How long is your intestine?

Intestine is the longest part of digestive system which helps in absorption of major chunk of nutrients from the digested food. Intestine do more work to provide you the energy & nourishment you require to remain healthy and thrive every day. More nutrients & water absorption takes place in the intestines. The intestine is comprised of the small intestine, large intestine and rectum. Let us understand how long is your intestine, its parts and what functions it performs?  

How long is your intestine?
The small intestine, also called the small bowel is approximately 20-25 feet & with a radius of half inch. The function of the small intestine is to absorb maximum nutrients from the food and liquids we consume. The large intestine, also known as the large bowel or colon, is about 5-feet long with a radius of 1.5 inches. The colon helps in absorbing water from the wastes to create stool. When the wastes get into the rectum, nerves create the desire to defecate.

Parts of small intestines
Duodenum: Duodenum contains various enzymes released by the pancreas & liver. The enzymes are used to break down & absorb the partly digested food forwarded by your stomach. It's about 7.9 inches to 9.8 inches long.
Jejunum: More digestion & absorption happen in the jejunum. It's about 8 feet long.
Ileum: It absorbs every remaining nutrient that was not absorbed in the jejunum. It connects to the first part of the large intestine, known as the cecum. It's about 9 feet long.

Health conditions that affect small intestines include:
•    Ulcers
•   Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
•    Lactose intolerance
•    Celiac disease
•    Intestinal obstruction
•    Crohn's disease

Parts of the large intestine
Cecum: It's also known as the ileocecal junction, where the ends of the intestines join. Cecum assists in absorbing water & the remaining salts.
Colon: It's the longest part & it's a segmented portion for absorbing more water.
Rectum: Feces are collected in the rectum after digestion.
Anal canal: This facilitates passage of feces from rectum to the anus. The anus is the last part of the large intestine, & it assists an individual in removal of feces from the body.

Common health conditions which affect the large intestine
•    Constipation
•    Diarrhea
•    Colorectal cancer
•    Ulcerative colitis
•    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
•    Crohn's disease
•    Diverticulitis

Some serious disease affecting Intestine
•    Small-intestine cancer: It's a rare case, though it can affect the small intestine. Different types of small intestine cancer cause about 1,100-deaths every year.
•    Celiac disease: This is an "allergy" to gluten that causes the small intestine not to absorb the nutrients properly. Weight loss and abdominal pain are the common symptoms of celiac disease.
•    Intestinal obstruction: It is a disease in which a section of the large intestine or small intestine becomes twisted, blocked, or just stops operating. The symptoms include belly distension, constipation, vomiting, and pain.
•    Carcinoid tumor: It is a type of neuroendocrine tumor in the digestive tract (like stomach or intestines). This tumor can affect any part of the body including different parts of digestive system and lungs.

Intestine is the most important part of human digestive system as it is the only part which absorbs the nutrients from the digested food. The combined length of the small and large intestine is the average length of the human intestine. Thus, the human intestine is between 20-25 feet long.

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