How the bowel works

your digestive system consists of all

the organs involved in breaking down the

food you eat absorbing nutrients and

eliminating waste products when you take

a bite of food your digestive system is

activated automatically

in the stomach the food is broken down

into smaller pieces and digestive juices

are added the now liquid food is passed

on to the small intestine where the

nutrients are absorbed and digested in

the large intestine also called the

colon water and salts are absorbed

causing the waste products to become

firmer and turn into stool

the stool is then pushed through the

intestine towards the rectum by a series

of muscle contractions known as

peristalsis you have three to four major

peristaltic movements each day the time

it takes for food to pass through your

digestive system is called the transit

time the average transit time for

females is two point four days and one

point nine days for males when stool

fills your rectum nerve endings register

that your bowel wall becomes distended

and a signal is sent to your brain

telling you that it's time to find a

toilet at the same time your internal

sphincter relaxes by reflex and stool

moves down towards the anus when you are

ready you consciously allow the external

sphincter to relax and stool is expelled

in between going to the toilet both the

internal and the external anal sphincter

are contracted to keep you continent and

to prevent leakage