What is gastritis?
Gastritis is an irritation of the protective lining of the stomach. Acute gastritis involves sudden, severe inflammation. Chronic gastritis includes long-term inflammation that can last for years if left untreated. Erosive gastritis is a less mutual form of the condition. It usually doesn’t cause much inflammation, but it can lead to bleeding and ulcers in the stomach lining.
Many people with gastritis have no symptoms. The condition is diagnosed only when samples of the stomach lining are examined for other suspicious diseases. However, when the symptoms occur, the most common symptoms include abdominal pain (intermittent or constant burning, grip or bite pain), nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, bloating, and belching
The symptoms come and go over time, especially with chronic gastritis. Indigestion (dyspepsia) is another term that encompasses this group of symptoms. Symptoms of severe gastritis can include bloody vomiting, blood in the stool, and anemia.
Gastritis can be caused by annoyance due to excessive alcohol consumption, chronic vomiting, stress, or the use of certain medicines such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory medications. It can also be caused by any of the following:
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori): Bacteria that live in the mucous lining of the stomach. Without treatment, the infection can lead to ulcers and stomach cancer.
Bile reflux: A backflow of bile into the stomach from the biliary tract (which connects to the liver and gallbladder)
Bacterial infection: Although Helicobacter pylori infection is among the most common human infections worldwide, only some people with the infection develop gastritis or other upper gastrointestinal disorders. Physicians believe that vulnerability to the bacteria could be congenital or caused by lifestyle choices, such as smoking and diet.
Regular use of pain relievers: Common pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can cause both acute and chronic gastritis. Using these pain relievers regularly or taking too many of these medications can reduce a key substance that helps preserve the protective lining of your stomach.
Advanced age: Adults are at higher risk for gastritis because the lining of the stomach tends to thin with age and older adults are more likely to have an H. pylori infection or autoimmune disorders than younger people.
Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol can annoy and erode the stomach lining, making it more vulnerable to digestive juices. Excessive alcohol consumption is more likely to cause acute gastritis.
Stress: Severe stress due to major surgery, injuries, burns, or serious infections can cause acute gastritis.
Your own body attacks the cells of your stomach. Called autoimmune gastritis, this type of disease occurs when your body attacks the cells that make up the lining of the stomach. This reaction can wear down the protective barrier in your stomach.
It is more common in people with other autoimmune disorders, such as Hashimoto’s disease and type 1 diabetes. It can also be allied with vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Other diseases and conditions. Gastritis can be associated with other medical conditions, such as HIV / AIDS, Crohn’s disease, and parasitic infections.
Your healthcare breadwinner will ask about your symptoms and history and perform a physical exam. Your earner may also order one or more of these tests:
Breath test: During an H. pylori breath test, you swallow a capsule or liquid that contains urea, a harmless radioactive material. Then breathe out into a balloon-shaped bag. The H. pylori bacteria transform urea into carbon dioxide. If you have the bacteria, the breath examination will show an increase in carbon dioxide.
Blood test: A blood test checks the titers of antibodies that fight the H. pylori bacteria.
Stool test: This test looks for H. pylori bacteria in the stool (poop).
Upper endoscopy: Your doctor uses an endoscope (a long, thin tube with a camera attached) to view your stomach. The doctor inserts the endoscope through your esophagus, which connects your mouth to your stomach. An upper endoscopy procedure allows your provider to examine the lining of your stomach. You may also have a tissue sample (biopsy) taken from your stomach lining to check for infection.
Upper gastrointestinal (GI) exam: During an upper GI exam, a chalky substance called barium is swallowed. The liquid coats the stomach lining and provides more detailed X-ray images.
If you have indigestion and stomach pain, you can try treating it yourself with diet and lifestyle changes as follows:
- Eat smaller and more frequent meals
- Avoid irritating foods, such as spicy, acidic (for example, fruit juices), fried, or fatty
- Do not drink alcohol
- Give up smoking
- Reducing stress. See the separate booklet called Stress Management
If you think your gastritis is caused by repeated use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), try switching to a different pain reliever that is not in the NSAID class, such as acetaminophen. You may want to talk to your general physician about this.
- Acid suppressing medication
- Antacids can be used to reduce the acid in your stomach and thus allow gastritis to resolve.
- If antacid treatment is not enough, a medicine called an H2 blocker (such as ranitidine) can be used.
- Alternative medicine that can be used is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) such as lansoprazole or omeprazole.
Gastritis can lead to stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding. In rare cases, some forms of chronic gastritis can growth your risk of stomach cancer, especially if you have extensive thinning of the stomach lining and variations in the lining cells.
Prevention of H. pylori infection
It is not clear how H. pylori are spread, but there is some evidence that it could be transmitted from person to person or through contaminated food and water. You can take steps to defend yourself from infections, such as H. pylori, by washing your hands often with soap and water and eating food that has been methodically cooked.