Overview of Gastritis:
Gastritis is an overall term for a group of conditions with something in common inflammation of the lining of the stomach (gut).
The inflammation of gastritis is most often the consequence of infection with the same bacterium that causes most stomach ulcers.
Regular use of specific pain relievers and drinking too much alcohol can also contribute to gastritis.
Gastritis might occur suddenly (acute gastritis), or appear slowly over time (chronic gastritis).
Sometimes, gastritis can result in ulcers and an increased risk of prostate cancer (stomach cancer). However, For many of you, gastritis isn’t severe and improves quickly with treatment and therapy.
Symptoms of Gastritis:
The signs and symptoms of gastritis include:
- Gnawing or burning ache or pain (indigestion) on your upper abdomen that may become either worse or better with eating
- A feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen after eating
Gastritis doesn’t always cause symptoms and signs.
When to see a doctor in gastritis:
Nearly everybody has had a bout of indigestion and stomach irritation. Most cases of indigestion are short-lived and don’t need medical attention.
See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of gastritis to get more than a week or two.
Tell your doctor if your stomach distress occurs after taking over-the-counter or prescription medications, particularly aspirin or other pain relievers.
If you’re vomiting blood, then have blood in your stools or have stools that look black, see your doctor immediately to determine the cause.
Causes of Gastritis:
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Weaknesses or harm to the mucus-lined barrier that protects your stomach wall permits your digestive juices to damage and inflame your stomach lining.
A number of ailments and conditions can increase your risk of gastritis, including Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis, a condition in which collections of inflammatory cells grow in the body.
Factors that increase your risk of Gastritis:
- Bacterial disease. Even though infection with Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common global human infections, just some people with the infection develop gastritis or other upper gastrointestinal disorders. Doctors believe exposure to the bacterium could be inherited or could be caused by lifestyle choices, such as diet and smoking.
- Routine use of pain relievers. Using pain relievers frequently or taking a lot of pain relievers (drugs) can lessen a key substance that can help maintain the protective lining of your stomach.
- Older age. Older adults have an increased chance of gastritis since the stomach lining tends to thin with age and older adults are more inclined to have H. pylori infection or autoimmune disorders than younger people are.
- Excessive alcohol use. Excessive alcohol use is more likely to cause acute gastritis. Alcohol can irritate and erode your stomach lining, which makes your stomach more vulnerable to digestive juices.
- Anxiety or stress. Severe stress due to major surgery, trauma, burns, or acute infections can lead to acute gastritis.
- Your body attacking cells in your stomach. Called autoimmune gastritis, this kind of gastritis occurs when your body attacks the cells that make up your stomach lining. This response can wear away in the stomach’s protective barrier.
Autoimmune gastritis is more prevalent in people with other autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s disease and type 1 diabetes.
Autoimmune gastritis can also be connected with vitamin B-12 deficiency.
- Other conditions and diseases. Gastritis may be associated with other medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, and parasitic infections.
Complications and Prevention for Gastritis:
Gastritis may lead to stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding if Left untreated.
Rarely, some forms of chronic gastritis may increase your risk of stomach cancer, especially in the event that you have extensive thinning of the stomach lining and changes in the lining’s cells.
Tell your doctor (physician) if your signs and symptoms aren’t improving despite treatment for gastritis.
Preventing H. pylori infection:
It’s not apparent how H. pylori spread, but there’s some proof that it could be transmitted from person to person or via contaminated water and food.
You can take action to protect yourself from infections, such as H. pylori, by washing your hands using soap and water and by eating foods that have been cooked entirely.
Diagnosis for Gastritis:
Though your doctor is likely to guess gastritis after talking to you about your medical history and doing an exam, you may also have one or more of the following tests to pinpoint the precise cause.
- Tests for H. pylori. Your doctor may recommend tests to ascertain whether you have the bacterium H. pylori. Which type of evaluation you experience is dependent upon your situation.
H. pylori may be detected in a blood test, in a stool test, or by a breath test.
For your breath test, you drink a little glass of clear, tasteless liquid that contains radioactive carbon. H. pylori bacteria break down the test liquid in your stomach.
If you’re infected with H. pylori, your breath sample will contain radioactive carbon.
