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WordsNumbersAndStats t1_j631opr wrote

Diarrheal fluids typically originate in the bowel (small or large intestine), not the stomach. In addition to the length of the small and large bowels, all of which are absorptive tissue, and the fact that gastric acid is neutralized in the duodenum, there are four sphincters between the stomach and the toilet bowl - the pyloric sphincter, the ileocecal sphincter and the internal and external anal sphincters.

Diarrheal fluids are typically alkaline, not acidic because of all the intestinal bicarbonate secretion.


chopstyks t1_j64vgdr wrote

>the ileocecal sphincter

As a Leo, this is my second favorite sphincter. My favorite is my wife's.


General_Elephant t1_j63o3bl wrote

This is a great answer, though might not land quite right with a 5 year old. Everyone forgets the dang duodenum 😅


Negative_Success t1_j63sl6u wrote

Per the subs own guidelines, it is not for trying to explain something to a literal 5yr old, but to a layman.


General_Elephant t1_j63usho wrote

Hmm. Good point. I always assume the " layman" would have very little medical literacy, but even then I think you could figure out the meaning of their response without needing to know every term and where they are anatomically located, though knowing where the duodenum is located would help understand that acid is neutralized before entering the intestines.


Way2Foxy t1_j64sc2h wrote

The way I see it, people are always free to ask clarifying questions. It can be hard to reduce the language too much without using more and more words.


Chromotron t1_j67u1jp wrote

Yeah, a lot of people see the terminology and shut down despite it only being place-holders for "the thing I explain to you". Duodenum sounds alien, but replacing it with "that thing right after your stomach" in every sentence gets tedious and unreadable pretty fast.

I fully agree that instead of all those "omg! that is not ELI5!" posts people throw around (some ignorant of the actual meaning, some not), they should just ask for clarifications. I really wish that was a rule, as in, telling people that something is not ELI5 instead of asking for clarification is forbidden. I've only very rarely seen such responses where I would consider it justified.

I had several instances where OP asked for an explanation that technically does break the rules. Something like "As an engineer, I learnt this and that math. But how does [complex mathematical theory] fit into my work?", where the only serious option is to explain based on OP's knowledge, not a layperson's.


Significant-Offer-71 t1_j67bdf5 wrote

The “sphincters” are all valves, they don’t care what goes through. They aren’t there to keep stomach acid from passing. The reason stomach acids don’t make it to your poop is the reason stated above. Acid gets neutralized as soon as you hit the duodenum. Digestion is extremely complex. By the time food reaches the rectum, it’s gone through 15+ feet of tubing and several complex chemical reaction to be come the substance we all know and love.. poop


tambobam t1_j67htbq wrote

Great explanation. Now explain like I’m 5 years old


Flammy3 t1_j649pre wrote

Bicarbonate should tend to make the pH neutral, not alkaline.


Chromotron t1_j67u7no wrote

Both? It is slightly basic, just pretty weak. Sodium bicarbonate mixed with water also has the typical "soapy" feel to it.


Pocok5 t1_j62yj3p wrote

Stretched out, your intestines are about 3 times as long as you are tall. Even if you have the runs, it works well enough to digest food most of the way - at least it shouldn't be just chewed sandwich coming out, if it is, you might wanna hop over to the ER yesterday -, which includes reclaiming the acid.


toomanyd t1_j63pfzg wrote

Infallible sphincter is a great band name


wedgebert t1_j63qdxj wrote

Much better than that other band Fallible Sphincter, I hear their music is shit


barugosamaa t1_j62ynwr wrote

>Stretched out, your intestines are about 3 times as long as you are tall.

The length of the small intestine is roughly 9–16 feet (ft), while the large intestine is shorter, measuring about 5 ft long.
Just here to add numbers to make it more visible!
16ft (4,8m) !!!


valeyard89 t1_j63nwku wrote

I mean Machete used them to jump out a window...


