The colon is also known as the large bowel or large intestine. It is an organ that is part of the digestive system (also called the digestive tract) in the human body.
Where is your colon located?
The colon is about 5 feet long and circles the abdomen up the right side, across, and down the left side. It then descends into the lowest part of the colon, or the rectum. The rectum connects to the anus, which is the opening from which stools leave the body. The colon contracts as it moves digested food and waste.
What is a normal colon?
The entire colon is about 5 feet (150 cm) long, and is divided into five major segments. The rectum is the last anatomic segment before the anus. The ascending and descending colon are supported by peritoneal folds called mesentery.
What is the purpose of the colon in the body?
The colon — also known as the large intestine or large bowel — absorbs water from digested food. Muscular contractions of the colon move the waste left over from this process to the rectum. A bowel movement expels the solidified waste from the body.
How do I clean out my colon?
7 Ways to do a natural colon cleanse at home
- Water flush. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is a great way to regulate digestion.
- Saltwater flush. You can also try a saltwater flush.
- High-fiber diet.
- Juices and smoothies.
- More resistant starches.
- Herbal teas.
Can you live a normal life without a colon?
Although it is an amazing organ, it is possible to live without a colon. People have portions of their colon removed in surgery every day—surgical bowel resection is one of the treatment options for colon cancer. However, all six feet of your colon, also called the large intestine, serve a purpose.
How do you know if something is wrong with your colon?
A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool. Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool. Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain. A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely.
What does it mean when your colon hurts?
The most common disorders of the colon are inflammatory bowel diseases such as: ulcerative colitis, which causes pain in the sigmoid colon—the final part of the large intestine that leads to the rectum. Crohn’s disease, which typically causes pain around the belly button or on the lower right side of the abdomen.
Which side is colon pain?
Sudden severe abdominal pain, especially in the lower abdomen and on the left side, is common with colon spasms. The pain can vary in its intensity with each spasm. Gas or bloating. These signs may occur any time of the day, regardless of diet.
How much of your colon can be removed?
The surgeon takes out the part of the colon with the cancer and a small segment of normal colon on either side. Usually, about one-fourth to one-third of the colon is removed, depending on the size and location of the cancer.
What is colon diameter?
Normal colonic caliber ranges from 3 to 8 cm, with the largest diameter in the cecum; the remainder of the colon is dilated when it is greater than 6 cm and the cecum is not larger than 9 cm in diameter.
What should a healthy colon look like?
Pain-free to pass: A healthy bowel movement should be painless and require minimal strain. Soft to firm in texture: Poop that is passed in one single piece or a few smaller pieces is typically considered to be a sign of a healthy bowel. The long, sausage-like shape of poop is due to the shape of the intestines.
What happens when the colon is not functioning properly?
Symptoms of bowel problems include abdominal pain and spasms, gas, bloating, inability to defecate or pass gas, rectal bleeding, loose and watery stools, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss.
What happens if my bowel stops working?
Intestinal ischemia is a serious condition that can cause pain and make it difficult for your intestines to work properly. In severe cases, loss of blood flow to the intestines can damage intestinal tissue and possibly lead to death.
What happens when they remove your colon?
Once your colon is removed, your surgeon will join the ileum, or the lower part of your small intestine, to the rectum. A colectomy allows you to continue to pass stool through your anus without the need for an external pouch.