Knowing the Anatomy and Function of the Large Intestine

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Knowing the Anatomy and Function of the Large Intestine
Knowing the Anatomy and Function of the Large Intestine

The large intestine is one part of the human digestive system. This organ is known for its role in the process of digestion of food. To know the importance of the large intestine for he alth, learn more about the anatomy and function of the large intestine below

The large intestine is the final part of the human digestive system. This organ has various functions, such as absorbing fluids and vitamins, producing antibodies and preventing infection, and forming feces.

Knowing the Anatomy and Function of the Large Intestine - Alodokter

Anatomy of the Large Intestine and Its Functions

The large intestine is divided into four main parts with different functions. The following is an explanation of the four parts of the large intestine and their functions:


The cecum is a pouch-shaped part of the large intestine that connects the end of the small intestine (ileum) with the large intestine. Food residue from the small intestine that enters the cecum is generally still in the form of liquid slurry (chyme).

In this part of the large intestine, there is re-absorption of nutrients and residual water from chyme.


The colon is the longest part of the large intestine and is divided into four parts, namely ascending (right abdominal cavity), transverse (transverse from right to left at the top of the abdominal cavity), descending (left abdominal cavity), and sigmoid (the part that connects to the rectum).

The main function of the colon is to mix chyme with enzymes in the digestive tract so that it becomes feces to be excreted from the body.The colon must reabsorb water and electrolytes to form stool. This is why, when you are dehydrated, you can become constipated.


The rectum is the lower part of the large intestine which measures about 15 cm and is connected to the sigmoid colon. This part of the large intestine functions to receive and store waste from the colon until it is time for it to be excreted by the body through the anus.

When there is waste such as gas or feces into the rectum, there will be sensors that send stimuli to the brain. Next, the nervous system in the brain will give a signal when the gas or stool is expelled.


Anus is the final part of the large intestine. When the rectum is full and the stool is ready to pass through the anus, you will feel heartburn and an urge to defecate.

The process of processing and digesting food into feces generally takes approximately 30–70 hours.

Various Complaints That Can Occur in the Large Intestine

It is important to always maintain a he althy digestive system, including the large intestine, so that it can function properly in processing food. However, there are times when the large intestine experiences disturbances that can trigger several diseases, including:

1. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is characterized by more frequent bowel movements and watery stools. In general, diarrhea occurs due to consumption of unhygienic food or drink or exposure to viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Besides some of the causes above, diarrhea can also occur due to intolerance to certain foods, side effects of drugs, and food malabsorption.

2. Colon bleeding

Bleeding in the colon is part of the lower gastrointestinal tract. This condition is generally characterized by fresh red blood from the anus or blood mixed with feces.

Some diseases that can cause colon bleeding, namely colitis, colon cancer, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids.

3. Colon cancer

Colon cancer is caused by changes or gene mutations in the colon tissue. However, the cause of this gene mutation is not known with certainty.

However, there are several factors that are thought to increase the risk of colon cancer, such as a diet lacking in fiber, consuming too much red meat and fat, and high sugar levels.

4. Colon polyps

Colon polyps are small lumps that grow on the inside of the large intestine. These lumps are generally harmless, but some types of colon polyps can develop into colon cancer.

There are several factors that can increase a person's risk of developing colon polyps, including smokers, people with excess body weight, and a family history of colon polyps.

5. Colitis

Colitis is inflammation of the large intestine usually caused by infection or an autoimmune reaction. Symptoms that appear depending on the type of colitis suffered. However, the typical symptoms shown by colitis sufferers are bloody diarrhea, fever, and chills.

6. Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract. This disease can affect any part of the digestive tract, including the large intestine.

Symptoms of Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. Crohn's disease can also increase the risk of developing colon cancer.

7. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the diverticula, the sacs that form along the lining of the intestine.

This condition is generally caused by pressure from gas, food, or fluid in the lining of the intestines to form small pouches. Diverticulitis most often occurs in the large intestine, specifically in the lower part of the large intestine.

The large intestine is one of the digestive organs that has an important function. Thanks to the work of this organ system, you can get nutrients and energy from the food and drinks you eat.

To maintain colon he alth, you are advised to eat nutritious foods, including high fiber and low calories. If you experience symptoms of colon disorders and do not subside, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.

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