The final stages of food digestion take place in the large intestine or colon. After nourishment i...
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The final stages of food digestion take place in the large intestine or colon. After nourishment is extracted from what we eat, the leftover waste material mixed with water flows from the small intestine into the colon. After entering the colon, stool loses water as it travels upward through the ascending colon and across the belly through the transverse colon. As water is lost, stool returns from a liquid into a solid as it goes down toward the rectum in the descending colon. Stool is moved through the sections of the colon by waves of squeezing muscles in an action called peristalsis. Constipation can occur if too much water is absorbed from the stool or if peristalsis is slowed down. Many other factors can also play a role, such as a poor diet low in fiber, emotional stress, or other medical conditions.