The descending colon is a section of the large intestine. It is the left part of the colon that passes downward. It is responsible for storing the remains of digested food before they pass through the rest of the colon and rectum for elimination.
The large intestine plays a role in the absorption of nutrients. It also processes waste products from the body, preparing for their elimination.
The colon is the longest part of the large intestine. It absorbs water and salt and solidifies liquid waste into stool. It consists of
In this article, we will explore the anatomy of the descending colon, as well as its function and the conditions that may affect it.
- the ascending colon
- the transverse colon
- the descending colon
- the sigmoid colon
The large intestine is part of the gastrointestinal tract and joins to the small intestine at one end, and to the anus at the other.
The descending colon is the third main section and
The descending colon is approximately
Click on the BodyMap above to interact with a 3D model of the descending colon.
All four sections of the colon feature bands of smooth muscle, known as the
When the colon fills with digested food, it
The overall function of the colon
Some conditions may affect the function of the descending colon and the colon as a whole. They may impact the ability of the colon to absorb nutrients and form stool.
Some common health conditions of the descending colon include:
Health experts do not know the exact cause of UC, but the condition may be due to several factors, including:
- immune reactions
- environmental factors
Experts are unsure what causes Crohn’s disease, but they suggest it
Both UC and Crohn’s disease are types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Colorectal cancers commonly start as growths, or polyps, on the colon’s inner lining. However, not all polyps turn into cancer, and the likelihood of a polyp developing into cancer will depend on the type of polyp present.
Treatment will depend on several factors, such as the size and location of tumors, whether the cancer is recurrent, and a person’s overall health. Options may include:
This is a cut, tear, or puncture of the colon’s wall that may be the result of an injury, but it may also be secondary to an infection, obstruction, or inflammation.
A person with a colonic perforation will likely experience severe abdominal pain and will often require emergency surgery, which may involve removing part of the intestines.
Diverticulitis occurs when small pouches or sacs, known as diverticula, appear and push outward through weak areas in the colon wall and become inflamed.
These protrusions may not always cause problems, but when inflamed, they can produce symptoms
They may also lead to complications such as perforation and bleeding.
Treatment may include:
The descending colon is a part of the large intestine. It connects the transverse colon to the sigmoid colon and primarily stores stool that will eventually empty into the rectum.
The colon as a whole works to absorb nutrients from the diet and to form and release feces.
Various health conditions may impact the function of the colon, including IBD, colonic perforation, and diverticulitis.
A person can try to maintain bowel health by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as following a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and limiting or avoiding consumption of processed meats and alcohol.