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What is Gastritis?-Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Eeman Sarfraz:7/18/2022

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. This inflammation is caused by a certain bacteria residing in the stomach due to the intake of specific food. This inflammation also results in indigestion, which in return causes further gastric complications. It can be acute as well as intense. Acute gastritis occurs suddenly whereas chronic gastritis occurs slowly over time. If not treated in time, gastritis may lead to ulcers or stomach cancer.

Symptoms of Gastritis:

Symptoms may vary according to the intensity of gastritis, the overall health condition of the person and dietary factors. In some cases, gastritis may not even cause any symptoms. The most common symptoms are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Frequent upsetting of stomach
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Burning in stomach
  • Discoloured stools (in chronic case)
  • Vomiting blood (in chronic case) 

What causes Gastritis?

Gastritis is initiated by irritation. This irritation can be a result of excessive alcohol intake, spicy food, chronic vomiting, stress and anxiety. Certain medicines may also result in stomach inflammation. Further risk factors contributing to gastritis are stated as follows:

Bacterial infection (h.pylori): The deposition of this bacteria in the stomach lining weakens the stomach muscles, making stomach vulnerable to gastritis and other gastrointestinal diseases. Smoking and disturbed diet can cause this bacterial infection.

Pain killers: Overuse or regular use of painkillers can result in acute and/or chronic gastritis. Use of such medicines weakens the protective layer of stomach, leading to the disease. 

Age factor: With increasing age, the inner wall of stomach becomes thin. This makes adults prone to h.pylori infection. Their overall immunity is also reduced, causing other gastrointestinal issues. 

Stress/anxiety: Severe stress due to factors like surgery, injury or mental stress releases hormones that effects the inner walls of stomach, leading to acute gastritis. 

Autoimmune gastritis: This occurs when body’s immune system starts attacking the inner stomach walls. This condition is mostly genetical.

Treatment for Gastritis:

Treatment of gastritis depends upon the severity of the disease as well as the main cause of the disease. Treatment of gastritis includes:

  • Antibiotic intake to treat h.pylori bacteria
  • Medications to reduce excess acid production and initiating healing
  • Medicines to neutralize stomach acid
  • Avoiding the spicy and other food causing stomach burn 
  • Increase water intake
  • Avoid the intake of caffeine 

Conclusion:

Gastritis is a common and treatable stomach disease. If not taken care of in time, it can get complicated, leading to stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal cancers. If diagnosed timely, it is highly recommended to take the precautionary measures to avoid the risks leading to gastritis, and start managing the disease with proper medication.


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