Definition of Colitis

Colitis is defined as a condition characterized by colon inflammation. There are a number of factors known to cause colitis. These include:

  • Autoimmune reactions
  • Poor blood supply
  • Infections

The colon is part of the excretory system and is positioned along the stomach cavity. The colon is divided into a number of regions. These include the:

  • Ascending colon
  • Cecum
  • Descending colon
  • Transverse colon
  • Rectum
  • Sigmoid
  • Anus

The left colon consists of the sigmoid and the transverse colon while the right colon is composed of the ascending colon and the cecum.

The colon is where waste materials from digestion are stored and collected before they are excreted out through the rectum and the anus. The colon is a muscular organ and has a long tube that moves undigested materials towards the anus to be passed out as stool.  The stomach is where food is digested to liquid slurry. The digested food then goes though the small intestine where nutrients from the digested food are absorbed into the body for the latter’s growth and strength. When the remaining liquid passes through the colon, it is mixed with bacteria and mucus residing in the colon.

The colon wall consists of many layers. One layer is made of smooth muscles and its function is to squeeze the undigested food through the entire length of the colon. One inner layer called the mucosa helps absorb the electrolytes and water from the undigested foods. This last process solidifies the remaining undigested materials now considered as fecal matter. The mucosa is usually the place where the colon becomes inflamed and is where colitis symptoms are often seen.

The colon, like any other body organ is supplied with adequate amounts of oxygen-filled blood delivered through the arteries. It also has veins the take out lactic acid and carbon dioxide from its system. When certain diseases arise that affect the flow of blood in and out of the colon, colon inflammation can arise.

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