What is gastritis?

When we talk about gastritis we refer to a group of diseases that share a common factor: inflammation of the stomach lining.

This inflammation is usually caused by the same bacterial infection that causes most stomach ulcers. A distinction can be made between two types of gastritis:

  • Acute gastritis: when it occurs suddenly.
  • Chronic gastritis: when it occurs gradually.

Prognosis of the disease

Generally speaking, gastritis is a mild pathology for patients and improves rapidly if treated properly.

In fewer cases, gastritis can cause ulcers and lead to an increased risk of stomach cancer.

Symptoms of gastritis

Gastritis does not always have identifiable signs. In other cases it can produce a series of symptoms in which we find:

  • Discomfort in the upper abdomen, in the form of stabbing or burning pain (indigestion). These symptoms may be lessened or aggravated by eating.
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • A feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating.

Gastritis may cause discomfort in the upper abdomen.

Medical tests for gastritis

Some of the tests needed may include:

  • Complete blood count. This can rule out anemia.
  • Helicobacter pylori test.
  • X-ray of the upper digestive tract.
  • Stomach test with endoscope or biopsy of the lining.
  • Stool examination, to detect possible gastrointestinal bleeding.

What are the causes of gastritis?

The most common causes of gastritis are:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Infection in the stomach by bacteria (Helicobacter pylori).
  • Certain medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen and other similar drugs.
  • It can also appear as a result of trauma, serious illness or renal insufficiency.
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Other less frequent causes may be autoimmune disorders, severe stress, ingestion of corrosive substances, bile reflux into the stomach, etc.

Can it be prevented?

Several measures can be taken to prevent stomach irritation:

  • Avoid acetylsalicylic acid.
  • Control the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Do not consume alcohol in excess.
  • Avoid irritating foods, such as spicy, fried, acidic or garasseous foods.

Treatments for gastritis

The treatment against the pathology will depend on the specific cause. If the gastritis is acute and caused by the intake of anti-inflammatory drugs or alcohol, it may be sufficient to avoid these substances.

When H. pylori is present, treatment is usually based on antibiotics for one or two weeks. In other cases, specialists may recommend the use of medications to block acid production and facilitate healing, as well as antacids that neutralize stomach acid.

The specialist can recommend a series of foods that do not generate any damage in the stomach to patients suffering from gastritis such as: pasta, rice, cooked vegetables, fish, white bread or lean meats.

What specialist treats it?

Gastritis should be treated by a specialist in Gastroenterology or Digestive System. You can find the specialist who best suits your needs in the Top Doctors medical directory.