Could Sudden Changes in Bowel Movements Be a Sign of Colon Polyps?

Colon polyps in AtlantaHave you noticed a sudden shift in your bowel habits? If you’re experiencing changes like more frequent trips to the bathroom, harder or looser stools than usual, or even changes in the color of your stool, you might be wondering what’s going on with your body. One question that might come to mind is whether these changes could be linked to colon polyps.

First, the doctors at Piedmont Colorectal want to clear up what colon polyps are. They are small clumps of cells that can form on the lining of the colon. Most of the time, these polyps are harmless and don’t cause any symptoms. However, some can grow larger over time and might lead to complications, including colon cancer, if they’re not detected and removed early.

When Should You Be Concerned?

While colon polyps themselves often don’t cause noticeable symptoms until they’re quite large, certain changes in your bowel habits can serve as a red flag that something might be off. Here’s what you might notice:

  • Changes in stool consistency, such as diarrhea or unusually hard stools.
  • Changes in how often you go, particularly if you feel constipated or feel like you’re going more frequently.
  • Blood in your stool, which might appear as red streaks or a darker coloration that could suggest bleeding.

It’s important to remember that these symptoms are not exclusive to colon polyps. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or even an infection could cause similar changes in your bowel habits.

What Should You Do Next?

If you’re experiencing any of these changes, it’s a good idea to check in with our team of colorectal specialists. We can perform tests to determine the cause of your symptoms. One common method for checking for polyps is a colonoscopy, which lets our doctors look inside your entire colon and remove polyps if we find any. Other tests might include a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) that looks for hidden blood in your stool or a sigmoidoscopy that examines the lower part of your colon.

Screening Is Key

Regardless of whether you’re experiencing symptoms, regular screening for colon cancer is crucial, especially if you’re over 50 or have risk factors like a family history of the disease. These screenings are powerful tools to catch polyps before they potentially turn into cancer.

Contact Piedmont Colorectal Today

While sudden changes in your bowel habits can be a sign of colon polyps, they can also indicate other health issues. Paying attention to your body and discussing any changes with our trusted doctors is the best strategy. Remember, regular screenings are your first line of defense against colon cancer, providing peace of mind and keeping your health on track.

To request an appointment with one of our colorectal specialists, please call (404) 351-7900 to contact Piedmont Colorectal today.