Symptoms & Causes of Colon Polyps

What are the symptoms of colon polyps?

Most people with colon polyps don’t have symptoms. You can’t tell that you have polyps because you feel well. When colon polyps do cause symptoms, you may

  • have bleeding from your rectum. You might notice blood on your underwear or on toilet paper after you’ve had a bowel movement.
  • have blood in your stool. Blood can make stool look black or can show up as red streaks in your stool.
  • feel tired because you have anemia and not enough iron in your body. Bleeding from colon polyps can lead to anemia and a lack of iron.

Many other health problems can also cause these symptoms. However, if you have bleeding from your rectum or blood in your stool, contact your doctor right away.

What causes colon polyps?

Experts aren’t sure what causes colon polyps. However, research suggests that certain factors, such as age and family history, can raise your chances of developing colon polyps. Learn who is more likely to develop colon polyps.

Last Reviewed July 2017
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This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.