SaucyNeko t1_j667855 wrote

So I'm assuming the larger you are, the more intestines you have? As in length. So Im 6'4. That means I might have like 20ish feet worth? Thats pretty damn cool. Im more full of shit than other people :)


concentrated-amazing t1_j64ky6q wrote

Side note, but my MIL with Crohn's can poop out something 20 min after she eats it if her digestive system is a bit testy with her.


m0le t1_j67j1pv wrote

You can manage a touch over that with ultra spicy food. I ate some wings in Manchester (they were very tasty as well as pretty warm) and about 25 mins later advanced gurgling noises were instructing me to find a pub and the toilet within with haste. The output was quite definitely the chili coating of the wings, oh my yes.


Hayduke_in_AK t1_j63uqz6 wrote

>Stretched out, your intestines are about 3 times as long as you are tall.

According to my math this means Taco Bell is able to break the light barrier. We must learn more!


simojako t1_j62ze2u wrote

Your stomach acid is neutralized, by the pancrease releasing bicarbonate, when it enters the small intestine. Your intestines are not a straight line from your stomach to your anal sphincter, so there is plenty of mixing going on.


Immediate-Win-4928 t1_j633zau wrote

Your acid is in the stomach only, there are sphincters on both ends of the stomach. When the food moves by peristalsis into the small intestine the acid is neutralised with your own bodies basic juices

Diarrhea is uncontrollable contractions of the large intestine, there is never acid there unless something is seriously wrong further up


FellowConspirator t1_j63an18 wrote

Stomach acid is mixed with other stuff in the stomach, so it’s not just acid. Then, once it leaves the stomach, it’s mixed with bile, which contains bicarbonate that neutralizes the acid.

More importantly, diarrhea happens when water filters into your intestines, diluting everything and flushing stuff out.


nim_opet t1_j63qs38 wrote

Stomach acid is neutralized in the food once it passes in the largely alkaline environment of your duodenum. Passing further in your intestine, the whole mixture is largely pH neutral, and as your cells and your intestinal flora work to extract nutrients and water out of it, it slowly compacts the residue into finally in your colon turns into feces. Whether sphincter is infallible or not has no bearing to your question, the only thing in your colon is your feces.


BitOBear t1_j67ojcb wrote

The bile expressed from the common bile duct is a caustic base that your body produces to neutralize your stomach acid. One of the main reasons your stomach produces acid is to unfold the pepsin that your body uses to dismantle proteins. (It's the chemical that tastes like ashes and burns your throat for a long time when you vomit. It's produced in an inactive folded configuration so that it doesn't destroy the cells that are making it, and needs a strong acid to unfold and activate.)

With extreme gastric distress your ilium closes and only the bile passes through the intestines. This leads to the yellowish burning bile-enriched excrement you experience when things get very ugly.

It's all very chemical.


ExtinctionforDummies t1_j6c1v68 wrote

Tough-acting Acid Butt Wipes. Titrate that bicarbonate. Available at select Walmarts.

Also, thank you, fascinating stuff!


BitOBear t1_j6clkbj wrote

Funny thing... If you have frequent bile-rich prior cleaning with KY Warming Jelly will neutralize the bile.

The first couple times are a completely different kind of burning (you'll get used to it) but it protects your delicate anatomy.

IBD is its own education.


Gnonthgol t1_j62z3cp wrote

Technically all your excrement was at one point stomach acid. But when the stomach acid is leached into your upper intestines it gets neutralized and is no longe an acid. This reduces any acid burns on your more sensitive intestinal walls.


arcanezeroes t1_j63b45q wrote

>Technically all your excrement was at one point stomach acid

Pretty sure there's other stuff in there too


ranma_one_half t1_j67sjog wrote

It can. But it's more likely to go up. Every heard of GERD?
Also when you throw up a part of your stomach acid comes up too. Being bulimic is hell on your teeth and esophagus.


WordsNumbersAndStats t1_j684svb wrote

Repeated reflux of gastric juice can also cause reflux laryngitis - a voice disorder caused by inflammation of the larynx (voice box) by the acid. The patient will have hoarseness but may be unaware of the reflux (no burning sensation as with GERD or run of the mill heartburn).