The colon, or large intestine, is the end part of the digestive system that is responsible for the absorption of water and salt in the food before this is expelled from the body as waste. This has four parts – the transverse, sigmoid, descending and ascending colon.
The occurrence of abnormal tissue growth or polyps in the large intestine is usually observed among overweight individuals.
Colon polyp is also often observed in individuals who smoke excessively.
Those who have family history of colon polyps can likely acquire this condition.
Also, people who have poor diet – low in fiber and high in fat – are at risk of colon polyps.
What are the Symptoms of Colon Polyps
The symptoms of colon polyps include the following:
Rapid change in the bowel is an indication of the existence of polyps in the large intestines, especially when this happens for more than a week.
The presence of blood when passing stools can also be a sign of polyp. However, bleeding can also be caused by other underlying digestive system conditions like anal fissures and hemorrhoids.
The occurrence of blood or red smudges in the stool, or having a dark-colored stool can suggest a polyp in the colon.
Nevertheless, getting it checked by a medical practitioner is necessary to determine the real cause, as this can also be due to side effects of medications like anti-diarrheal drugs and iron supplements.
Other associated symptoms indicative of polyps in the bowel include nausea and vomiting, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Causes of Colon Polyps
As mentioned above, polyps are result of abnormal growth of cells. When cells do not develop and separate normally, they result in abnormal growth. Polyp formation happens when these cells cause the genes to mutate, wherein in cells continue to split even when they do not need to.
Polyps are attached to a tiny stalk and they can be classified as inflammatory, hyperplastic and adenomatous.
This condition can result in severe pain and cramping, irritable bowel syndrome and bleeding. If this is ignored, it can lead to colon cancer.
People who smoke and drink alcohol excessively have greater risk of developing polyps in their colon.
Another triggering condition is sedentary lifestyle. When a person lacks physical activity, he is not just at risk of obesity but he encourages the growth of polyps in the colon. This is because the solid wastes stay for a longer time in the colon when he does not regularly engage in physical activities.
Other causes of this are hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), Gardner’s diseases, familial adenomatous polyposis, and acquired genetic mutation.