Gastritis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the lining of the stomach and the most common cause for the chronic inflammation is a bacterium named Helicobacter pylori.
Gastritis occurs when the normal protective mechanisms in the stomach are blocked and inflammation occurs in the stomach lining as a result. The lining of the stomach becomes irritated and inflamed.
Gastritis may occur suddenly, which is called acute gastritis, or develop and progress gradually over a long period of time, which is called chronic gastritis.
The signs and symptoms of gastritis may include: a gnawing or burning pain in the stomach or upper abdomenloss of appetitenausea and vomiting indigestionblack, tarry stools or the vomiting of blood due to bleeding from the stomach.weight lossthe development of cancer of the stomach
Causes of gastritis include: infection with a bacteria called H. pylori (chronic)irritation caused by medicines, such as antibiotics, aspirin or nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs called NSAIDs (usually acute and may be complicated by ulcers and/or bleeding especially in the elderly).ingestion of caustic or corrosive materials (acute)severe trauma or illness during intensive care (acute)autoimmune disorders, which are conditions in which the immune system may attack the stomach in certain individuals with a predisposition (genetic). These individuals may also have diabetes, adrenal gland disease, and vitamin B12 deficiency. (chronic) alcohol (acute and chronic)
Some ways to prevent gastritis include: limiting or avoiding alcohol and caffeinelimiting or avoiding aspirin or non steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen (i.e., Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (i.e., Anaprox, Aleve, Naprosyn) which are called COX-1 inhibitors. taking medications such as a histamine type 2-receptor blocker (such as ranitidine
Healthcare professionals use several methods to diagnose and classify different kinds of gastritis. These include: doing a physical exam and asking about symptoms of gastritischecking a stool sample for bloodchecking the appearance of the stomach lining with an endoscope, a camera on a long, thin tube that goes down through the mouth and into the stomachdoing a biopsy, which means taking a sample of tissue from the stomach lining for examination under a microscopeIf the bacteria H. pylori is suspected, a blood test, a breath test, or biopsy may be done to see if it is has infected the stomach and caused the gastritis.
Depending on the cause of the gastritis, the long-term effects may vary. Untreated gastritis may lead to stomach bleeding..
Chronic gastritis increases the risk of stomach cancer. It is important that the cause of gastritis be identified and the appropriate treatment given to prevent complications.
Bacterial gastritis from H. pylori can spread through families in developing countries. People may inherit a tendency for autoimmune gastritis. The other forms of gastritis generally pose no risk to others.
The goals of treatment are to relieve the symptoms and treat the underlying cause. This can be accomplished by: antibiotics if H. pylori is thought to be the cause (treatment is usually 3 antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor for 7-14 days)medications such as cimetidine (i.e., Tagamet) or omeprazole (i.e., Prilosec)changes in lifestyle, such as not smoking and limiting or avoiding alcoholsurgery, if bleeding occursavoidance of aspirin or NSAIDs if possible, but if NSAIDs are necessary, the considering the use of a COX-2 inhibitors rather than a COX-1 NSAIDs
Side effects of the medication may include: rashdiarrhea
Overall, the PPIs have few to no side effects.
Gastritis is usually curable if the cause is eliminated. People with gastritis should seek medical care immediately if they vomit blood, notice dark black stool, or have severe pain. If treatment is effective, persons are generally free to return to their normal activities.
Gastritis is monitored by regular visits to the healthcare professional and monitoring for a return of the gastritis symptoms or evidence of bleeding in the stool..