Gastritis is an umbrella term for a group of conditions with one thing in common – an inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach. An abrupt, severe inflammation characterizes acute gastritis. Long-term inflammation associated with chronic gastritis can persist for years without treatment.
Symptoms of Gastritis
The majority of people with gastritis rarely present any symptoms. However, the most common symptoms, when they appear, include:
Causes of Gastritis
Gastritis mostly occurs when weakness in the stomach lining allows digestive juices to damage and inflame it. Therefore, having a damaged stomach lining raises one’s risk of gastritis.
Gastritis can also be brought on by an intestinal bacterial infection. H. pylori, a bacterium that affects the stomach lining, is the most frequent bacterial infection that causes gastritis.
The risk of developing gastritis may be increased by specific circumstances and behaviors. Other risk factors may include:
Diagnosis of Gastritis
The doctor will perform a physical exam and inquire about the patient’s symptoms, as well as an evaluation of the family medical history. The following tests may also be recommended:
Treatment of Gastritis
The treatment for gastritis often depends on the cause of the condition.
Doctors frequently use antibiotics to treat H. pylori-related gastritis in order to eradicate the bacterium. Several different types of medication, including antibiotics, are used to treat gastritis. These include:
Proton pump inhibitors: These types of medications work by blocking cells that create stomach acid.
Acid reducing medications: These drugs treat gastritis discomfort and promote the healing of one’s stomach lining by reducing the quantity of acid discharged into the digestive tract.
Probiotics: Probiotics have been proven to aid in gastric ulcer recovery and the restoration of healthy digestive flora. There is, however, no proof that they affect acid secretion in any way.
Complications of Gastritis
If the condition is left untreated, it may lead to a variety of complications which may include the following:
To diagnose gastritis, a healthcare provider may perform a physical examination, review your medical history, and order various tests. These may include blood tests to check for signs of infection or inflammation, a stool test to detect the presence of H. pylori bacteria, an upper endoscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) to directly visualize the stomach lining and obtain biopsy samples, or imaging tests such as an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan.
Yes, dietary changes can play a significant role in managing gastritis. It is recommended to avoid or limit foods and beverages that can irritate the stomach lining, such as spicy and fatty foods, citrus fruits, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks. Instead, consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products can be beneficial. Working with a healthcare provider or dietitian can help develop an individualized diet plan.
In some cases, untreated or poorly managed gastritis can lead to complications. These can include ulcers (open sores) in the stomach lining, bleeding in the stomach, stomach blockage, or an increased risk of developing stomach cancer. It is important to seek medical attention and follow the recommended treatment plan to prevent complications.
Over-the-counter antacids can provide temporary relief from gastritis symptoms by neutralizing stomach acid. However, they do not treat the underlying cause of gastritis. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate use of antacids and other medications based on the specific situation and severity of