The Colon some facts
- The colon is approximately 5 feet long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
- The colon, also known as the large intestine or bowels , is part of our digestive system, connecting the small intestines to the rectum.
- Everything we eat, after the initial chewing in the mouth, where food is broken down by saliva and its enzymes, it travels down the oesophagus ,the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach where it recieves further processing.
- The colon serves two purposes,as well as being the last part of the nutrient absorption process ,it is the body’s waste disposal system.
- The waste is derived from two sources in the body, firstly the discarded food matter on its way through the digestive system. Secondly, the waste products of the body such as the cells and tissues which die as a normal part of our existence and toxic waste.
- This waste is collected from every part of our body and sent via the bloodstream and the lymphatic system to the colon for disposal.
- The colon wall is very sophisticated, passing nourishment into the bloodstream one way and the body’s waste products the other.
- As the waste is moved through the colon by peristalsis it becomes highly toxic and as protection from damage the colon encases the stools in a film of mucus.
- The muscles of the colon form bulges as it moves the faecal matter along to get it to the anus, some of the mucus and faecal matter adheres to the side of colon wall each time forming a film which clogs up the walls of the colon.
- These give rise to a host of problems as the colon gets narrower, it sometimes causes a ballooning in other parts.
- As the peristalstic action slows,it becomes less able to pass the faecal waste down the colon effectively ….. this is when constipation occurs!