CONSTIPATION PREVENTS US FROM BEING HAPPY
The digestive tract consists of organs that are very different from each other. At its end is the colon. It is an important organ that when it malfunctions can be the basis of a host of ailments.
The colon: An important organ for health
The colon, or large intestine, is a long tube through which undigested food materials pass before being disposed of. The large intestine is about three inches in diameter and approximately five feet tall.
The colon starts where the small intestine ends, which is much longer. There is a valve there that prevents the contents of the colon from flowing back into the small intestine. The colon consists of three parts: the ascending colon, the transverse colon and the descending colon. The latter part includes the rectum that ends at the anus.
Unlike in the small intestine, the colon has no digestive activity. It does not have enzymatic secreting glands. The colon also does not have the villi through which food is absorbed into the small intestine.
However, the colon has cells that secrete mucus. If it does not absorb food, the colon can reabsorb the water contained in the fecal bowl.
There is a normal bacterial flora in the colon. This flora is important. In particular, it produces certain vitamins that the lining of the colon can absorb. Bacteria in the colon feed on the cellulose contained in undigested foods.
A common problem: Constipation
Normally, foods that enter the colon should stay there for about 20 hours. This time is necessary to allow colon bacteria to grow and multiply on contact with food particles that come from the small intestine. When diarrhea occurs, the colon gets rid of its contents too quickly and the bacterial flora is affected. Generally, however, it is the problem of constipation that arises.
When food stays too long in the intestine, a number of abnormal actions occur. The food bowl first tends to rot. This gives rise to foul-smelling gases that pollute the whole body by spreading more or less through the intestinal lining. Feces also tend to dehydrate too heavily, making them harder and more compact. This phenomenon contributes to accentuating the problem of constipation.
Under the effect of constipation, the colon can also deform considerably and lose more or less its muscular effectiveness. Constipation then sets in permanently and health in general is compromised.