The sigmoid colon, also referred to as the pelvic colon or sigmoid flexure, is a part of the digestive system and is a little over a foot long. It can normally be found in the pelvis, but it has a certain amount of freedom in its movement. Therefore, it can sometimes be found in the abdominal cavity instead. This is because is extends from the left side of the abdomen to the central portion of the pelvis.
Structure of the Sigmoid Colon
The sigmoid section is responsible for helping to “tie together” the digestive system. It starts off at the superior aperture, which is a heart-shaped region of the pelvis, and extends to the lesser pelvis. Next, the sigmoid connects to the iliac colon, which is about 4 to 6 inches long. Then it passes across the sacrum, which is a triangular bone located at the base of the spine alongside the pelvis.
From here, the sigmoid curves to the left in order to reach around the sacrum. At this point, it bends down and connects to the rectum. The rectum is the final, linear portion of the digestive tract that waste passes through before it reaches the sphincter.
Purpose of the Sigmoid
The sigmoid colon is responsible for moving waste towards the anus. It does not do this job alone, however, as the rectum is also responsible in this regard. The sigmoid also serves as a collection site for waste material. When the sigmoid contracts, the process of waste removal is initiated.
The sigmoid is also responsible for absorbing water to help keep the stool loose and easy to remove. In addition, it secretes mucus to help the stool pass through the digestive system more easily and to help protect the digestive system from toxins. The lower the quality of foods you eat, the more mucus the sigmoid colon will need to create. These foods include those that are refined, have unnatural additives, or are high in fat, such as meats and cheeses.
Do You Have Constipation?
In response to the unhealthy foods you eat, the sigmoid will produce more mucus for protection. While this is meant to aid the digestive process, it can actually be counter-productive as an excess amount of buildup is created. As a result, waste may not be able to move properly through your colon; and constipation or other health problems may develop as the body absorbs lingering toxins.
Of course, you can’t fault your colon for producing this mucus in the first place. Similarly, you are not likely to give up all the foods you enjoy eating. Therefore, to remove the mucus and help keep your digestive system functioning properly, it is beneficial to conduct an occasional colon cleansing.
Maintaining Colon Health
In addition to colon cleansing, you can also help maintain your colon’s cleanliness by following a healthy diet. Foods high in fiber are particularly good for your colon and the entire digestive system. This is because fiber can’t be digested. As a result, it stays within the digestive tract and helps the stool absorb more water for enhanced softening. The fiber also helps give it bulk for passing through the digestive system.
There are a number of fiber-rich foods such as organic fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Whole wheat breads (not enriched or bleached), brown rice, and bran cereals are excellent foods to keep your colon healthy. Other excellent choices include:
Great stool softeners include:
Getting regular exercise is also helpful. The more your body moves, the more effectively your bowels move as well. As a result, your sigmoid colon and the rest of your digestive system are less likely to become constipated or poisoned by toxic waste. Learn as much as you can about the structure of your body’s various organs and their functions, and you just may learn to recognize symptoms of a serious health condition before it’s too late.