Gastritis: Symptoms, Treatment

Overview

Gastritis is a condition in which the protective lining of your stomach, known as mucosa, is inflamed or swollen. A thick layer of mucus helps protect the stomach tissue from being dissolved by the acidic digestive juice. When the lining becomes inflamed and swollen, it will not be able to produce enough mucus to protect your stomach.

Gastritis can be either acute or chronic, meaning it may occur suddenly and last for a short time or appear slowly but last for a long time.

Though gastritis sometimes may lead to ulcers and increase risk of stomach cancer, most people with gastritis can improve quickly with treatment.


Symptoms

In many cases, no signs or symptoms occur in people with gastritis, while some people may have pain or discomfort in the upper part of abdomen. But the relationship between gastritis and a person’s symptoms remains unclear. Sometimes, “gastritis” is even mistakenly used to describe any symptoms of pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.

If symptoms are presented, they may include:

  • Nausea or recurrent upset stomach
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach between meals or at night
  • Hiccups
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting blood or coffee ground-like material
  • Black, tarry stools

If you are not sure whether you are suffering from gastritis, consult your doctor as soon as possible.


Causes

Weakness or injury to the mucus-lined barrier makes it easy for your stomach lining to be damaged and inflamed by digestive juices, raising your risk of developing gastritis.

A gastrointestinal bacterial infection can also lead to gastritis. The most common infection is Helicobacter pylori, which lives in the mucous lining of stomach.

What’s more, some diseases and conditions increase your risk of gastritis as well, including Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis.

Many other factors may involve:

  • Autoimmune problems
  • Bile reflux
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Allergies to food, such as cow’s milk and soy, especially in children.
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Stress


Diagnosis

To determine whether you have gastritis, you doctor will ask about your condition and your family medical history, perform a physical exam and order any of the following tests:

  • Blood tests
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Fecal occult blood test (stool test)
  • X-ray of your upper digestive system
  • Tests for H. pylori


Treatment

When the cause of gastritis has been confirmed, your doctor will recommend treatment options based on the cause. Medications that may be used involve:

  • Antibiotic medications

If your gastritis is caused by H. pylori, a combination of antibiotics, such as clarithromycin (Biaxin) and amoxicillin (Amoxil, Augmentin, others) may be recommended to kill the bacterium.

  • Proton pump inhibitors

These medicines can block the action of the parts of cells that produce acids, and thus reduce acid. But using proton pump inhibitors for a long time may increase your risk for hip, wrist and spine fractures.

  • Acid blockers (histamine blockers)

These medications can relieve gastritis pain and encourage healing by reducing the amount of acid released into your digestive tract.

  • Antacid

Antacid may also be an option, for it can neutralize existing stomach acid and provide rapid pain relief. Side effects that may occur involve constipation or diarrhea.


Lifestyle and home remedies

In addition to medicines, you may also improve your condition by:

  • Eating smaller, more-frequent meals
  • Avoiding irritating foods
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Considering switching pain relievers


Keyword: gastritis.

Related Posts:

Erosive and Non-Erosive Gastritis

What is Atrophic Gastritis?

What is Bile Reflux Gastritis?

What is Autoimmune Gastritis?

Some Diet Tips for Chronic Gastritis?

Can Gastritis Lead to Cancer?

Can You Show Me the Location of Gastritis Pain?

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.