Transverse colon

Transverse Colon Function:

The Transverse Colon is a long tube located at the bottom of your large intestine. It connects with other organs such as liver, spleen, stomach and intestines. The transverse colon serves many functions including digestion, absorption of nutrients from food into blood stream and elimination of waste products. The transverse colon is also involved in immunity, immune system maintenance and helps maintain normal body temperature.

The Transverse Colon Anatomy:

The Transverse Colon consists of two parts, the ascending colon and the descending colon. The ascending colon extends upward from the small intestine through your abdominal wall to connect with your liver, pancreas and other organs. The descending colon descends downward from the upper part of your abdomen toward your bladder and bowels. Your liver contains fat cells which are responsible for storing fats in your body.

Fatty acids are essential for life processes. When you consume too much fat, it causes your blood sugar level to rise causing high levels of insulin. Insulin stimulates the production of glucose (sugar) in your liver and other tissues. Glucose is used by all the different cells in your body to perform various tasks. Without enough glucose, some functions cannot occur properly or at all.

The liver also contains other important components necessary for life. It contains a large amount of blood cells, and stores extra proteins, iron, vitamins (A, D, E and K) and minerals such as copper, phosphorus and sodium. It produces bile to help break down fat in your small intestine. The liver receives 15% of the blood from the stomach and intestines after it has passed through your stomach and intestines.

It also receives 10% of the blood from your heart. Since it has a higher oxygen concentration than the rest of your body cells, it can act as a “storing station” for the red blood cells and toxic waste. If there is an extended interruption of blood flow to the liver (for example if you get a severed artery in an accident) the liver cells can die because they do not have oxygen. When you donate part of your liver to someone who is dying from liver failure, the recipient’s own cells will regenerate that portion of the liver because it receives a fresh blood supply.

The pancreas is located near the stomach and secretes important enzymes to help digest fat, carbohydrates and proteins. It also produces hormones such as insulin to help the body use sugar (a simple sugar found in foods), and enzymes to help digest food. If the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin then the sugar in your blood will not be utilized by the body’s cells. This causes a dangerous elevation of blood sugar levels (known as hyperglycemia) and if untreated, it can be fatal.

It’s important to have regular check-ups with your physician to ensure that your pancreas is functioning properly.

The stomach absorbs water and some nutrients from the food you eat, and sends the rest on to the small intestine. The large intestine (colon) absorbs water from your food, and converts the insoluble fiber into a soluble form that can be easily eliminated from the body. The large intestine is made up of the cecum, the appendix, the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon, the sigmoid colon and the rectum.

The cecum is connected to the ileum in your small intestine. It is a pouch like structure about 10 inches long. It is divided into four parts: the cecal body, the transverse, descending and sigmoid colon.

The appendix is a small tube attached to the cecum that is 3 to 4 inches long. No one knows exactly what the appendix does. It may help support the cecum or it might have a protective function. If the appendix becomes infected it can cause appendicitis.

The ascending colon is the first part of the large intestine. It extends upward from the cecum to the lower right side of the liver.

The transverse colon is located across the abdomen from left to right, just beneath the liver and the diaphragm muscle.

The descending colon is directly below the transverse colon and extends downward towards the pelvis.

The sigmoid colon is also known as the pelvic colon because it leads into the pelvis. It connects the descending colon to the rectum.

The rectum is the last part of the large intestine. It is located between the sigmoid colon and the pelvic bone. Waste material passes into the rectum and remains there until you have a bowel movement.

The lymphatic system in your body is a group of organs, vessels, and nodes which work together to fight infection. Lymph nodes, which are found throughout the body, are an important part of this system. They store away bacteria and viruses that enter the body.

Lymphocytes are white blood cells that fight infection. The two main types of lymphocytes are the B cells and T cells. The B cells make antibodies which are a type of protein that can directly destroy or disable foreign invaders. When faced with a new invader, the B cells divide to produce more antibody-making cells.

The T cells are involved with a secondary response to invaders that the B cells can’t handle.

The lymphatic system includes the following organs: Spleen, Thymus, Bone Marrow, Lymph Nodes.

The spleen is located in the upper left side of your abdomen, just beneath the diaphragm muscle and behind the stomach. It is bean shaped and has two main functions. It filters blood plasma and destroys old or damaged blood cells. It also makes lymphocytes to fight infection.

The thymus is a gland located in the upper middle of the chest behind the sternum or mid-breast bone. It produces T cells which are essential in the body’s defense against disease.

Bone marrow is found in the middle of some bones, including the bottom of the skull, the long bones of the legs and arms, shoulder blades and ribs, and pelvis area.

Sources & references used in this article:

The Chilaiditi syndrome and associated volvulus of the transverse colon by GR Orangio, VW Fazio, E Winkelman… – Diseases of the colon & …, 1986 – Springer

Esophageal replacement with transverse colon infants and children by H Azar, AR Chrispin, DJ Waterston – Journal of pediatric surgery, 1971 – Elsevier

Volvulus of the transverse colon by JR Anderson, D Lee, TV Taylor… – British Journal of …, 1981 – Wiley Online Library

Motility of the transverse colon used for esophageal replacement by RO Dantas, RCM Mamede – Journal of clinical gastroenterology, 2002 – journals.lww.com

Transverse colon volvulus and associated Chilaiditi’s syndrome: case report and literature review. by JJ Plorde, EJ Raker – American journal of gastroenterology, 1996 – search.ebscohost.com

Substance P and vasoactive intestinal peptide are reduced in right transverse colon in pediatric slow‐transit constipation by SK King, JR Sutcliffe, S Ong, M Lee… – …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library