Colonic polyps usually have no symptoms, explains Mayo Clinic. Patients may not know they have polyps until the doctor notices them during a bowel examination. However, some people may encounter symptoms such as rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, pain, vomiting and nausea. Other possible symptoms are iron deficiency anemia and change in stool color.
Rectal bleeding is usually a symptom of colon cancer, polyps or other health problems, including minor tears or hemorrhoids, says Mayo Clinic. Blood can appear as red streaks in the stool or can make the stool appear black. Constipation or diarrhea that lasts for a long period can a be a symptom of a large colonic polyp. A large polyp can block the bowel, causing vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. Polyps can bleed for a long time without the blood appearing in the stool. This decreases the amount of iron in the body, resulting in iron deficiency anemia.
Many other health conditions can cause these symptoms, so it is necessary to seek medical attention when they appear, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. A doctor may carry out a colonoscopy or a flexible sigmoidoscopy to take tissue samples for a lab test or to remove the polyps, states WebMD. Patients may also undergo stools tests such as fecal occult blood test, fecal immunochemical test and stool DNA test.