The stomach is an important organ in the digestive system of the body. Like other organs in the body, the stomach is also affected by certain disorders. One such disorder is the presence of polyps in stomach. A polyp is an abnormal outgrowth projecting from the mucous membrane, in the gastric lining of the stomach. Stomach polyps are not that evident and are normally diagnosed when the doctor examines you for other stomach related disorders. This condition is rare and can be diagnosed by a procedure called upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, where the inner lining of the stomach is examined.
Polyps in the stomach can be classified according to their size and severity of the symptoms. The most common stomach polyp is hyperplastic polyp, which is a small cluster of enlarged glands, that develop into lesions in the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract. They can be either attached to the stomach lining or endometrium with a pedicle (pedunculated) or without a stalk (sessile). Another non-neoplastic polyp is the fundic gland polyp, which is located in the upper portion of the stomach or fundus. This polyp is benign or non cancerous in nature. Inflammatory polyps are the third type of polyps, which grow at the junction of the stomach and small intestines. The most dangerous and malignant polyp is the adenomatous polyp. These polyps are either with or without base and are found in the antrum. They are cancerous in nature and can grow up to a size of 4 centimeters in diameter. The presence of adenomatus polyps can be a sign of stomach cancer.
Causes of Stomach Polyps
The main reason for the occurrence of stomach polyps is the presence of a certain type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. This bacteria is also known to cause stomach ulcers. Though this bacteria doesn't cause problems, it can induce infections and inflammation of the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Another causative factor is the autoimmune reaction, where the body's immunity system becomes hyperactive against tissues and substances present in the body, leading to deficiency of vitamin B12.
Symptoms of Stomach Lesions
The signs of stomach polyps vary according to the size and severity of the appendages. Symptoms can only be detected after the polyp has increased in size. Given below are a few signs that show the presence of this abnormal outgrowths in the stomach.
- As the polyps increase in size and number, it may cause general discomfort and pain in the abdominal region of the individual suffering from stomach polyps. As the polyp grows in size, it may cause the abdomen to protrude and trigger pain when touched.
- A person suffering from polyps may experience a feeling of fullness and fatigue as the polyps grow in the digestive tract.
- The presence of blood in the feces caused due to internal bleeding is an indication of the presence of polyps in the stomach. The feces may also turn dark or tarry if the lesions are severe in nature and are infected, causing bleeding.
- Nausea and vomiting are also indications of growth of polyps or lesions in the stomach.
- Some other symptoms of this vascular outgrowth in the mucous membrane of the stomach are constipation, loss of appetite and painful abdominal cramps, etc.
The severity of stomach polyps is diagnosed by endoscopy and taking a biopsy, where a tissue from the infected area is removed and tested. There are two methods for treating this unhealthy condition; medications and surgery. If the polyp is caused due to the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, then the doctor may prescribe some anti bacterial and antibiotic medications, in order to destroy the bacteria. Another method of treatment is surgical removal of the polyp. This procedure is referred to as polypectomy and is a minimally invasive surgery. In this surgery the appendages are removed at the base, using a snare, which pulls them out from the mucous membrane. Post the removal, heat treatment is applied to the spots in order to stem blood flow. With proper medication and diet modifications, along with the guidance from the physician the patient can resume his regular routine. The polyps may surface if there are chances of infection in the stomach.
Many times, people tend to overlook this stomach problem, as it doesn't show any symptoms in the initial stages. Stomach polyps are only noticed when they grow bigger and cause discomfort to the individual. If your doctor detects the presence of polyps in stomach, an immediate treatment for polyps is recommended in order to avoid further complications, as there are chances that these appendages may develop into cancer. Stay healthy!