How can I prevent the appearance of polyps?

According to doctors there isn’t a way to prevent polyps.

But you can reduce the risk of developing them if you:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet, (e.g. more fruit and vegetables) and less fatty foods.
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise daily
  • Lose weight if you are overweight

Also, by consuming more calcium and folic acid you can reduce the risk of polyps. Some of the foods that can help are rich in calcium such as milk, cheese and broccoli. Some of the foods that are rich in folic acid are chickpeas, beans and spinach.

What you need to remember

  • A polyp is a projecting growth of tissue that grows inside your body. Most polyps are not harmful.
  • Symptoms may include constipation or diarrhea that lasts more than a week, or blood in your underwear, toilet paper or stool.
  • Many polyps cause no symptoms.
  • Doctors remove all polyps and check them for cancer.
  • Talk to your doctor about getting tested for polyps if you have any symptoms, if you are over 45 years old, and if anyone in your family has had polyps or colon cancer.

Most colonic exams using the flexible colonoscope, including polyp removal, can be done with a simple visit to the doctor and with the least amount of discomfort. Large polyps may require more sessions for total removal.

Some polyps cannot be removed with tools because of their size or location. In these cases, surgery is required.

After total removal, the polyp rarely recurs. However, the reasons that caused it to develop still exist. About 30% of people who have had polyps in the past will have them reappear in the future. Therefore, patients should be examined on a regular basis by a doctor specializing in colon and rectal diseases.

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