Introduction of gastritis:
The stomach (belly) is covered by protective linings. When these protective linings catch an inflammation, termed gastritis. Gastritis has its own two types. Acute gastritis and chronic gastritis. Acute gastritis is a sudden and somewhat severe type of inflammation of the stomach, while chronic gastritis refers to a long-term inflammation that may persist for several years If it remained untreated.
Symptoms of gastritis:
The most familiar symptoms of gastritis are.
- A blackish tarry stool
- Blood-containing vomiting (also called hemoptysis)
- Coffee grounds like vomiting
Causes of gastritis:
When the stomach lining gets weak, it indirectly allows the gastric or digestive juices (gastric juices are always acidic) to inflame and damage themselves. which leads to gastritis. Hence when stomach linings got damaged, it puts forward the risk of gastritis. You may develop gastritis from a bacterial infection, a gastrointestinal bacteria called H. Pylori ( a bacteria that infects the stomach lining).
The H. Pylori infection can be transmitted through infected water and food. Apart from these causes, other factors can also be responsible for gastritis. They may include:
- Excess use of caffeine
- Frequent use of NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen
- Old age ( gastric linings get thinning as age increases)
- Consumption of tobacco
Diagnosis of gastritis:
A thorough physical examination will be performed by your healthcare provider. He may take your full history and will ask you some leading questions regarding your symptoms. Your doctor tor may also you for a breath test, some blood tests, and a stool examination. ( for detection of the presence of H. Pylori bacteria in a given stool sample).
This test is performed for the detection of the presence of H. Pylori bacteria. For this purpose, your doctor will ask you to swallow a capsule of urea, if your breath contains molecules of carbon dioxide, then he confirms H. Pylori bacterial infection.
A blood test is performed for checking out the causes of gastritis related to signs and symptoms
It is an important test for gastritis. This test helps to direct find out H. Pylori bacteria. And it may also help to detect blood in the stool. This further illustrates that there may be internal bleeding going on inside the stomach.
Barium, meal test:
For this test to get performed, your radiologist asks you to swallow a barium solution. Then they take out an x-ray of your entire digestive tract. This test will identify the exact area of concern.
Gastrointestinal endoscopy is performed for the visualisation of the whole food canal I.e. esophagus, duodenum, and stomach. ( to rule out real inflammation). Then in the further procedure, your doctor will collect a small sample of the stomach lining and a biopsy get performed on the collected sample, to rule out any unusual conditions.
Complications of gastritis:
If gastritis remained untreated, or you are taking only symptomatic treatment for gastritis, then it may lead to more severe complications. Some types of gastritis may transfer into stomach cancer if remained untreated. Following are some complications of gastritis
- Vitamin deficiencies such as vitamin b12, folic acid, vitamin d, calcium, zinc, and magnesium
- Perforation in the stomach
- Internal bleeding inside the stomach
- Achlorhydria is a condition in which the acid ( essential for food digestion ) is stopped production by the stomach.
- Gastric dysplasia and metaplasia (pre-cancerous lesions) might develop inside the stomach.
- Gastric Cancer (adenocarcinoma), MALT lymphoma (mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues) NET ( neuroendocrine tumors).
Prevention of gastritis:
Gastritis can be prevented by following some good eating habits, such as
- Regular and Frequent Hand washing and maintaining decent hygiene.
- By avoiding fried, sugary, salty, and spicy foods.
- By taking small food bites.
- By quitting smoking.
- By limiting caffeine and alcohol.
Treatment of gastritis:
Treatment of stomach inflammation mainly depends on the cause factor.
7.1 NSAID-related symptoms:
These symptoms can be treated by just stopping or avoiding these drugs.
7.2 antacids: ( proton pump inhibitors) such as,
7.3 Histamine H2 receptor antagonists: such as lamotrigine.
7.4 probiotics: Probiotics are well-known to help in the maintenance of flora or good bacteria in the digestive tract, which further helps in the rapid healing of gastric ulcers.