- Using a scope to examine your upper digestive system (endoscopy). With the endoscope, your doctor looks for signs of inflammation.
If a suspicious area is found, your physician may remove small tissue samples (biopsy) for laboratory examination.
A biopsy can also recognize the existence of H. pylori in your stomach lining.
- X-ray of the upper digestive tract. Sometimes referred to as a barium swallow or upper gastrointestinal series, this set of X-rays creates pictures of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine to look for abnormalities.
To produce the ulcer more visible, you may consume a white, metallic liquid (containing barium) that coats your digestive tract.
Treatment of Gastritis:
Treatment of gastritis depends upon the specific cause. Acute gastritis caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or alcohol might be alleviated by stopping the use of those substances.
Medications used for treating gastritis problem include:
- Antibiotic drugs to kill H. pylori. Your doctor may recommend a combination of antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) and amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, others) or metronidazole (Flagyl), to kill the bacterium, Be sure to take the complete antibiotic prescription, generally for seven to 14 days.
- Medicines that block acid production and promote recovery. Proton pump inhibitors reduce acid by blocking the activity of these parts of cells that produce acid.
These medications include the over-the-counter and prescription medications omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), and pantoprazole (Protonix).
Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, particularly at high doses, may increase your risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures. Ask your physician if a calcium supplement may reduce this risk.
- Medications to decrease acid production. Acid blockers also referred to as histamine (H-2) blockers reduce the amount of acid released to a digestive tract, which alleviates gastritis pain and promotes healing.
- Antacids that neutralize stomach acid. Your physician may incorporate an antacid into your drug regimen. Antacids neutralize existing stomach acid also may provide rapid pain relief. Negative effects can include constipation or diarrhea, depending on the principal components.
Home remedies and lifestyle changes to get relief in Gastritis:
You’ll find some relief from symptoms and signs if you:
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals. If you experience frequent indigestion, eat smaller meals more often to help ease the effects of stomach acid.
- Must Avoid irritating foods. Avoid foods that irritate your stomach, especially the ones that are hot, acidic, fatty, or fried.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol may irritate the mucous lining of your stomach.
- Try switching pain relievers. Should you use pain relievers that raise your risk of gastritis, ask your doctor whether acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may be an alternative for you.
This medicine is not as likely to aggravate gastritis.
When to see a doctor:
Don’t hesitate; make an appointment with your family doctor or a general practitioner.
If your doctor suspects gastritis, you might be referred to a specialist in autoimmune (digestive) disorders (gastroenterologist).
What you can do when preparing for your appointment
- Aware of pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there’s anything you need to do beforehand, for example, limit your diet.
- Write down symptoms you are experiencing, including any that may seem irrelevant to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, such as important stresses or recent life changes.
- Create a list of medications, vitamins, or supplements you are taking.
- Consider taking someone together. Someone who accompanies you may remember something which you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your physician.
Organizing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your physician.
For gastritis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What’s likely causing symptoms or illness?
- Could any of my medications be causing my affliction?
- What are other possible causes of my symptoms or illness?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best plan of action?
- What are alternatives to this primary approach you’re suggesting? How can I best manage them collectively?
- Are there constraints that I need to follow?
- Can I see a specialist?
- Can there be a generic alternative to the medicine you’re prescribing?
- Are there exemptions or other printed material I can take? What sites do you recommend?
- What’s going to determine whether I need to schedule a follow-up trip?
Do not be afraid to ask other questions.
What to expect from the doctor:
Your doctor is Very Likely to ask you several queries, such as:
- What are your symptoms?
- How severe are the symptoms? Can you describe your stomach pain as mildly uncomfortable or burning?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- Does anything, such as eating particular foods, look to worsen your symptoms?
- Does anything, like eating particular foods or taking antacids, look to improve your symptoms?
- Can you experience any nausea or vomiting?
- Have you lost weight?
- How frequently do you treat pain relievers, like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen?
- How can you rate your stress level?
- Have you noticed any dark stools or blood in your feces?
- Have you ever had an ulcer?
Before your appointment, avoid drinking alcohol and eating foods that seem to irritate your tummies, such as those which are spicy, acidic, fried, or fatty.
But talk with your doctor prior to stopping any prescription medications you are taking.
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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