What is foveolar hyperplasia?

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Foveolar hyperplasia is a condition wherein there is hypergenesis of the foveolar cells.  These cells function to produce mucus inside the stomach which in turn protects it from being damaged by the presence of gastric acid.  If these foveolar cells do not produce enough mucus, the lining inside the stomach will suffer inflammatory changes because of the presence of gastric acid.  In the case of hyperplasia, the growth and development of foveolar cells will become faster and abnormal.  This will then translate to increase proliferation and growth.  The more of these cells go into hyperplasia, the greater chance it is for the stomach to become affected, grow bigger, and even result to growth of masses and tumors.

One of the most basic functions of mucus in the stomach area is to protect it from possible damage. With so much gastric acid floating around, the stomach walls must be coated with mucus and this is the job of the foveolar cells.  Without this important protection, the stomach is said to be at risk of processing digestion on itself which lead to its own damage.  When there is foveolar hyperplasia, the activity of the foveolar cells in terms of mucus production will become faster and therefore produce more mucus than normal and result to proliferation in the stomach.  When there is abnormal proliferation of foveolar cells, the stomach will then grow bigger and its function will be greatly affected in terms of digestion.

Foveolar hyperplasia is considered to be a common characteristic of other ailments involving the gastro-intestinal system of the body.  One such ailment is called reactive gastropathy and in this condition the main culprit points to the stomach’s interaction with various chemicals including bile from the liver and alcohol.  When there is hyperplasia in the foveolar cells, those with reactive gastropathy may also experience pain in the midepigastric area, dyspepsia, and nausea among other symptoms.  Before any treatment is done though, doctors typically conduct differential diagnosis to ensure that proper management is prescribed.

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