What are some of the early warning signs of colon problems?

Kynthia James
Critical Care Nursing
The symptoms of rectal problems and be non-specific or even absent until the problem has progressed. The most common symptom however is bleeding, this can many times be mistaken for hemorrhoids but any instance of bleeding from the rectum should be evaluated by your health care provider. Excessive bleeding can lead to iron deficiency anemia wich can cause weakness and fatigue.  Other symptoms could include diarrhea or constipation, changes in diameter of stool (it becomes ribbon-like). Abdominal pain and cramping can also be present. Any abnoral symptoms should be reported to  your health care provider. 
Colorectal cancer is often present in people without symptoms, making prevention and screening for colorectal cancer very important. A polyp may be found and removed even before it becomes cancerous or presents with symptoms; once symptoms appear, a colonoscopy is performed to aid in diagnosis, rather than screen for disease. The following signs or symptoms, however, might indicate colorectal cancer:
  • blood in stools
  • narrower than normal stools
  • unexplained abdominal pain
  • unexplained change in bowel habits
  • unexplained anemia
  • unexplained weight loss
These symptoms may be caused by other benign diseases such as hemorrhoids, inflammation in the colon or irritable bowel syndrome. The presence of these symptoms for more than a few days is an indication to talk with a gastrointestinal specialist about these symptoms.
There are different symptoms that are warning signs of colon problems. These warning signs can include blood or mucus in the stool or from the anus, a recent change in bowel habits (such as developing diarrhea or constipation), pain in the abdomen or rectum, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss.

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