There are many significant conditions effecting the bowel. The latter is divided into the small bowel which starts at the duodenum and extends down to the terminal ilium just before it joins the large bowel or colon. All of the goodness is taken out of the food throughout its journey down through the small bowel so by the time it gets into the large bowel it is all waste. Tumours of the small bowel are exceedingly rare. There are other significant conditions however affecting the small bowel namely Crohn’s Disease.
The large bowel, otherwise known as the colon and rectum combined, starts at the caecum and ends at the anus. Its function is to act as a conduit for the faeces. In the cecum the stool is liquid but as it travels around the colon it thickens up due to water being extracted through the bowel wall back into the blood stream. By the time it gets down into the rectum it is the consistency that it is normally recognised as. The function of the rectum is to act as a storage organ for the stool – things are coming through all the time but to stop us going to the toilet all the time it stores it up and typically once a day we get the sensation to defecate. Conditions affecting the large bowel include: cancer (otherwise known as colorectal cancer (or bowel cancer), diverticular disease and inflammatory bowel disease (colitis).
Read about Bowel Conditions including: