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Interesting Facts About the Colon

Colon is a part of the large intestine or the large bowel. It is an important organ for waste elimination in the body. If the colon isn’t functioning properly, the body won’t be able to absorb vital nutrients or get rid of waste. The large intestine’s primary functions are to absorb water and electrolytes, produce and absorb vitamins, and form and eliminate faeces into the rectum for excretion.

Knowing all about the colon will help you better identify signs of common colon problems and will also help you feel more comfortable talking about this vital organ with your healthcare provider. Here are some interesting facts about your colon that may surprise you.

  • The colon is 5 feet long: The large intestine (colon), extends from the end of the small intestine to the anus. The cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, and Rectum Anal Canal are all sections of the large intestine. The colon is around five feet long and wraps around the abdomen in an inverted U shape. The cecum, which is the widest part of the colon, measures three inches. The sigmoid colon is only slightly more than an inch wide at its narrowest point.
  • 100 trillion microbes live in your colon: Every component of the digestive system plays a role in the digestion of food, but the large intestine is particularly interesting since it is home to 400 different types of bacteria. They are essential in the production of vitamins and minerals as well as the preparation of waste. We need this active internal bacteria to maintain good health. Trillions of microorganisms, often known as gut flora or microbiota, live in the colon. The identification of the functions of the microbiota led to the widespread use of probiotics as supplements and food additives to improve digestive health and immune function.
  • People can live without a colon: The small intestine absorbs the majority of the nutrients from the food that are required for survival. Therefore, a person can have their colon removed and yet live a healthy life. A person’s colon may need to be removed due to certain medical disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer. A procedure known as a colostomy is carried out in some of these situations. During the surgery, an incision in the abdomen is made so that faeces can be collected outside of the body in a colostomy bag. Another alternative is to use a J-Pouch, which uses the remaining segment of the small intestine to retain stool internally.
  • The colon is never empty: Many people think that after several episodes of diarrhoea, their colons are empty or that they can maintain their colons empty by abstaining from eating. However, since faeces are primarily made up of microorganisms, faecal matter is constantly formed.
  • Colon transit time is 30 to 40 hours: Many people think that anything they consume will come out in their next bowel movement. It usually takes a long time for food to transit the length of your digestive tract. This is known as transit time, and it can be measured using a colonic transit time test. A healthy stomach will finish emptying in 4 to 6 hours. Food typically passes through the small intestine in 5 hours and the colon in between 10 and 59 hours. Whenever a person is not constipated, the colon takes 30 to 40 hours to complete one transit. Although transit time for women might go up to 100 hours, up to 72 hours is still considered normal.

  • The colon is an important digestive organ. It plays a major role in getting rid of food left over after the nutrients are removed from it, bacteria, and other waste. These interesting facts may assist you in a better understanding of the colon and its main functions. Take steps to protect the colon’s health; consume a fibre-rich diet; drink plenty of water, and get colon cancer screening and colonoscopies in order to lower the risk of developing colon diseases and lead a better life.

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