The large intestine is a broad, corrugated tube which accepts the byproducts of digestion from the small intestine and passes it along to be excreted, continuing to process the material on the way. Any unabsorbed food materials are stored in the large intestine until the body can partially reabsorb water from it, then passing the remains along to the anus for elimination. The over-absorption of water from the waste material may lead to hard, relatively dry feces which can become impacted, making elimination difficult. This condition is known as constipation.
If not enough liquid is reabsorbed, as often caused by some viral infections or malnutrition, the large intestine passes too much fluid to the anus, making control of elimination difficult. This condition and the fluid (which is often painful to the anal tissues) is known as diarrhea. The large intestine is divided into eight sections: the cecum, the appendix, the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon, the sigmoid colon, the rectum, and the anus.