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What Are the Symptoms of Intestinal Polyps?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

Most people who have polyps in the intestines do not experience any noticeable symptoms, making diagnosis a bit difficult. Those who do experience symptoms of intestinal polyps may notice abdominal pain, nausea, or constipation. Additional indicators of intestinal polyps may include rectal bleeding or blood in the stool. Any questions or concerns about symptoms of intestinal polyps on an individual basis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

When no symptoms of intestinal polyps are present, the only real way to diagnose the condition is through a routine test such as a colonoscopy. This makes regular visits to a doctor extremely important. While most of these polyps are benign, the risk of cancer grows as the polyp becomes larger.

Bouts of constipation and diarrhea are possible signs of colon polyps.
Bouts of constipation and diarrhea are possible signs of colon polyps.

Rectal bleeding is often one of the first symptoms of intestinal polyps among those who do show symptoms. Bright red blood may be noticeable on the toilet paper after a bowel movement, signaling a need to visit a doctor for further evaluation. Hemorrhoids or rectal tears may be the cause of the bleeding, but it is important to make sure that the bleeding is not related to colon polyps or tumors. Blood in the stool may cause the stool to appear black, or it may have red streaks in it. This is another potential symptom of intestinal polyps and should be investigated.

Constipation or diarrhea may sometimes develop as symptoms of intestinal polyps as the mass begins to grow. In some cases, the patient may experience alternating bouts of both constipation and diarrhea, symptoms that may often be overlooked as a possible sign of colon polyps. The stool may also become narrower than usual due to the decreased space in the intestines due to the partial blockage caused by the growing mass. When this occurs, the polyp will usually need to be surgically removed in order to prevent a complete bowel obstruction, a potentially life-threatening situation.

In severe cases, symptoms of intestinal polyps may include severe abdominal pain, fever, and vomiting. Severe constipation often occurs as well, as the cause of these symptoms is usually a bowel obstruction that may occur with exceptionally large polyps. The development of these symptoms should be considered a medical emergency, as potentially life-threatening complications can develop as a result of a bowel obstruction. Emergency surgery to remove the polyp and repair any damage to the colon is the standard medical treatment for a bowel obstruction.

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    • Bouts of constipation and diarrhea are possible signs of colon polyps.
      By: rob3000
      Bouts of constipation and diarrhea are possible signs of colon polyps.