The increase in metabolic activity in pregnancy requires an increased intake of food and causes certain changes in the functioning of the digestive system. During pregnancy, the woman's appetite increases and at the same time taste sensations are suppressed, the secretion of the salivary glands decreases. Slows down the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, which is associated with a decrease in its tone under the influence of the autonomic nervous system and displacement of the growing uterus. The acidity of the gastric juice and the content of pepsin in it decrease. Simultaneously, processes of wall digestion and absorption in the small intestine are activated. In the colon, the absorption of water and electrolytes is slowed.
In the liver, the synthesis of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, especially a and b globulins, is activated. The detoxification capacity is somewhat limited. In the last weeks of pregnancy, the liver shifts up and to the right, increases slightly. Bile duct enlargement is noted. The amount of bile increases, it increases the level of cholesterol, which explains the tendency to stone formation during pregnancy.