Gastritis

Inflammation of the lining of the stomach, due to various conditions that cause the protective mechanisms to be overwhelmed, damaging the stomach lining.

Causes:

  • Bacterial Infection - Helicobactor Pylori (leading cause)
  • Regular use or overuse of pain relievers such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen, or nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Cocaine use
  • Stress - Major surgery, traumatic injury, burns, or severe infections
  • Autoimmune disorder - Pernicious anemia
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Radiation and chemotherapy
  • Bile reflux disease
  • Other factors: HIV/AIDS, parasitic infections, connective tissue disorders, liver or kidney failure

Signs And Symptoms:

  • A gnawing or burning ache or pain (indigestion) in your upper abdomen that may become either worse or better when you eat • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Belching or bloating
  • A feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen after eating. May occur after only a few bites of food
  • Weight loss

Acute Gastritis: Occurs suddenly with a combination of nausea and burning pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.

Chronic Gastritis: Develops gradually with a dull pain and a feeling of fullness or loss of appetite. It may cause no problems.

Gastritis may cause stomach bleeding: Vomiting blood or passing black, tarry stools, requires immediate medical care.

When Should You Seek Medical Advice?

If you experience signs and symptoms of gastritis consistently for a week or longer. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience stomach problems after taking any prescription or over the counter medication, especially aspirin or other pain relievers.

Risk Factors

  • Regular use of aspirin or other NSAIDS
  • Race: Increase risk due to Helicobactor Pylori Infection in African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics.
  • Autoimmune gastritis: Increased in African Americans and people of Northern European descent.
  • Age: Adults over 60 years of age

When Should You Seek Medical Advice?

If you experience signs and symptoms of gastritis consistently for a week or longer. Be sure to tell your doctor if you experience stomach problems after taking any prescription or over the counter medication, especially aspirin or other pain relievers.

Diagnosis: Medical history

Blood tests: For anemia and various other tests

Testing for Helicobactor Pylori

  • Breath Test
  • Stool Test
  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (EGD) - Biopsy gold standard for H. Pylori
  • Upper gastrointestinal X-ray with barium

Treatment:

  • Medications to treat stomach acid: Antacids, Acid blockers, Proton Pump Inhibitors, Pepto-Bismal
  • Medications to treat H. Pylori: Combination of at least two antibiotics and a Proton pump inhibitor.

Complications:

  • Acute GI bleeding
  • Stomach cancer- Adenocarcinoma
  • Lymphoma - MALT Lymphoma - A low-grade malignancy