Anatomy of a Colon

There’s tons of chatter about digestive issues like heartburn, intestinal gas and constipation – but do we really know how our digestive systems function? We monitor what we eat and what we drink, but the scientific facts and figures tend to get shoved under the rug. In order to learn the facts about digestion, it’s crucial to know how our intestines are built.

Also called the large intestine, the colon is broken up into several different components. The last part of the small intestine, called the ileum, is connected to the first part of the colon, called the cecum, in the right lower abdomen. Further down, the rest of the large intestine is made up of four parts: ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and sigmoid colon. Connected in that order, these sections are lined with muscles used to squeeze and push contents through the colon.  The colon absorbs water and salt to form stool that is stored in the rectum, and then eliminated through the anus.

When the colon is working properly, your chances of developing hemorrhoids is greatly reduced. Still, if they do happen you’ve got plenty of ways to tackle the situation. There are at-home remedies to try, as well as surgical procedures. Speak to your physician to see which one is right for you.

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