The large intestine is an organ that is part of the digestive system. It is the place of absorption of water, both in ingested in terms of digestive secretions and of some nutrients that the small intestine has not assimilated, there is also storage and elimination of digestion residues.
Large intestine length
The large intestine is approximately 1.5 m long and 6 cm in diameter. It is made up of three parts: the cecum, the colon, and the rectum.
The cecum is the part of the large intestine, it has the shape of a bag with about 5 cm, it is the first part of the large intestine, where food waste since it constitutes the fecal bolus, passes to the colon.
It is most of the large intestine; a reason why it occupies, almost in its entirety, the 1.5 meters or more than the large intestine measures. It is divided into 4 parts: the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon, and the vermiform curve. When food reaches the descending colon, the fecal bolus remains stagnant for many hours, filling in the portions of the vermiform curve and the rectum. Plant fibers are not digested or absorbed by the digestive system, they pass through the entire digestive tract and form a significant percentage of the fecal mass. For its part, the glands of the mucosa of the large intestine secrete mucus that lubricates the fecal bolus, facilitating its transit and elimination. The terminal part of the large intestine has cell-producing tissues that act to defend the body; making up a good part of the so-called intestinal flora.
It is the final part of the large intestine and ends with the anal canal that communicates with the outside through the anus, where fecal waste is eliminated. It is the shortest part of the intestine and, in this part, there is no longer absorption of nutrients, but formation and transit of the fecal bolus. The sphincter is a muscle around the anus that controls the passage of stool.
What are the functions of the large intestine?
The large intestine has several functions, and the main one is the reabsorption of water, a process already started in the small intestine; but that, many times, does not end in it. In some situations, such as viral and bacterial infections, it is observed that the reabsorption of water is compromised and, in this way, this substance can be eliminated in excess. In this case, we have a picture of diarrhea. Other times, however, the stool stays in the large intestine for a long time, leading to high water retention. This causes the stool to become highly compact. This picture is known as constipation, and it can be complicated according to the lifestyle of each person. The function of the large intestine is not only to absorb water, so we can mention: Fermentation and the formation of fecal mass and the production of mucus.