Depending on its composition, the mucus can have a different consistency. Polyps cause viscous, sticky, liquid or transparent mucus. Mucus in the stool can indicate polyps or another intestinal disease, but in many cases the mucus is completely harmless.
A doctor can examine the stool sample and clarify the cause of the mucus production. Do you have further interest in this topic? You can read more detailed information about this in our next article: Mucilaginous stool
The larger an intestinal polyp is, the more likely it is to cause problems with bowel movements. A common symptom of some bowel polyps is therefore recurrent, mushy to watery diarrhoea for which there is no other explanation (such as a stomach flu or food poisoning). The diarrhoea may be accompanied by blood or mucus, and it may also alternate between diarrhoea and subsequent constipation and may be a symptom of intestinal polyps.
Very large polyps can interfere with the passage of stool through the bowel by causing a mechanical blockage of the bowel. The consequences are then constipation. In severe cases, the obstruction can lead to a complete intestinal obstruction (ileus). Those affected then suffer from stool retention and very severe stomach pain. This is an absolute emergency situation that requires immediate medical treatment.
Sometimes an intestinal polyp also causes flatulence. However, this is a relatively unspecific symptom that can have many causes. In combination with irregular stool, blood in the stool and stomach pain, flatulence can be a sign of intestinal polyps.
Malignant intestinal polyps can be recognized by this
There are different forms of intestinal polyps. What they all have in common is that they consist of bulges in the intestinal mucosa. The majority (about 90%) of polyps are so-called adenomatous polyps.
Adenomatous intestinal polyps are precursors of tumours and thus carry the risk of neoplastic degeneration. This means that they may develop into intestinal cancer. It is assumed that about 5% of all intestinal polyps develop into tumours, which is why regular monitoring by colonoscopy is necessary.
Malignant intestinal polyps are difficult to separate from harmless polyps based on their symptoms. In addition to blood in the stool, recurring abdominal cramps and changes in stool behaviour (diarrhoea or constipation), inexplicable weight loss occurs. In addition, loss of appetite and performance may occur.
Malignant polyps can only be reliably identified by means of a colonoscopy. The doctor removes suspicious intestinal polyps endoscopically, i.e. during the colonoscopy, and then sends them to a pathologist who analyses the tissue sample under the microscope for tumour cells.