So, what exactly is the colon? In a nutshell, the colon is an extremely important part of our digestive system and is a storage tube for solid waste that passes through our bodies. Its main function is to extract water and salt from feces. This vital part of our body’s internal makeup consists of the transverse colon, the ascending colon, the sigmoid colon, and the descending colon.
The Ascending Colon – located on the right side of the abdomen, and is approximately 12.5 cm long.
The Transverse Colon – Hangs off of the stomach and is attached to it by a large tissue band called the greater omentum.
The Descending Colon – This is the part of the colon from the splenic flexure to the beginning of the sigmoid colon.
The Sigmoid Colon – Comes after the descending colon and before the rectum. The walls are muscular and moves stool into the rectum by contracting to increase the pressure.
This organ, which is such an important part of our digestion system, is prone to several disorders:
Colonic Polyps – A condition where excess tissue grows and can become cancerous.
Colorectal Cancer – Colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer in both men and women.
Ulcerative Colitis – Ulcers which occur in the rectum and colon.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) – A condition which causes severe abdominal cramping.
Diverticulities – A condition in which pouches become inflamed or infected.
As a vital part of a properly functioning digestive system, it is no mystery as to why this organ is so important!