Caption: Healthy human stomach. Coloured X-ray of the stomach (at centre and upper right), highlighted with barium meal. The stomach is a curved, sac- like organ that receives food from the oesophagus (not seen, upper right) and plays a role in digestion. Food then passes into the intestine (at upper left). Bones (blue) of the spinal column are visible at centre left. This image was produced by swallowing a barium meal, a substance opaque to X-rays and which shows up the structure of the digestive tract. Barium X-rays are used to diagnose the cause of swallowing difficulty, check for inflammation of the oesophagus or stomach, and to detect stomach ulcers and bleeding.
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