How do our colons work? How do our colons work?

Colon health depends on the proper functioning of all the organs of our digestive tract. 

Before blaming a specific organ for any bad digestion problem we may have, it is important to understand the main functions of this process.

In the words of nutritionist Sara Gómez, the digestive tract is “… like a factory that is made up of several different parts.” These parts are organs that consist of the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the small intestine, the large intestine, the rectum, the anus, the liver, the gallbladder and the pancreas. Through the digestive system, the body transforms the foods we eat into more simple and smaller substances that can reach our organs and nourish them.

The main function of the small intestine is to absorb nutrients, while the main function of the large intestine or colon, is to finish breaking down the foods we eat. Our expert explains that the colon is part of the digestive tract located between the small intestine and the rectum. It acts as a deposit that collects waste and removes water from it, giving it a solid consistency. Because of its ability to reabsorb liquids through its mucous membranes, this organ is what produces fecal material, making feces solid in order for it to pass easily through the rectum, which is the final stage of what we know as digestion.

External factors such as stress, anxiety and poor nutrition can lead to problems commonly found in the colon such as constipation, diarrhea and abdominal cramping as well as to conditions such as polyps, colitis and colon cancer.

It is possible to treat and prevent these problems by managing these external factors, and therefore avoiding the deterioration of the body’s ability to digest and absorb.