Chronic causes are infection with bacteria, primarily Helicobacter pylori, chronic bile reflux, and stress; certain autoimmune disorders can cause gastritis as well. The most common symptom is abdominal upset or pain. Other symptoms are indigestion, abdominal bloating, nausea, and vomiting andpernicious anemia. Some may have a feeling of fullness or burning in the upper abdomen. A gastroscopy, blood test, complete blood count test, or a stool test may be used to diagnose gastritis. Treatment includes taking antacids or other medicines, such as proton pump inhibitors or antibiotics, and avoiding hot or spicy foods.
For those with pernicious anemia, B12 injections are given, but more often oral B12 supplements are recommended. Many people with gastritis experience no symptoms at all. However, upper central abdominal pain is the most common symptom; the pain may be dull, vague, burning, aching, gnawing, sore, or sharp. Pain is usually located in the upper central portion of the abdomen, but it may occur anywhere from the upper left portion of the abdomen around to the back. Other signs and symptoms may include:
Nausea Vomiting (if present, may be clear, green or yellow, blood-streaked, or completely bloody, depending on the severity of the stomach inflammation)
Belching (if present, usually does not relieve the pain much)
Early satiety Loss of appetite
Unexplained weight loss Acute Erosive gastritis is a gastric mucosal erosion caused by damage to mucosal defenses.
Alcohol consumption does not cause chronic gastritis. It does, however, erode the mucosal lining of the stomach; low doses of alcohol stimulate hydrochloric acid secretion. High doses of alcohol do not stimulate secretion of acid.
NSAIDs inhibit cyclooxygenase-1, or COX-1, an enzyme responsible for the biosynthesis of eicosanoids in the stomach, which increases the possibility of peptic ulcers forming. Also, NSAIDs, such as aspirin, reduce a substance that protects the stomach called prostaglandin. These drugs used in a short period are not typically dangerous. However, regular use can lead to gastritis. Chronic Chronic gastritis refers to a wide range of problems of the gastric tissues. The immune system makes proteins and antibodies that fight infections in the body to maintain a homeostatic condition.
In some disorders the body targets the stomach as if it were a foreign protein or pathogen; it makes antibodies against, severely damages, and may even destroy the stomach or its lining. In some cases bile, normally used to aid digestion in the small intestine, will enter through the pyloric valve of the stomach if it has been removed during surgery or does not work properly, also leading to gastritis. Gastritis may also be caused by other medical conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, certain connective tissue disorders, and liver or kidney failure.
Often, a diagnosis can be made based on the patient's description of his or her symptoms, but other methods which may be used to verify gastritis include:
Blood cell count
Presence of H. pylori
Liver, kidney, gallbladder, or pancreas functions
Stool sample, to look for blood in the stool
Endoscopy, to check for stomach lining inflammation and mucous erosion
Stomach biopsy, to test for gastritis and other conditions
Treatement Over-the-counter antacids in liquid or tablet form are a common treatment for mild gastritis.
Antacids neutralize stomach acid and can provide fast pain relief. When antacids do not provide enough relief, medications such as cimetidine, ranitidine, nizatidine orfamotidine that help reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces are often prescribed. An even more effective way to limit stomach acid production is to shut down the acid "pumps" within acid-secreting stomach cells. Proton pump inhibitors reduce acid by blocking the action of these small pumps. This class of medications includes omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, andesomeprazole.
Proton pump inhibitors also appear to inhibit H. pylori activity. Cytoprotective agents are designed to help protect the tissues that line the stomach and small intestine. They include the medications sucralfate and misoprostol. If NSAIDs are being taken regularly, one of these medications to protect the stomach may also be taken. Another cytoprotective agent is bismuth subsalicylate. Many people also drink milk to relieve symptoms, however the high calcium levels actually stimulate release of gastric acid from parietal cells, ultimately worsening symptoms.
In addition to protecting the lining of stomach and intestines, bismuth preparations appear to inhibit H. pylori activity as well. Several regimens are used to treat H. pylori infection. Most use a combination of two antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor. Sometimes bismuth is also added to the regimen. The antibiotic aids in destroying the bacteria, and the acid blocker or proton pump inhibitor relieves pain and nausea, heals inflammation, and may increase the antibiotic's effectiveness.