Definition of intestinal polyps
Polyps are growths that often develop in the colon (large intestine) and rectum. There are several types of polyps and they can come in different sizes. Some types of polyps can be or become cancerous. The larger the polyp, the greater the risk of it being or becoming cancerous. The causes of the growth of polyps in the colon and rectum are often unknown. However, some hereditary diseases can cause their onset, such as familial adenomatous polyposis and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.
Symptoms of intestinal polyps
The majority of polyps are asymptomatic. Otherwise, the most common symptom is rectal bleeding, which is the presence of blood in the stool. Large polyps can cause abdominal pain, cramps, intestinal problems (eg obstruction) or diarrhea.
Diagnosis of intestinal polyps
Diagnosis is made using a colonoscopy. This exam involves inserting a probe with a camera through the anus to examine the interior of the colon and rectum for the presence of polyps.
Treatment of intestinal polyps
Treatment usually involves removing all identified polyps. This is done during colonoscopy or subsequent surgery if necessary. The removed polyps are then evaluated for possible cancer. If a polyp turns out to be cancerous, additional treatment may be needed. Finally, follow-up colonoscopies take place at different intervals depending on several factors, such as the type, number and size of the polyps.
Prevention of intestinal polyps
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), an American institute that conducts and supports research on different diseases, the research suggests that certain changes could have beneficial effects on health and could reduce the risk of developing diseases. colon polyps:
- Increased consumption offruits, vegetables and other foods high in fiber (eg: legumes, whole grains, etc.);
- Weight loss in case of overweight;
- Less consumption of fatty foods (e.g. fried foods), red meat (e.g. beef, pork, lamb, etc.) and processed meat (e.g. sausages, ham, bacon, salami, etc.) . (See the article:Processed foods and the NOVA classification)
Way of life
- The practice of regular physical activity;
- Do not smoke or quit smoking;
- Avoid drinking alcohol;
- Weight loss in case of overweight.
- https://www.merckmanuals.com/fr-ca/professional/troubles-gastro-intestinaux/tumeurs-du-tractus-gastro-intestinal/polypes-du-c%C3%B4lon-et-du-rectumquery=Polypes% 20du% 20c% C3% B4lon% 20et% 20du% 20rectumm
- https://www.merckmanuals.com/fr-ca/accueil/les-faits-en-bref-troubles-digestifs/tumeurs-de-appareil-digestif/polypes-du-c%C3%B4lon-et-du- rectum
Article written by:
Marie-Noël Marsan, Nutritionist