MEET YOUR LARGE INTESTINE: Series Part Eleven
Today, you will meet one of my favorite parts. The large intestine. (Now, keep your thoughts pure 😊). This beast is basically the last stop for the bowels. Although named the large intestine, it is only about 5 feet compared to the small intestine at 22 feet! Even though Mr. Large Intestine is not as long as Mr. Small Intestine, he’s still very important.
The large intestine takes a quicker route than the small intestine and is divided into 6 parts. The cecum starts us off, acting like a holding tank at the right lower portion of the waistline. From there, we defy gravity and head north through the ascending colon, take a torturous turn at the liver to the transverse colon moving across to the stomach and spleen to become the descending colon. The large intestine finishes with a zig zag at the sigmoid, into the rectum (we all know what that is) where our trash exits the body.
By the time particles get to the large intestine, most of the digestion and absorption has occurred leaving dead cells, things the body does not need, water and fiber (the stuff that takes a long time to digest and clean out the plumbing). As waste sits in the colon, the large intestine is absorbing salt and water. Then what happens? Things gotta get moving. If waste/stool doesn't sit long enough to absorb water, the stool is more of a liquid or diarrhea. On the contrary, if it stays too long, it gets hard like rocks, which leads to constipation.
Hence, our need for fiber.
Adults need between 25 and 35 grams of fiber per day. This is quite easy to get if you are eating a healthy diet. Fiber creates slide through the tubes and cleans the walls as it moves through. Simply put, the food that we eat, the ability for the colon to move, and the ability for us to stay hydrated determines what kind of poop we make and helps maintain a healthy colon.
Now that we have learned about the organs in our abdomen, stay tuned for more information on the perfect poop. (Oh yes, it exists.)
OTHER ARTICLES ON THE MEET YOUR BODY SERIES:
MEET YOUR TRANSVERSE ABDOMINIS