What Is The Colon?
Colon is another name for the large intestine. The last part of the small intestine is called the ileum. It connects the first part of the colon, called cecum, in your lower right abdomen. The rest of your large intestine or colon is divided into 4 different parts :
● Ascending large intestine travels right up to the right side of your abdomen
● Transverse large intestine runs across your abdomen
● Descending large intestine travels down your left abdomen
● Sigmoid large intestine is a very short curving of your large intestine. It’s located right before your rectum
The colon performs various important functions in your body. It removes salt, water and even nutrients forming stool. The colon’s walls are lined by muscles, which squeeze the contents. Bacteria coat the contents, and the walls of your colon.
The Role of the Colon in Digestion
It’s important to understand that the function of the large and small intestine is completely different. When you consider digestion, food is not broken down any further in the large intestine. Breaking down of food completes in your small intestine and stomach.
The primary function of your large intestine is to properly absorb water and salts from your food. These substances are absorbed from the contents that pass through the small intestine and reach the colon. This maintains the fluid balance of your body and blood.
Only fecal matter reaches your colon. The majority of absorption and digestion is already complete in the small intestine through various enzymes. Due to this, absorption of salts and water form the fecal matter in the colon makes it compact.
The second important function of your colon is the absorption of some vitamins. As mentioned earlier, colon is also home to some friendly bacteria. These bacteria product Vitamin K. It’s very important for blood clotting. In addition to this, bacteria in your color can also produce gases that promote health contraction of the muscles in your digestive tract.
The amount of bacteria present in your colon depends on the amount of foods you consume, and if you have taken any antibiotics. If bad bacteria are present in your colon or infection occurs because of less bacteria, the colon may be unable to properly absorb water from your stool. This may lead to diarrhea.
The third important function of your large intestine is to just store the fecal matter until it is properly eliminated or excreted from your body. When you have a bowel movement, the colon is free from any fecal matter.