine

The intestines are part of the digestive system, one of the largest organ systems in the body and develop as a muscular tube that moves food from one end of the digestive tract to another. As food travels through the small and large intestines, fluids, nutrients and minerals are absorbed through the intestinal wall. People become dehydrated and malnourished when the intestine does not function well. Symptoms of intestinal failure include: persistent diarrhea, dehydration, muscle wasting, poor growth, frequent infections, weight loss, and fatigue, eventually leading to death. In addition to digestive and absorptive function, the gut is an essential endocrine organ as well that produces hormones that influence hunger, satiety, and electrolyte homeostasis.