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BellaOnline's Stomach Issues Editor

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Large Intestine Function

Guest Author - Sharon Lasitter

The construction of the large intestines
Once your digested food leaves the small intestine, its next and final destination is the large intestine. The large intestine, about 4.9 ft long, is connected to the small intestine by a sphincter muscle, called the ileocecal valve. This valve controls the amount of chyme, or digested food, which leaves the small intestine and enters the large intestine. The large intestine is constructed mainly of the colon, but also has a small chamber near the ileocacal valve, called the cecum. The colon is comprised of four areas. They are:

  • Ascending Colon

  • Located on the right side of the body, and is about 25 cm in length. It begins at the cecum, and ends
    where the colon begins to turn, by the liver.
  • Transverse Colon

  • Located just below the stomach, the transverse colon is attached to the stomach by a band of tissue
    called the greater omentum. This section of the colon moves from right to left across the abdomen, and
    turns at the spleen.
  • Descending Colon

  • Travels downward on the left side, to the next curve in the colon, called the sigmoid colon.
  • Sigmoid Colon

  • The final section of the colon connects the colon to the rectum. Sigmoid means S-shaped, signifying its
    shape, and is lined with strong muscle tissue, designed to expel its contents into the rectum for
    elimination.

    Function of the Large Intestine
    Since the digestive process was completed in the small intestine, it is the basic duty of the large intestine to draw water and salts from the resulting fecal matter, and to produce supplemental vitamins (K and Biotin,) via friendly flora (a bacterial family consisting of about 700 species, each with particular functions.) It also holds onto this matter until it moves through each section and is finally exited into the rectum, then the anus. This process takes a healthy colon between 12 and 17 hours to complete.

    Since the large intestine is also home of the immune system, caring for it properly, by ingesting healthy amounts of water, fiber, prebiotics and probiotics, and avoiding constipation, you are well on your way to attaining a healthy body.




    *Please know that I am not a medical doctor or a health practitioner. I cannot diagnose your stomach problems nor can I guarantee a cure. I am here to share my knowledge, which applications have worked for me and to offer suggestions of where you may go physically, emotionally and spiritually for healing and self-empowerment. If you choose to explore alternative medicine, do not independently stop taking your prescribed medications. Always consult with your current doctor as well as your new practitioner when changing your medical program. Find a Naturopath near you.

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    Illustration of the Large Intestine
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    Content copyright © 2014 by Sharon Lasitter. All rights reserved.
    This content was written by Sharon Lasitter. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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