Gastritis refers to inflammation of the lining of the stomach. It is an acute gastritis that is suddenly, severe inflammation and chronic gastritis with long-term inflammation that may last for years if left untreated.
Erosive gastritis is an uncommon form of gastritis. It generally does not cause a lot of inflammation, but can cause bleeding and ulcers in the walls of the stomach.
What causes gastritis?
Because of the weakness of the lining of your stomach, digestive juices damage and inflame it, resulting in gastritis. Having a thin or damaged abdominal mucosa raises the risk of gastritis.
Gastrointestinal bacterial infection may also lead to gastritis. The most frequently occurring bacterial infection causing gastritis is Helicobacter pylori. It’s a bacterial infection that infects the lining of the stomach. Infection is typically spread from person to person, but can also be spread by contaminated food or water.
Some conditions and activities may inhibit your chance of developing gastritis. Other risks include the following:
- alcohol consumption is extremely high.
- everyday use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin diclofenac.
- cocaine use
- age, Because the stomach lining is getting weaker naturally with age
- tobacco consumption
Other less commonly occurring risk factors include:
- stress resulting from serious injury, illness or surgery.
- autoimmune diseases
- digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease.
- viral infections
What are the symptoms of gastritis?
Gastritis does not cause significant symptoms in everybody. Some common symptoms are:
- appetite loss
- fullness at the top of the abdomen, especially after eating.
If you suffer from erosive gastritis, you may present with different symptoms:
- black, tarry (delayed) stool
- throwing up blood or stuff that looks like coffee grounds.
How is gastritis diagnosed?
Your doctor will perform a physical examination as well as ask you about your symptoms and family history. They may also order a breath, blood or bowel movement test to verify the presence of H. pylori.
To find out inside your body, your doctor may want to carry out an endoscopy to verify inflammation. In endoscopy a long thin tube equipped with a camera, is inserted into your body and the doctor closely monitors your oesophagus or stomach. If your doctor finds something out of the ordinary during the examination, they can take a small sample or a biopsy of the stomach mucosa.
Your doctor may also recommend that you swallow a barium solution to take X-rays of your gastrointestinal tract. Baryum solution will help identify areas of concern.
How is gastritis treated?
The treatment of gastritis is determined by the cause of the condition. If you have a gastritis caused by NSAIDs or other medications, stopping the use of those medications may be enough to get rid of your symptoms. Gastritis caused by H. pylori is treat regularly with antibiotics which kill bacteria.
Becide antibiotics, many other types of medications are used for treating gastritis. Such medicines are:
Proton pump inhibitors
Drugs known as proton pump inhibitors work by inhibiting the secretion of stomach acid. Commonly used proton pump inhibitors are:
- lansoprazole (Prevacid)
- omeprazole (Prilosec)
- esomeprazole (Nexium)
But the long-term use of these drugs, particularly at higher doses, may cause an increased risk of back, hip and wrist fractures. This may increase the risk as well renal failure, and nutritional deficiencies.
Talk to your doctor before any of these drugs begin to develop a treatment plan for you.
Acid reducing medications
Medicines which reduce the amount of gastric acid include:
- Calcium carbonate
- famotidine (Pepcid)
By decreasing the amount of acid that is released to your gastrointestinal tract, They relieve gastritic pain and heal the lining of the stomach.
Your doctor may recommend using antacids to quickly relieve stomach pain. They may neutralize gastric acid.
Certain antacids may cause diarrhea and constipation, so consult your doctor if you experience any of these side effects.
Probiotics have been shown to contribute to the restoration of digestive flora and the healing of gastric ulcers. However, there is no evidence that these have an effect on acidic secretion. Currently, there are no guidelines to promote the use of probiotics to treat ulcers.
What are the potential complications from gastritis?
If your gastritis is not treated, stomach bleeding and ulcers can occur. Some forms of gastritis may increase your risk of developing stomach cancer, especially in people whose stomach walls are thinned.
Based on these potential complications, You should consult your doctor if you experience symptoms of gastritis, particularly if they are chronic.