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Gastritis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More

 Gastritis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More

Gastritis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More

Author’s Bio: Dharshini Senthilkumar is an incoming college freshman majoring in biology. She is interested in the medical sciences and hopes to provide awareness on serious medical conditions.

Gastritis is the inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining, also called mucosa. It can occur short term or for many years at a time. Oftentimes, people use indigestion and gastritis interchangeably; however, indigestion and an upset stomach are both normal now and then, but a diagnosis of gastritis means that tests revealed marked stomach inflammation or persistent gastritis symptoms.

As previously stated, Gastritis can be chronic and occur over long periods of time, or it can be acute and sudden. Some types are erosive and can cause shallow breaks or ulcers; other types are non-erosive.

One type is caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) which is a bacterium that lives in the stomach lining. This type of gastritis is chronic, meaning it happens over time, and is the leading cause of peptic ulcer disease. If this type of gastritis is gone without treatment, it can lead to an increased chance of developing stomach cancer.

Another type of gastritis is Autoimmune Gastritis. This type occurs when the immune system attacks its own healthy cells and breaks down the stomach lining. This type is also chronic and typically non-erosive.

Reactive gastropathy is a type of gastropathy which is where the stomach lining is already damaged, but little to no inflammation has occurred. Reactive gastropathy occurs when the stomach lining is exposed to an irritant for a long period of time. This type of gastropathy is chronic and can be erosive.
H.pylori infection and gastritis is most common in the older generations in comparison to the younger population. H. pylori infection has become less common in the United States over time, presenting in about 10-15 percent of U.S children younger than 12 and in about 50-60 percent of U.S adults that are 60+.

Autoimmune gastritis is more common in people that also suffer other autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes, Addison’s disease, and autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto’s disease.

Reactive gastropathy is more common in older people than in the younger generations and also common in those who use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Gastritis is caused by irritation possibly caused by excessive alcohol use, chronic vomiting, stress, or certain medications. Each type of gastritis has different causes.
  •     H. Pylori gastritis is caused by infection with H. Pylori bacteria. Infection may occur when one comes into contact with an infected person’s vomit, stool, or saliva.
  •     Autoimmune gastritis is caused by the immune system attacking healthy stomach lining cells.
  •     Reactive gastropathy is most commonly caused by irritants like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol, and bile. NSAIDs are the most common non-infectious cause of peptic ulcers and can also cause life-threatening bleeding or perforation of the stomach or small intestine.

Another cause may be bile reflux which is when there is a backflow of bile into the stomach from the bile tract. Other causes may include:
  •     Celiac disease
  •     Chemotherapy
  •     Diseases that cause inflammation in the digestive tract like Crohn’s Disease or sarcoidosis
  •     Food allergies
  •     Infections with viruses, parasites, and fungi

If left untreated, gastritis can lead to excessive blood loss and higher chance of developing stomach cancer.

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Symptoms may vary from person to person or may not occur at all. However, the most common symptoms are:

  •     Nausea or recurrent upset stomach
  •     Excessive abdominal bloating
  •     Abdominal pain
  •     Indigestion
  •     Vomiting with or without blood
  •     Hiccups
  •     Loss of appetite
  •     Black or tarry stool
  •     Burning or gnawing in the chest area after meals
There is acute gastritis which comes on suddenly and lasts for short periods of time. The symptoms are severe and may come and go based on lifestyle choices

There is also chronic gastritis which develops gradually and causes long-term complications. This type of gastritis thins the stomach lining and gradually increases the inflammatory cells which increases the  likelihood of developing stomach cancer.

However, if the gastritis is diagnosed and treated properly, most people’s condition improves quickly.
  •     Peptic ulcers- these are sores on the stomach lining or the duodenum.
  •     Anemia- Many types of gastritis can lead to problems with iron absorption, leading to iron-deficiency anemia. Autoimmune gastritis can cause problems with absorbing B12 which may lead to less healthy red blood cells, leading to pernicious anemia.
  •     Atrophic gastritis is another type that is chronic and causes a gradual loss of gastric glandular cells. These cells are replaced with intestinal and fibrous tissues. This replacement can lead to malabsorption and increase risk for nutrient deficiencies. Patients with atrophic gastritis often develop gastric acid output and hypergastrinemia- which can trigger anemia or tumor growth.
  •     Stomach cancer- both chronic H. pylori gastritis and autoimmune gastritis can increase chances of developing growths on your stomach lining. Growths may be benign or cancerous
 
  •     Taking antacids and other drugs to reduce stomach acid is recommended
  •     For H. pylori gastritis, physicians will prescribe antibiotics which will fight the bacterial infection. Along with the antibiotic, an acid blocking drug (used for heartburn) will be given.
  •     If the gastritis is caused by pernicious anemia, B12 shots will be given.
  •     Once the underlying issue is removed from the diet, like spicy or irritating foods, the gastritis usually does too.
  •  Avoid heavily processed foods and replace them with fresh foods.
  •     Avoid sugary drinks and stick to the 8 glasses of water a day.
  •     Eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than 1-2 large meals a day.
  •     Never skip breakfast and try to finish your last meal a minimum of 3 hours before going to bed.
  •     Consume better nutrients to ensure your well-being.Having a healthy diet and being at a healthy weight will significantly lower your risk of developing gastritis.
  •     Eliminate or reduce the usage of over-the-counter drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. These drugs change how your body produces enzymes that help build the stomach lining.
  •     Managing stress and exercising can help decrease inflammation.

Book an Appointment

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 1

Call or Book your online Doctor Visit

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 2

Talk to a doctor over the Phone/ Tablet

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 3

If needed pick up your medication at the pharmacy

Online Doctor Consultation For Gastritis

If you or someone in your family have concerns about gastritis, please contact  and seek help from our doctors online.

At Home Urgent Care provides telehealth services so you can safely and confidently keep your health in check with our primary and urgent care services and get treatment online.

Book an online doctor appointment today with our health care experts available at your convenience 365 days a year and get your prescription/medication available online.

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