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What are common colon problems?

A:

Quick Answer

Irritable or sensitive bowel, constipation and colitis are common colon problems, says the Cleveland Clinic. Colonic diverticula and polyps are also common problems individuals may experience with their colons.

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Full Answer

Constipation, defined as hard, small, difficult and infrequent stools, is probably the most common problem individuals may have with their colons. Not enough fiber and oral fluid in the diet, bad habits when it comes to bowel movements, and problems with bowel movements are among the causes of constipation, says the Cleveland Clinic. Individuals who are constipated may either pass a very hard stool or strain during a bowel movement. Those who have frequent constipation may develop hemorrhoids.

Diverticular disease occurs when little pouches push through weak areas of the bowel wall, explains the Cleveland Clinic. The diverticula do not cause problems unless they become blocked and infected.

Another problem that may arise in the colon is colitis, adds the Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, an urgent need to pass stool, and bleeding from the rectum. Causes of colitis include infections, lack of blood flow to the area and radiotherapy. In some cases, the cause of colitis is unknown.

Colon cancer occurs when the living cells inside the bowel grow and divide abnormally. The first sign of cancer is the growth of a polyp, states the Cleveland Clinic. There are a few different types of polyps that are not all cancerous, but they are an abnormality that needs to be treated before they turn into cancer. Seeking medical treatment at the onset of any problems can minimize or prevent many diseases of the colon, explains the Cleveland Clinic.

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