Symptoms of colon problems include anal bleeding, itching, stomach pain, diarrhoea and constipation, and their severity can range from mildly uncomfortable to extremely alarming. Symptoms are indicative of colon problems, including haemorrhoids, polyps, anal fissure, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis or cancer.
Anal bleeding involves blood oozing out of the anus. The blood is usually bright red, but can sometimes be dark red, and often comes out as a person has a bowel movement. If the bleeding is accompanied by pain around the anal opening, the cause is most likely haemorrhoids or a fissure (tear) in the anus. If no pain is present around the anus, the bleeding can be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease or diverticulitis (sacs along the colon).
Itching around the anus opening is usually a sign of haemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectum. Haemorrhoids are often accompanied by anal bleeding and pain.
Stomach pain is usually a sign of a disease or infection in the colon. Painful inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease, are usually accompanied by diarrhoea. Stomach pain without other symptoms is usually a sign of diverticulitis, which is an inflammation of sacs along the colon wall.
Diarrhoea accompanied by blood or pain can be a sign of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. These symptoms can also indicate an abnormal growth in the colon, which may be cancerous or benign.
Constipation and other bowel movement changes are occasionally an indicator of abnormal growth in the colon. These growths can be benign polyps, or they can be cancerous.
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