Gastritis symptoms include nausea, vomiting, etc.
Gastritis explains a group of conditions with one thing in common: swelling or inflammation of the lining of the stomach.
The inflammation associated with gastritis is usually as a result of infection with the same bacteria that causes most stomach ulcers. Injuries, frequent use of some pain relievers and drinking lots of alcohol also can contribute to gastritis.
Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute gastritis), or slowly over a period of time (chronic gastritis). In most cases, gastritis leads to ulcers and an increased risk for stomach cancer. For some people, however, gastritis isn’t so serious and improves quickly with treatment.
Gastritis symptoms include the following:
- A burning or gnawing pain or ache (indigestion) in your upper abdomen which may become either worse or better with eating
- Feelings of fullness in your upper abdomen after you’ve eaten
Gastritis does not always cause some signs and symptoms.
When To Visit A Doctor
Visit your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of gastritis which last for up to a week or longer. You should also talk to your doctor about stomach discomfort that occurs after taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs, especially when it’s aspirin or other pain relievers.
If your stool appears black or if you have blood in your stool or vomiting blood, see your doctor immediately to determine the cause.
Causes Of Gastritis
Gastritis is the swelling or inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis causes are usually as a result of weaknesses in the mucus-lined barrier which protects your stomach wall and allowing your digestive juices to damage and inflame your stomach lining. Several diseases and conditions can also increase your risk of gastritis.
Gastritis may develop suddenly (acute gastritis) or gradually, and last for an extended period (chronic gastritis).
Risk Factors For Gastritis
Factors which increase your risk for gastritis include:
- Bacterial infection.Infection with Helicobacter pylori is among the most common worldwide human infections, and only some infected people develop gastritis or some similar stomach disorder. Some lifestyle choices such as high-stress levels and smoking can also make you vulnerable to the bacteria.
- Frequent use of pain relievers.Some common pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), aspirin and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox) can also cause both acute gastritis and chronic gastritis. Frequent use of these medications is capable of reducing a key substance in your stomach which helps to preserve the protective lining. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) doesn’t lead to gastritis.
- Older age.In older adults, there is an increased risk of gastritis since the stomach lining is prone to thinning with age and since older adults are more likely to have autoimmune disorders or H. pylori infection than younger people are.
- Excessive use of alcohol.Alcohol can cause irritation to your stomach lining, making your stomach more likely to be harmed by digestive juices. Taking alcohol in excess is also more likely to cause acute gastritis.
- Severe stress as a result of major surgery, burns, injury, or severe infections can also lead to acute gastritis.
- When your own body attacks the cells in your stomach.This is known as autoimmune gastritis. This is the type of gastritis that occurs when your body begins to attacks the cells which make up your stomach lining. As a result of this, a reaction is produced by your immune system which can wear away at your stomach’s protective barrier. This form of gastritis is more common in people who suffer from other autoimmune disorders, including type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s disease. This type of gastritis is also associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency.
- Other diseases and conditions.Inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) may also be associated with other medical conditions, including Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS, and some infections from parasites.
Complications Of Gastritis
Gastritis if left untreated, may lead to stomach ulcers and bleeding. In rare cases, some types of chronic gastritis may also increase your risk of stomach cancer, especially when you have extensive thinning of the stomach lining and some changes in the cells linings.
It is important you tell your doctor if the gastritis symptoms aren’t improving despite receiving treatment for gastritis.
Treatments And Drugs For Gastritis
Treatment depends on the specific cause. Chronic gastritis is caused by the H. pylori infection, and can be treated using antibiotics. While acute gastritis is caused by excess use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or excess alcohol and may be relieved by stopping the use of the substances causing the problem.
In some cases, medications to treat stomach acid may also be taken so as to reduce the gastritis symptoms and promote healing in your stomach.
Medications used in the treatment of gastritis include:
- Antibiotic medications to kill H. pylori infection.Your doctor may recommend some combination of antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) and metronidazole (Flagyl) or amoxicillin, to kill the bacterium. Endeavor to take the full antibiotic prescription, which is usually for 10 to 14 days.
- Medications to block acid production and promote healing.Your doctor may recommend proton pump inhibitors to reduce acid in the stomach by blocking the action of the parts of cells responsible for the production. These drugs include some prescription and over-the-counter medications such as Omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), rabeprazole (Aciphex) and pantoprazole (Protonix). Using proton pump inhibitors for long and at high doses is likely to increase your risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures.
- Medications to reduce acid production.Histamine (H-2) blockers also called acid blockers helps to reduce the amount of acid that is released into your digestive tract, which helps to provide relief from gastritis pain and promotes healing. Over-the-counter or some available by prescription acid blockers include ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid) and cimetidine (Tagamet).
- Antacids which neutralize stomach acid. Antacid may be included in your drug regimen by your doctor. Antacids help in neutralizing existing stomach acid, providing rapid pain relief. Some side effects include diarrhea or constipation and depends on the main ingredients.