Why do polyps form in the colon?

As we get older, certain things start to crop up that just make us shake our fists at the sky in anger. We’re talking about gray hairs, wrinkles, and of course — polyps. If you’ve ever been given a diagnosis of colon polyps or a loved one has, then you may already know how confusing it all can be. How do they form? What even are they? And most importantly: how can we stop them from forming again?

Well my friends, grab your anti-aging cream and let’s explore these questions with some help from science!

The Basics: What Are Polyps?

Polyps are growths that develop on the lining of your colon (the lower part of your digestive system). They usually don’t cause any symptoms and are quite common — around 15-20% of average-risk adults will have them hanging out back there.

The Different Types

There are actually different types of polyps! Who knew something named after an exotic sea creature could be so versatile?
Adenomatous polyp: These guys can turn into cancer over time which is like turning into Voldemort minus the nose.
Hyperplastic polyp: Essentially harmless unless found alongside an adenomatous polyp where it adds insult to injury…or cancer
Inflammatory polyp: Caused by inflammation within the colon such as conditions like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Can become malignant if ignored.

It’s important to note that having one type doesn’t mean you’ll have another down-the-line but this is where regular checking wins every time.

Okay Okay….But Why?

So why does this ridiculous thing even happen? Well turns out no definitive answer exists but here are some theories:

  1. Overproduction: This theory suggests increased cell turnover results in extra tissue production during healing; imagine a factory in overdrive where goods are produced exponentially. Eventually, some unfinished products get rejected or end up becoming defective (polyps).
  2. Genetics: Our genes control how our cells replicate and the information they contain can sometimes mutate during development leading to abnormal or exaggerated cell production…yay science.
  3. Inflammation: Conditions like crohns disease causes chronic inflammation and tissue damage within pockets of the colon lining which may encourage polyp growth

However, feel free to blame it on lack of coffee too that tends to make a lot more sense personally.

Who’s At Risk?

It might not be surprising that there isn’t just one answer but if your age is higher than your IQ, you’re probably at increased risk for developing colon polyps- these generally occur in people aged 50+.

– Being obese
– Smoking
– Having a high-fat diet
So let’s all throw out those McFlurries

If you have inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis then sugarcoat it however you want—you’re pretty screwed already; this will increase your risk.

Is there any Treatment Against Polyps?

Fear not my folks as technology has advanced beyond Atari! But first things first — Diagnosis through routine check-ups cannot be underestimated enough considering early detection means early treatment!

Treatment options may look different based on certain factors listed below but here we go anyway:


  • Small polyps (less than .5 cm) usually don’t require surgery–these are best handled with observation
  • Larger Polyps: Tripolar radiofrequency ablation and cautery-assisted snare resection can remove large noncancerous polyps without harming surrounding healthy tissue..


Typically timing doesn’t play favorites when deciding removal methods though because recovery period tends to take longer with wider/slower surgeries.

Feel free to thank those medical advancements!

Alright, I confess…How can we prevent polyps?

Like any popular Internet boyfriend during the pandemic — KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! Clinical studies show that certain lifestyle and dietary changes have been linked with a lower risk of colon cancer.

  1. Lifestyle:

Healthy choices make for healthy colons too:
– Exercise consistently
– No more smoking
– Limiting alcoholic intake

  1. Diet:

It may be tough to turn down free Krispy Kremes at work but it’s certainly worth pondering on once in a while gutturally sobs
– Lower your fat intake
– Increase vegetable and fruit consumption
-Dairy product reductions help by default. (Sorry cheese enthusiasts)

But what about when it’s ingrained into our system already? Side-eye at grim reality checks need not happen as chances of survival are high if handled early through diagnosis/colonoscopy – this is where observing regular check-ups really makes or breaks things.

Back To Normal Life…

We all lead busy lives anyway so spare yourself or someone you love another battle to fight against Voldemort by keeping up with routine check ups.

In conclusion, buddy-up with probiotic-loaded yoghurt cakes like the buds they’ve always been, bawl hard trying kale recipes only Masterchef contestants understand – just include ‘checking my bum’ in between resolutions every year because…..prevention!

Seriously though folks… Self-care entails knowing when something is off-kilter within and making sure professional back-up exists for times like these.

Best advice? Eat healthily per usual, get enough exercise—the bill will pay itself later in life; polyp prevention sometimes never comes full circle until years after.


Hopefully learning scientific jargon made sense today even if tumbling from beds to cozy blankets wasn’t part of today’s plan. Nonetheless relish the joy that comes with enlightenment — may you lead fulfilling lives from now henceforth.

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