Food begins its journey through the body at the stomach. It then moves into the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. The colon — also known as the large intestine or large bowel — absorbs water from digested food. The waste left over from this process is moved by muscular contractions of the colon to the rectum. A bowel movement expels the solidified waste from the body.
The colon sends out signals when it does not function properly. It’s vitally important that you pay attention to these signals because early diagnosis is a key to the best possible outcome. Consult your doctor if you experience the following:
Your physician will examine you and perform specific tests to determine what, if any, colon disease is present. Colon disease is commonly grouped in three different categories, with more specific diagnoses arising from these categories.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which includes:
Diverticular Disease, which includes:
Colon Polyps and Cancer, which include:
Click on any of the highlighted links above to get a detailed review of the diagnoses summarized here.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.