How Does Your Bowel Work

As a person who has the privilege of being able to control their bowels, most people are already aware of how they work. However, many people don't understand how your own bowels work and what they do. It's a common question among friends and family: "How does your Bowel work?"

In this blog post, I am going to explain that very question in detail. Every day your body uses the food you eat to make energy for all of its functions. The food is broken down into nutrients used by various organs in our body, specifically the bowels.

The food you eat is broken down in the mouth and stomach by the enzyme amylase. The food then enters the small intestine, where most nutrients are actually absorbed and used by our body.

Once processed by our small intestine, it is then sent to our large intestine, also known as the colon. The colon is what we think of when we think of pooping, and that's because it stores everything until we get ready to eliminate it. When we have to go to the bathroom, our body tells us that we need to use this stuff soon because whatever is leftover in our large intestine can be harmful if left there too long.

The large intestine then produces tiny lumens that lead to a couple different types of waste, which are stool which goes out through your anus and urine, which runs out through the urethra.

The process of breaking down food into nutrients is known as "digestion". The digestion of food results in water and "fibrous materials", a.k.a "excess fibre", after you have eaten all the nutrients your body needs from the food you eat. The excess fibre gets removed from our system by what is known as "bile", a tan-coloured fluid produced by our liver. Bile and extra fibre enter the large intestine, mix together and form what we know as stool.

The colon is made up of five parts in total: the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon and rectum. These parts are also called "sections". The ascending and descending colons are where most of the excess fibre is stored. Next to these sections is a section called the transverse colon, which curves to the side to make an "S" shape. It is known as this because you cannot see it without looking at it from a specific angle since it curves around in your abdominal cavity. The final section to mention is our rectum which has already been mentioned by name.

The entire colon is about ten feet long. Your colon is made up of thousands of microscopic "intestines" called "villi". The villi have different functions to perform. For example, a good number of them create a passage from the large intestine to the rectum. We also have lymphatic vessels that take excess fluid from our body into our colon (this ensures we don't get too much fluid in our system at one time). We also have cells known as "goblet cells" made in your small intestine and go into the colon to perform their function there. Goblet cells collect any waste and pass it out through us.

This is a fundamental summary of the general functions of the colon. However, this article does not go into detail about specific things that happen in your colon. I am only giving you knowledge that will help you understand how it works. Remember that when you are done reading this post, the next time someone asks how your bowels work, you can tell them.