What Is The Colon?

What do the Colon and Rectum do?

The colon, also called the large bowel or large intestine, and the rectum are part of the digestive tract. The digestive tract is the group of organs through which food and liquids pass when they are swallowed, digested and eliminated. These organs include the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, rectum and anus. The digestive tract allows us to eat and to use the food we eat to fuel our bodies.

The colon and rectum play a very important role in how our bodies use the food we eat.

Why are the Colon and Rectum Important?

The colon is where water and nutrients from food are absorbed. What is left over is called waste. It moves from the colon into the rectum and leaves the body at as stool at the anus. Your stool is filled with bacteria, so it is important to get it out of your body. A healthy colon and rectum will rid your body of the waste it does not need. If your colon or rectum isn’t working the way it should, you will experience problems such as bloating, gas and pain.

What you eat and drink can affect how your digestive tact works. Easting a diet with a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is good for your overall health. Eating less red meat (such as beef, pork or lamb) and cutting out processed meat (such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs and cold cuts) may help reduce your risk for colorectal cancer. Drinking a lot of alcohol may increase your risk. If you drink, don’t have more than one drink a day if you are a woman or two drinks a day if you are a man.