Stomach Polyps

1 What is Stomach Polyps?

The masses of cells that form on the lining inside your stomach are called stomach polyps or gastric polyps. Mostly they do not have any signs and symptoms and are very rare. Some are not cancerous but often can lead to stomach cancer.

Treatment for stomach polyps depends on what type do you have.

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2 Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of stomach polyps include:

  • nausea,
  • anemia,
  • tenderness or pain when you pressed your abdomen,
  • blood in your stool.

Ulcers or open sores can develop on the surface if the stomach polyps became big. It can also block the opening between your small intestine and your stomach.

3 Causes

The most common cause of stomach polyps are:

  • Familial adenomatous polyposis – this can be inherited and are rare that can lead to fundic gland polyps that can become cancerous and adenomas,
  • Chronic stomach inflammation or gastritis – can cause adenomas and hyperplastic polyps that can carry high risk if it is about 2/5 inch (1 centimeter),
  • Regular use of certain stomach medications – especially people who takes proton pump inhibitor can cause fundic gland polyps.

4 Making a Diagnosis

Making a diagnosis of stomach polyps is done by performing several tests.

Consult your doctor and he may refer you to a gastroenterologist who specializes in digestive system. Before the visit, ask your doctor if you need any restrictions. Ask a family member or a close friend to accompany you. Bring a notebook and you can write down the symptoms that you are experiencing, the medications that you are taking.

Some of the questions that you can ask your doctor include:

  • What is causing my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need?
  • What treatments do you recommend?
  • Do I need follow up care?

Your doctor will also ask you some questions such as:

  • What are the symptoms that you are experiencing? 
  • When did they begin? How severe are they?
  • Are they occasional or continuous?
  • Do you have a family history of colon cancer, polyps or familial adenomatous polyposis?
  • Do you take medications for stomach acid?

Your doctor may suggest some tests such as:

  • Endoscopy, to look inside of your stomach;
  • Tissue sample (biopsy) that can be removed while undergoing endoscopy and will be sent o the lab for examination.

5 Treatment

You will be treated depending on what type of stomach polyps you have:

  • small polyps that are not adenomas – does not need treatment because there are no symptoms and cannot lead to cancer. Your doctor will just monitor it so that he can see the growing polyps,
  • large polyps – this must be removed and sometimes you can do that while undergoing endoscopy,
  • adenomas – are cancerous and can remove the polyps while undergoing endoscopy,
  • polyps associated with familial adenomatous polyposis – can be cancerous and needs to be removed.

Your doctor will give you antibiotics if you have gastritis caused by H. pylori bacteria in your stomach.

6 Prevention

Some of the preventive measures that you can take for stomach polyps include:

  • avoid smoking cessation to reduce the risk of stomach polyps,
  • eat a healthy diet like fruits and vegetables,
  • know your family history,
  • treatment of H. pylori infection to decrease the risk.

7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies

Some of the home remedies for stomach polyps are:

  • Xylitol – to prevent the reproduction of viruses and bacteria that may contribute to stomach polyps,
  • Aloe Vera – an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory to smooth the lining of the stomach and to reduce the inflammation,
  • Cranberries – for the removal of infection and other toxic substances that may contribute to stomach polyps.

8 Lifestyle and Coping

You can follow some of these lifestyle tips for you not to have stomach polyps:

  • eat fruits and vegetables but avoid or limit high acid fruits such as oranges,
  • eat wheat bread or pasta, bran cereals, black, navy, kidney beans because they are a good source of fiber and low in acidity,
  • limit your high-fat foods because these foods cannot be easily digested that can cause stomach lining irritation.

9 Risks and Complications

The risk factors of stomach polyps include:

  • age – mostly in people during their mid-adulthood to late adulthood,
  • certain medications – if you are using proton pump inhibitors for reflux disease can lead to fundic gland polyps,
  • bacterial stomach infection – Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) that can cause gastritis that can lead to adenomas or hyperplastic polyps,
  • familial adenomatous polyposis – risk of colon cancer.