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How the Body is Organized

The human body is an amazing assortment of cells, tissues, organs,


blood vessels, and nerves. A tour through medical texts begins to
reveal the sheer complexity that exists within human beings.
Because of this complexity, learning about the body as a whole is a
daunting task.
To make studying and understanding more manageable, the body
is often broken down into its various systems, such as skeletal,
circulatory, and endocrine. Anatomically, it's subdivided into
sections such as major muscle groups, brain lobes, or abdominal
quadrants. Abdominal quadrants are the four major regions into
which the abdomen is divided.

Division of the Abdomen


Dividing the abdomen into quadrants allows anatomists, medical personnel,
and students alike to more easily study the abdominal region. Commonly,
division schemes involve splitting the abdominal region into four quadrants and
nine areas. For the purposes of this lesson, we're only concerned with the four
quadrants.
Four Abdominal Quadrants

As you can see in the diagram, the four abdominal quadrants are
located in the space directly below the diaphragm. These regions
are named by their location:

 The Right Upper Quadrant, or RUQ


 The Right Lower Quadrant, or RLQ
 The Left Upper Quadrant, or LUQ
 and the Left Lower Quadrant, or the LLQ

Now, let's take a look at each of these areas.

Abdominal Quadrants and Organs


The Right Upper Quadrant, or the RUQ, contains very significant organs, or at
least, portions of them. Within this quadrant, you'll find the right portion of the
liver, the gallbladder, right kidney, a small section of the stomach, part of the
colon, and sections of small intestine. These organs provide a variety of
services. For example:

 The liver helps rid our bodies of toxins.


 Kidneys filter blood.
 The stomach aids in digestion.
 The small intestine helps absorb nutrients.
 And the gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver.

Overview of the Abdomen


Have you ever played tic-tac-toe? If you have, you know that it is set
up with nine boxes, three across and three down. The nine regions
of the abdomen are similar to that. If you were to lie on your back
right now and draw two vertical lines splitting your abdomen into
thirds, and then draw two horizontal lines splitting your abdomen
into thirds again, you would have the locations of the nine regions.
Think of the nine regions as the areas that hurt when we do sit-ups. Regions 1-3
comprise the upper abdomen, regions 4-6 are the middle abdomen, and the
regions 7-9 make up the lower abdomen.

The Upper Abdomen


Now let's explore the three regions of the upper abdomen.

 Region 1 is known as the right hypochondriac region. This area is


home to organs such as the liver, gallbladder, right kidney, and small
intestine.
 Region 2 is known as the epigastric region. Here, we have the stomach,
liver, and the pancreas. The adrenal glands and the first part of the small
intestine, the duodenum, are also found in region 2.
 Region 3 is known as the left hypochondriac region, which contains
organs such as the spleen, colon, left kidney, and pancreas.
The Middle Abdomen
Next, we have the middle abdomen.
Region 4 is known as the right lumbar region. In this area we have
organs or body parts such as the liver, gallbladder and ascending
colon.
Region 5 is known as the umbilical region.
Region 6 is known as the as the left lumbar region. Containing body
parts such as the ascending colon and the left kidney.