What is the intestines?

In this article we will talk about what the intestine is, from which departments it consists, what functions it performs, what diseases are peculiar to it.

Bowel position and function

The intestine is a component of the gastrointestinal tract, which is located in the abdominal cavity (starts at the pylorus of the stomach and ends at the anus).

In tone, the intestinal length is about 4 m. The most intensive growth of this internal organ is carried out from 5 months to 5 years. Moreover, with age, the shape and position, the structural features of the intestine change.

What is the intestine for? He is responsible for the processes of absorption of food and the processing of food residues into feces. Moreover, each of the intestinal sections performs its functions, contributing to the implementation of the tasks facing the body.

The structure and function of the intestine

There are two main segments of the intestine - the small and large intestine. They have a different diameter and length, differ somewhat in terms of the issues they solve.

Small intestine

The first large intestine, located between the large intestine and the stomach. Its length varies from about 1.6 to 3 m, width - from 3 to 5 cm.

Here, the process of final digestion of food (which has already undergone the primary “treatment” in the stomach) proceeds, which makes the intestine indispensable in terms of obtaining all the necessary and beneficial substances for intestinal health

The following sections of the small intestine are distinguished:

  • duodenum;
  • jejunum;
  • ileum.


This is the second, lower part of the intestine, which begins at the ileum and ends at the anus. Its length is about 1.5, and the width ranges from 4 to 8-10 cm.

Here there are processes of absorption of water, as well as the conversion of food debris (chyme) into fecal matter, followed by their elimination from the body.

There are the following sections of the colon:

  • Cecum. Since it is an intermediary between the large and small intestines, its main task is to ensure that food does not return from the large intestine back to the small one. It is from this gut that the appendix, a well-known process, departs.
  • Colon. Perhaps the main part of the large intestine - it is in it that a large amount of water and electrolytes that are vital for the body are absorbed.In addition, the colon helps to harden fecal masses, facilitating their comfortable for human excretion from the body.
  • The rectum is directly involved in defecation.

Bowel disease

Speaking about what happens in the intestine with various dysfunctions of its departments, it is worth first of all to note intestinal disorders. These are constipation and diarrhea, feeling of heaviness, pressure in the stomach, pain.

The following doctors are engaged in the treatment of intestinal diseases: a gastroenterologist, a surgeon, an oncologist.

Among the pathologies characteristic of this organ are:

  • Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease of unknown etymology.
  • Hemorrhoids - loss of the lower part of the rectum.
  • Intestinal obstruction is a violation (partial or complete) movement of food debris through the intestines.
  • Acute appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix.
  • Polyposis is the formation of growths (polyps) of benign origin on the inner walls of the intestine.

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