Gastritis is characterized by inflammation in the stomach lining. In the stomach, the mucosa is a protective layer made of mucus that serves as a barrier against bacteria. This lining protects your stomach from the powerful stomach acid that is necessary for digestion to take place. When something damages or weakens this protective layer, the mucosa becomes inflamed, and this results in gastritis (gastric inflammation). The bacteria H pylori is the most common cause of gastritis, and it is the most common cause of stomach ulcers.
Infection with H. pylori bacteria is the most common cause of gastritis inflammation. It is also possible that the use of certain pain relievers and excessive alcohol consumption will aggravate the condition of the stomach.
Inflammatory gastritis can manifest itself either suddenly (acute gastritis) or gradually over time (chronic gastritis). Gastritis is usually not life-threatening and responds quickly to medical treatment.
If the mucus-lined barrier that protects your stomach wall is damaged or injured, digestive fluids can cause damage and inflammation to the lining of your stomach. Diseases such as Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis, an inflammatory cell disorder in which clusters of inflammatory cells form in the body are examples of conditions and diseases that can increase your risk of developing gastritis.
It can be caused by a range of factors including excessive alcohol consumption, stress, chronic vomiting, and the use of certain medicines like anti-inflammatory medications.
Following are some of the risk factors:
Helicobacter pylori: Also known as H. Pylori, is a type of bacteria that can be found in the digestive tract. This particular bacterium grows in the mucous membrane of the stomach: if left untreated, may lead to ulcers. Under certain circumstances, it may result in stomach cancer.
Gallbladder reflux: It is the backflow of bile from the gallbladder into the stomach (that connects to the liver and gallbladder).
Old age: the lining of the stomach gets thin with age, and because older individuals are more likely than their younger counterparts to be infected with H. pylori or suffer from autoimmune diseases, they are at greater risk of developing the condition.
Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages: Alcohol can irritate and damage the lining of your stomach, increasing the amount of time it is exposed to digestive juices. If you consume excessive amounts of alcohol, you are more likely to develop acute gastritis.
Stress: Major surgery, injuries, burns, or serious infections can all result in a significant amount of stress, which can lead to acute gastritis.
Gastritis manifests itself in a variety of ways, with the following signs and symptoms:
- Indigestion, which is characterized by gnawing or scorching
- Soreness or pain in your upper belly that may get worse or better with food.
- Appetite loss
- Black stools
Gastritis is diagnosed after a thorough physical examination and assessment of your personal and family medical history. Your doctor may order one or more of the tests listed below to confirm the gastritis diagnosis:
- Upper intestine endoscopy: An examination of the upper intestine is performed during a procedure. To examine the lining of your digestive tract, an endoscope is inserted through your mouth and down into your stomach. As part of his examination, the doctor will look for signs of inflammation and may suggest that the patient undergo a biopsy, which is an operation that involves removing a small sample of tissue and sending it to a laboratory for testing.
- Blood tests: A variety of blood tests may be performed by the doctor, including checking your red blood cell count to determine whether or not you have anemia, which is defined as not having enough red blood cells in your body. Blood tests can be used to diagnose a variety of conditions, including H. pylori infection and pernicious anemia, in addition to the ones listed above.
- Stool test: If you have gastritis, this test will look for blood in your stool, which could indicate that you have the condition.
The type of gastritis treatment is determined by the cause of the condition. A reduction in the intake of NSAIDs and alcohol may be beneficial in the treatment of acute gastritis.
Pain relievers are prescribed for relieving gastritis pain. Nonetheless, tt can be managed with the help of the following medications along with the gastritis diet:
- Antibiotics: For the treatment of H. pylori bacteria, antibiotics are used. H. pylori infection in the digestive tract may necessitate the use of a combination of antibiotics to eradicate the bacterium.
- Medications blocking Acid Production: In order to prevent acid from being produced, proton pump inhibitors work by inhibiting the action of the parts of the cell responsible for acid production. These medications include prescription and over-the-counter medications.
- Medications to reduce the production of acid: Those who suffer from gastritis benefit from acid blockers, also known as histamine (H-2) blockers. By reducing the amount of acid released into your digestive tract, you can reduce discomfort and promote healing in your digestive tract. Antacids: These medications neutralize stomach acid. As part of your treatment plan, your doctor may recommend that you take an antacid. Antacids are medications that neutralize stomach acid and can provide pain relief in a short period. Constipation or diarrhea may occur because of taking this medication, depending on the primary constituents.
When To See A Doctor
If you have been experiencing the gastritis symptoms for more than a week, you should see your doctor. Immediately consult your physician if you suffer from indigestion and stomach pain.
Report any stomach pain you experience after taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, particularly pain relievers, to your doctor right away.
If you are vomiting blood, passing blood in your stools, or passing black stools, see your doctor as soon as possible to find out what is going on.
If left untreated, gastritis can progress to the point of causing stomach ulcers and bleeding. Some types of persistent gastritis, particularly if you have significant thinning of the stomach lining as well as changes in the cells that line the stomach, may increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Hence, it is crucial to see a doctor at the earliest.
This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have concerns about Gastritis or any other medical condition, please see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment suggestions.