Gastritis is an inflammation and injury of the stomach lining. It is a painful condition and also called dyspepsia. It can occur suddenly (acute) or gradually (chronic). Acute gastritis is more common and lasts for a short duration.
Causes of Gastritis
Gastritis can be caused by:
- Helicobacter pylori: A bacteria that lives in the mucous lining of the stomach. Without treatment, the infection can lead to ulcers and, rarely, stomach cancer.
- Medications: Medications like aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen
- Pernicious anemia: A form of anemia that occurs when the stomach lacks a naturally occurring substance that is needed to properly absorb and digest vitamin B12
- Excessive alcohol use
- Bile reflux: A backflow of bile (a liquid that is secreted by the liver and helps with digestion) into the stomach
- Infections caused by bacteria and viruses
- Autoimmune disorders
Symptoms of Gastritis
These can vary but the most common symptoms include:
- Upper abdominal pain (burning, aching, gnawing or soreness)
- Abdominal bloating and fullness
- Frequent belching
Based on medical history and physical exam, the following tests can be done to diagnose gastritis
- Upper GI Series. Abdominal X-ray with contrast to evaluate the stomach
- Endoscopy. Procedure using a thin fiber optic tube with a camera to look at the stomach lining and take a biopsy if needed.
- Blood test. To check for Helicobacter pylori or anemia
- Stool test. To check for Helicobacter pylori or blood in your stool
- Antacids, H-2-receptor blockers, and Proton pump inhibitors: Treatment for gastritis usually involves taking antacids and other drugs like H-2-receptor blockers and dose proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid. These medications will help relieve symptoms and promote healing.
- Avoiding (NSAIDs)
- Antibiotics. For gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori, antibiotics are used.