Understanding Your colon

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picture coutsey internet

picture coutsey internet

The colon is more popularly known as the large intestine. It connects the ileum or the last part of the small intestine with cecum, or the first part of the colon in the lower right abdomen.  The colon is divided into four parts,

The ascending colon that travels up the right side of the abdomen.

The transverse colon running across the abdomen

The descending colon travelling down the left abdomen

The sigmoid colon a short curving of the colon, just before the rectum.

The colon eliminates water, salt and some nutrients, to form the stools. Within the colon, the mixture of fiber, water and vitamins mixes with the mucus and the intestinal flora, to form the faeces.

This then travels through the colon, the lining of the colon absorbs most of the water and some vitamins and minerals. The bacteria in the colon chemically break down some of the nutrients required for their own survival and for the nourishment of the cells lining the colon. This makes the fibre content of the food very important. The colon is rich in bacterial flora. This bacterial flora contributes to the balance of the body.  The muscular movements of the colon pushes the faeces along until finally the walls of sigmoid colon contracts to move the faeces to the rectum.

The comparatively straight terminal section of the intestine ending in the anus is the rectum. It acts as a temporary storage site for faecal matter before it is eliminated from the body through the anal canal.  Rectum holds faeces until we have a bowel movement to push it out. The rectum is made up of muscular walls that are able to expand to hold the faecal matter.  This expansion sends the signal to the brain that we need to have a bowel movement the bowel movement can control by contracting the rectum.

part of the colo-rectal cancer awareness.— March is the month of colo-rectal awareness.

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