In the magical journey that food makes as it passes its way from the point of ingestion through the twists and turns of the gastrointestinal tract, the transverse colon is one of the most important components.
At approximately 45 cm in length on average, the transverse colon forms the longest part of the colon and the part where digested materials tend to spend the most time.
Transverse Colon Placement
Formed in a curve that mimics a slight arch from above, the transverse colon is the longest and most mobile part of colon anatomy. It is bordered by the liver and gall bladder on its upper surface, the small intestine directly below and to the front, and culminates in a sharp turn that leads into the next section of colon anatomy, the descending colon.
Organs Bordering the Transverse Colon
- Gall bladder
- Small intestine
Covered almost entirely by the peritoneum, the transverse colon makes a long, horizontal tube that due to the strength of its muscles is able to move digested waste materials along to the next section of the colon and the ultimate goal of expulsion from the body.
Transverse Colon Function
In addition to expulsion of waste materials, the transverse colon continues the all-important digestive task of leaching out nutrients from the sludgy mix that traverses its interior. Water and vitamins are extracted, leaving a more solid waste product ready to move downwards towards the rectum, and defecation.
Clearly this is an important function in the maintenance of overall health, with a healthy transverse colon being clear from blockage.
Transverse Colon Disorders
The entire digestive process should take anywhere between 12 and 24 hours, from ingestion to defecation. Normally, a person will experience two or three bowel movements per day with no resistance or pain. However, for numerous reasons this process can be thrown off course in the transverse colon, leading to a legion of unwanted and unpleasant symptoms.
Symptoms of Problems with the Transverse Colon
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Fatigue or lethargy
- Blood in stools
- Rapid weight loss
The Transverse Colon and Colon Cancer
Because the transverse colon is the longest part of the colon as a whole, it is the part most susceptible to developing colon cancer. Special care and attention should be paid to this section of the colon, as a result. Although colon cancer is one of the most common cancers to affect adults, it is for the most part preventable by following a healthy lifestyle.
If experiencing any of these transverse colon disorders, colon cleansing can be beneficial, which can be achieved either in one’s own home or with the assistance of a professional colon therapist. On a preventative note, a healthy lifestyle will help an individual avoid many of the disorders that can potentially befall the transverse colon.
Avoiding Transverse Colon Disorders
- Eat a high-fiber, low-fat diet
- Cease smoking
- Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Exercise regularly
- Practice stress reduction techniques
- Drink plenty of water