Normal Digestive System:
Approximately 20 feet long, consisting of:
- Duodenum (first part) 10-12 inches beginning at the outlet of the stomach.
- Jejunum (second part), about 8-9 feet.
- Ileum (third part) about 12 feet, connected to the large intestine at the cecum.
Food nutrients are digested and absorbed in the small intestine as food is moved through by peristalsis.
Approximately 5-6 feet long, consisting of:
- Cecum – contains the ileocecal valve, which prevents reflux into the ileum; contents are highly acidic liquid.
- Ascending colon – contents are acidic liquid.
- Transverse colon – contents are less acidic liquid.
- Descending/sigmoid colon – contents become more formed.
- Rectum – formed stool.
The primary functions of the large intestine are absorption of water and electrolytes, transport of stool by peristalsis, and storage of digestive waste until it is eliminated from the body.