Search Weight Loss Topics:




Feb 9

How long are your intestines? Length of small and large intestine – Medical News Today

The small and large intestines are a vital part of the human digestive system. The length of the small intestine is roughly 916 feet (ft), while the large intestine is shorter, measuring about 5 ft long.

The intestines sit in the abdomen and absorb nutrients, vitamins, and water. They form part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the latter section of the digestive system. Together, the intestines run from the end of the stomach to the anus.

While the intestines can fit inside the abdomen, they are much longer than many people may realize. The exact length of the intestines can also vary from person to person.

Older research investigating the length of the intestines in people who donated their body to science suggests an average total intestinal length of about 26 ft, with a range of 21.9 ft to 30.3 ft.

The study authors emphasize that measurements of intestinal length are rare. For this reason, there is no scientific evidence that intestinal size or length correlates with health or affects how well digestion works.

In this article, we discuss what the research says about the length of the small and large intestines.

The small intestine is actually longer than the large intestine but gets its name from its smaller diameter. It is located toward the bottom of the abdomen and connects the stomach to the large intestine.

The small intestine makes digestive juice to complete the breakdown of food. It also absorbs water and nutrients. If the small intestine is unable to absorb enough water, a person may get diarrhea.

The small intestine consists of three distinct parts:

It is difficult to measure the length of the small intestine in a healthy living person, but researchers estimate that it ranges from about 9.8 ft to 16.4 ft.

The three sections of the small intestine differ significantly in length:

Older research found that the total length of the intestines correlates with weight, such that people who weigh more have longer intestines. Younger people and males also have, on average, longer intestines.

The small intestine is long enough that a person can undergo small bowel resection surgery to remove part of it if an underlying disease or condition causes it to stop functioning.

The large intestine, which doctors also call the colon, has a larger diameter than the small intestine. The primary function of the large intestine is to reabsorb fluids, electrolytes, and vitamins and then form and propel feces toward the rectum for elimination.

It contains four distinct parts:

As with the small intestine, the total length of the large intestine varies from person to person. Heavier people, younger people, and males generally have longer intestines. In most people, it is about 5 ft long.

The colon is the longest part of the large intestine, while the cecum measures about 2.4 in long. The rectum is about 7.5 in long, and the anus, the smallest part of the large intestine, is about 1 in long.

Some people with certain health conditions may need to undergo a colon resection, or colectomy, to remove part of or the whole large intestine.

People who find it difficult to visualize the length of the intestines may find these comparisons helpful:

The length of the intestines can vary greatly among individuals. Research suggests that the combined length of the small and large intestines is at least 15 ft in length. The small intestine can measure about 916 ft, while the large intestine is roughly 5 ft long.

The intestines have the important role of helping break down and absorb nutrients from food and drink. Generally, the length of the intestines should not affect a persons life.

Originally posted here:
How long are your intestines? Length of small and large intestine - Medical News Today

Related Post

Your Full Name
Your Email
Your Phone Number
Select your age (30+ only)
Select Your US State
Program Choice
Confirm over 30 years old Yes
Confirm that you resident in USA Yes
This is a Serious Inquiry Yes
Message:
captcha