Ileum function and definition

Ileum function and definition

Ileum - the third, final, and longest segment of the SMALL INTESTINE. About 10 feet in length, the ileum extends from the JEJUNUM to the CECUM. The ileum absorbs fats and fat-soluble vitamins as well as other remaining NUTRIENTS from the digestive content, which it then passes through the ileocecal valve into the cecum (the first segment of the COLON). Like the other segments of the small intestine, the ileum’s walls contain extensive villi (fingerlike projections) that expand its surface area to increase its ability to absorb nutrients.

CONDITIONS THAT CAN AFFECT THE ILEUM
Crohn’s disease ILEUS
INTESTINAL ADHESIONS LYMPHOMA
MALABSORPTION SHORT BOWEL SYNDROME

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

See also DUODENUM; ILEOANAL RESERVOIR; ILEOSTOMY; MINERALS AND HEALTH; VITAMINS AND HEALTH; NUTRITIONAL NEEDS.

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The Gastrointestinal System

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