Gastritis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

gastritisGastritis can be acute or chronic. It is an inflammation of the stomach lining. This condition can be cured with proper treatment plan.

Causes of Gastritis

Stress, excessive alcohol intake, chronic vomiting or taking certain medications can cause this condition. Medications may include over the counter drugs like aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs. May also occur due to following causes of gastritis:

  • Bacterial and viral infections
  • Reflux of bile – a back flow of bile from bile duct to stomach
  • Due to the presence of a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori in the mucous lining of the stomach. If not treated, it can lead to ulcers or even stomach cancer in some cases.

Whatever may be the causes of gastritis, if left untreated can lead to excessive loss of blood and eventually increases the risk of stomach cancer.

Symptoms of Gastritis

Symptoms of gastritis vary from person to person. In most of the cases, there are no symptoms. But the most common symptoms include the following:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Loss of appetite
  3. Nausea
  4. Indigestion
  5. Pain in the abdomen
  6. Abdominal bloating
  7. Vomiting blood
  8. Loss of appetite
  9. Burning sensation in the stomach
  10. Vomiting blood
  11. Black stools

Diagnosis

Your doctor may review your personal and family medical history and will also do a thorough physical examination of your body. He will also recommend the below tests:

Blood Tests

The doctor will check for your RBC count through blood tests. This is to determine whether you are suffering from anemia or not. Infection with H.pylori or pernicious anemia are also screened for with the help of the blood tests.

Endoscopy

The doctor will check for inflammation through endoscopy. A thin tube with a tiny camera is inserted through your mouth into your stomach and the stomach lining is checked. In some cases, biopsy may also be performed wherein a thin sample of the stomach tissue is taken and sent for lab analysis.

Stool Test

This test indicates the presence of blood in your stools which is an indication of gastritis.

Treatment for Gastritis

Treatment for gastritis involves the following:

  • Avoid taking hot and spicy foods
  • Do not include allergic foods in the diet like gluten in wheat or lactose from dairy products
  • Antacids or other drugs to lower the levels of stomach acid
  • Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics plus a drug that blocks acid if the gastritis is due to an infection from H.pylori.

This condition usually disappears once the inner lying problem disappears. It is best to take doctor’s advice before stopping a treatment or starting a new treatment of your own.

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