What is Gastritis?
08 Jun 2022
Gastritis occurs when the stomach lining becomes inflamed as a result of damage. It's a frequent condition with a variety of causes.
Gastritis is usually not severe and improves fast if treated. If not, though, it can linger for years. It is classified based on the amount of time you've had symptoms and the severity of those symptoms.
Acute gastritis is a stomach lining inflammation or irritation. The condition is usually only present for a brief time. Acute gastritis can strike persons of any age, but it is more common in adults and the elderly.
Chronic gastritis is a long-term disorder in which the stomach lining is damaged, usually due to an H. pylori infection. Chronic gastritis rarely causes indigestion or pain, but severe damage can lead to anaemia owing to a lack of vitamin B12.
Erosive Gastritis is a stomach inflammation that causes ulcer-like symptoms due to numerous lesions in the mucous lining. A burning and heavy feeling in the pit of the stomach, mild nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weakness are all possible symptoms.
Gastritis or Gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is an infection-related inflammation (irritation) of the stomach and colon.
Gastritis is a type of stomach inflammation not always caused by infection.
Symptoms of Gastritis
Gastritis symptoms can appear abruptly and firmly (acute gastritis) or might linger for a long time (chronic gastritis). Pain, bleeding, or a stomach ulcer may occur if the stomach lining has been worn away (erosive gastritis) and exposed to stomach acid.
Many patients who develop gastritis due to a bacterial infection show no symptoms.
In other circumstances, Gastritis can cause:
- Burning stomach pain
- Feeling full after eating
Causes of Gastritis
Gastritis is usually caused by the following:
- A stressful event, such as an accident or injury
- Regularly taking painkillers classed as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
- Excessive use of alcohol or cocaine
- An autoimmune reaction occurs when the immune system attacks the body's cells and tissues (in this case, the stomach lining). This is less common.
- H. Pylori infection - Many people are unaware they are infected with the H. pylori bacteria. These stomach infections are relatively frequent and usually cause no symptoms. However, because the bacteria can induce inflammation of the stomach lining, an H. pylori infection can cause recurrent bouts of indigestion. This type of gastritis is more common in older people and is the most common cause of non-erosive chronic gastritis.
Treatments/Remedies for Gastritis
The goal of treatment is to reduce the quantity of acid in the stomach to relieve symptoms, heal the stomach lining, and address any underlying causes.
In some cases, depending on the cause of your Gastritis, you may be able to treat it yourself. This should be discussed with your doctor/pharmacist before you do so.
Treatment is usually carried out with the following:
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) - These drugs work better than H2 blockers at reducing acid generation.
- Antacids - Over-the-counter medications that neutralise stomach acid and provide immediate pain relief.
- Histamine 2 (H2 blockers) - These medications reduce acid production and are available over the counter and on prescription from your pharmacist.
Some low-dose PPIs are available without a prescription from your pharmacist.
For higher doses, you'll need a doctor's prescription.
Probiotics can assist with digestion and promote regular bowel motions. Probiotic supplements deliver beneficial bacteria into the digestive tract, which may aid in the prevention of H. pylori infection. Probiotic-rich meals may also help to alleviate the symptoms of gastritis.
Overall, Gastritis occurs when the stomach lining becomes inflamed as a result of damage. It is pretty prevalent, but it is treatable. A healthy lifestyle and nutrition can help you prevent getting diagnosed with Gastritis. However, this is not always the case if you have other health problems. If you have regular Gastritis-like symptoms, you should always seek medical advice.