Can You Live Without Your Small Intestine?


Asked by princess

Can You Live Without Your Small Intestine?

Is it possible to live without your small intestines?


Because the small intestine is what absorbs most of the nutrients from food if you lost the entire small intestine you would have to be fed intravenously.

The small intestine, however, is 20 feet long and it's unlikely you would ever lose all of it. Most surgeries that remove part of the intestines would try to keep as much of the small intestine as possible. If you retained about 5 feet of it you should be able to absorb enough nutrients to survive.

In that case, it would be even more pivotal to make sure that the nutrients you were getting from food were good ones. These articles may help:

Nutrition Label Reading 101 Part 1 - The HealthGal Way

Nutrition Label Reading 101 Part 2 - Sodium, Fats, and Serving Size

You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.