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It is believed that gastritis affects about half of the people worldwide. As people grow older this disease becomes more common.
Gastritis occurs when the stomach’s layer becomes swollen (swelling and red). It can be in the form of a short episode or maybe longer. Gastritis can occur suddenly and may be short-term (acute gastritis), or gradually develop and may remain on a few months or years (chronic arthritis). While gastritis can be light and self-recovering, treatment may be needed depending on cause and symptoms.
What is the cause of gastritis?
Many things can cause gastritis. The most common causes follow:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. NSAIDs are commonly used for pain relief, but they can also increase acidic gastric juices produced in the stomach. The increased stomach acid can inflame and wear down the stomach lining.
- Drinking alcohol excessively. Excessive drinking can erode the lining of the stomach, making it weaker and more likely to be damaged by the stomach’s acidic digestive juices.
- Autoimmune gastritis — this is when your own body attacks the cells in your stomach and wears down your stomach lining
- extreme stress to the stomach — such as from major surgery, injury, burns or severe infections
- backflow of bile into the stomach (known as ‘bile reflux’)
- infection caused by viruses (for example, cytomegalovirus), especially in people who already have a weakened immune system (such as in AIDS)
- diseases such as Crohn’s disease
- infections caused by some fungus, bacteria, viruses, and parasites
- Common causes include regular use of a type of bacterial infection (Helicobacter pylori) and regular painkillers, called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines), alcohol, smoking, cocaine, severe illness, autoimmune problems.
Swelling caused by gastritis can weaken the stomach layer and make it thin. This means digestive juices (which are acidic) in your stomach can lead to further inflammation and damage.
Symptoms of gastritis
Not everyone with gastritis will experience symptoms. If you have symptoms, they may include:
- A burning pain in your upper abdominal area – which may improve or worsen with food
- Feeling of fullness after eating
- loss of appetite,
- heartburn Etc.
Treatment of gastritis depends on its cause. Your doctor may prescribe a mixture of prescription and non-prescription medicines (medicines) and recommend a lifestyle approach.
Common gastritis treatments are:
- Antibiotics for killing bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) – is a common cause of gastritis. If set, it is important that you complete the entire course
- Prescription drugs that reduce the number of acids made in the stomach
- At counter antacid, which neutralizes stomach acids (they should be taken separately from some other drugs – ask your pharmacist)
You can help improve your treatment process, and you can make some lifestyle changes to reduce any possibility of irritation. You can try for:
- Eat smaller meals more often
- Avoid foods that can irritate your stomach, such as spicy, acidic (eg citrus and tomatoes) foods, fried or fatty
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- edge off
If left untreated, then gastritis can cause ulcers and bleed in the stomach. Whereas rare, it can also increase the risk of colon cancer.
Gastritis is often cleared automatically. See your doctor if you suspect you have gastritis, especially if you have any of the following:
- Symptoms of gastritis that last for more than a week
- Vomiting blood or black, tarry substance (dry blood)
- Blood in your stool (Poo), or stool which is black