Colon definition and health

Colon definition and health

Colon - the large intestine, which extracts water from and consolidates the waste byproducts of digestion. The colon extends from the ILEUM, the final segment of the SMALL INTESTINE, to the ANUS, the exit from the body for solid digestive waste (feces or stool). The colon goes up the left side of the abdomen (the ascending colon), across the abdomen at the lower ribs (the transverse colon), and down the right side of the abdomen to about the level of the hip JOINT (the descending colon). The final segments of the colon are the sigmoid colon and the RECTUM. The colon is about five feet long in the average adult.

COMMON CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE COLON
COLITIS COLORECTAL CANCER
CONSTIPATION Crohn’s disease
DIARRHEA DIVERTICULAR DISEASE
FECAL IMPACTION FECAL INCONTINENCE
HIRSCHSPRUNG’S DISEASE ILEUS
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD) INTESTINAL POLYP
IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) PROCTITIS
RECTAL FISTULA RECTAL PROLAPSE
TOXIC MEGACOLON ulcerative colitis

For further discussion of the colon within the context of gastrointestinal structure and function, please see the overview section “The Gastrointestinal System.”

See also ANAL ATRESIA; ANAL FISSURE; BORBORYGMUS; BOWEL ATRESIA; BOWEL SOUNDS; COLONOSCOPY; STOMACH.