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What Is Gastritis?
Gastritis is a term that generally describes the inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach. Gastritis or stomach inflammation can increase the risk of stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, or stomach cancer. The two main types of stomach inflammation are erosive gastritis or nonerosive gastritis. Erosive gastritis erodes the lining of the stomach while nonerosive gastritis changes the lining of the stomach.
Gastritis can come about suddenly (acute gastritis) or occur gradually over time (chronic gastritis). In most cases, gastritis does not cause serious complications and improves quickly with treatment.
What Causes Gastritis?
Gastritis primarily occurs when damage is done to the mucus barrier that protects your stomach, and the digestive damages are able to inflame the stomach lining. Gastritis or chronic stomach inflammation can be caused by:
- Alcohol abuse
- Chronic/Extreme stress
- Overuse of aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen
- Bacteria – such as H. pylori
- Bile reflux from the liver or gallbladder
- Infections from bacteria or viruses
- Eating spicy foods
- Eating fatty or fried foods
- Eating very salty foods
- Eating acidic foods like tomatoes and some fruits
- Drinking too many caffeinated drinks
Patients with certain health conditions also have a greater risk of developing gastritis. These include:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Respiratory failure
Use of certain medications can also contribute to the development of gastritis. These medications include:
- Pain relievers (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
- Chemotherapy drugs
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Gastritis?
The main symptoms of gastritis or stomach inflammation include:
- Blood in vomit
- Sharp abdominal pain
- Burning feeling in stomach between meals or at night
- Black or tarry stools
If you are experiencing any or a combination of these symptoms please contact your nearest gastroenterologist.
What Are The Treatments For Gastritis?
Treatment for gastritis varies from person to person, depending on the cause. The most common treatments for gastritis include:
- Avoiding hot or spicy foods
- Over the counter or prescription-strength antacids
- B12 vitamin shots (pernicious anemia)
- Eliminating certain foods from your diet like dairy or gluten.