Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining. It can occur suddenly or gradually.
- Acid production, pepsins, bile and stress
- Aspirin and NSAIDs
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are pain relievers, either over-the-counter or prescription. These drugs usually do not cause any problems when taken on a short-term basis, but regular use can lead to gastritis because the NSAIDs diminish the protective coating in the stomach.
- Alcohol can cause inflammation and injury to the stomach. Excessive alcohol intake is usually needed to cause gastritis. Social or occasional alcohol use is not damaging to the stomach.
- Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori)
- The bacteria, h. pylori, lives in the mucous lining of the stomach. Without treatment, the infection can lead to ulcers.
- Pernicious Anemia
- Inflammation occurs and the stomach can no longer absorb vitamin B12. This results in pernicious anemia.
In the acute phase, there may be pain or aggravation in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting. In the chronic phase, the pain may be dull and there may be loss of appetite with early satiety. Very often, there are no symptoms at all. If pain is severe, there may be an ulcer as well as gastritis.
Diagnosis is made by endoscopy and biopsy of the stomach lining. Endoscopy is an exam where a lighted, flexible scope is passed into the stomach. Pictures and biopsies can be made for analysis.
For most types of gastritis, reduction of stomach acid by medication is the first treatment method. Aspirin, NSAIDs and alcohol should also be avoided,
Effective treatment and preventative measures are available to prevent serious complications. If the gastritis is caused by H. Pylori and the infection has been present for an extended amount of time, stomach cancer can result.