The colon is an essential part of the human digestive tract. It reabsorbs water and excretes fecal matter from the body. A colon polyp is an extra tissue that develops on the inner walls of the colon. Colon polyps can be benign or malignant. They can be diagnosed through various tests including; digital rectal exam, barium enema, colonoscopy, and sigmoidoscopy.
Risk factors of colon polyps are:
- High intake of fatty foods
- Smoking tobacco
- Drinking alcohol heavily
- Being overweight
- Hereditary factors
- Physical inactivity
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms that portray polyps include:
√Presence of blood in the stool.
√Diarrhea which lasts longer than a week.
√Unexplained weight loss.
Most of the colon polyps can be removed during colonoscopy. Large polyps are removed through surgery.
How to prevent colon polyps
The following tips reduce the risk of getting colon polyps.
It’s the most effective method of keeping your health in check. Screening can help detect early formation of polyps thus allowing for early treatment. The screening options include flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal occult blood test, and colonoscopy.
- Maintaining healthy weight
It’s proved that obesity increases the risk of getting colon polyps. Therefore, getting rid of excess weight reduces the risk by a great measure.
- Avoid smoking
Smoking has detrimental effects on one’s health. Besides causing heart diseases and other cancers, smoking can lead to the development of polyps. This can be reduced by quitting smoking.
- Being physically active
It’s important for people to involve themselves in physical activities in order to keep their bodies fit thus reducing the risk of getting polyps.
- Drinking alcohol moderately
Excessive intake of alcohol is a common risk factor of polyps. It’s highly recommended to drink low volumes of alcohol or stop drinking if possible.
Dietary tips that reduce chances of polyp’s development are;
- Limiting the intake of red meat
- Enough intakes of calcium and vitamin D
- Daily intake of multivitamin with foliate
Polyps are one of the major problems that affect the colon. Unchecked polyps can be cancerous. However, polyps can be prevented through regular screening, moderate smoking, engaging in physical activities and avoiding smoking.