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Gastritis : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Gastritis comes from two words, “gastro" referring to the stomach and “itis" a suffix usually used in medical conditions meaning inflammation. Simply put, gastritis is a medical condition wherein the stomach is inflamed. The areas affected by this medical condition are the linings of the stomach. Gastritis can be classified into chronic or long term, and acute or sudden in onset.

Causes of Gastritis:

  • Bacterial Infections. Helicobacter pylori are commonly found in the stomach, when left untreated and H. pylori reaches great numbers they can stimulate gastric acid secretion leading to ulcers. When there are prolonged increases in gastric acid secretion, they break down the lining of the stomach causing gastritis.
  • Medications. Some drugs have negative effects on the body. Aspirin, NSAIDs and steroids if taken for long periods can cause gastritis.
  • Alcohol. Drinking large amounts of alcohol regularly damages the linings of the stomach. Alcohol can act as a corrosive which irritates and damages the inner linings of the stomach.
  • Symptoms of Gastritis

    Gastric symptoms depend on how long it has been present. Gastritis is often asymptomatic or does not show any symptoms. Symptoms associated with acute gastritis are pain felt in the upper abdomen, nausea and vomiting. Chronic gastritis symptoms include dull pain, loss of appetite and a feeling of fullness after light meals.

    • Nausea
    • vomiting
    • Pain in the abdominal area
    • Belching
    • Feeling of fullness
    • Loss of appetite
    • Fever
    • Stomach cramping
    • Indigestion

    Treating Gastritis

    The main goal for treating gastritis is to eliminate the underlying causes of the disease. It is recommended for patients suffering from acute gastritis to refrain from alcohol and eating until symptoms subside. For patients suffering from chronic or long term gastritis; diet modification, rest, stress reduction and drug therapy are the major means of treatment.

    Maintaining a proper diet is very important for patients suffering from gastritis. The stomach is a very important organ in the human digestive system. The body needs energy and nutrients in order to function properly.

    Prognosis for patients suffering from gastritis is good. Gastritis is often asymptomatic and cases of acute gastritis are common and disappear with simple management. Chronic gastritis, however, when left untreated leads to life-threatening complications and medical attention should be consulted immediately.

    Written by Ronald Uy, RN

    © 2009 Hemorrhoid Infotmation Center

    Sources:

    Gastritis. Retrieved Sept 25, 2009 from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC): http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov

    Gastritis. Retrieved Sept 25, 2009 from eMedicineHealth: http://www.emedicinehealth.com

    Gastritis. Retrieved Sept 25, 2009 from Jackson/ Siegelbaum Gastroenterology: http://www.gicare.com

    Gastritis. Retrieved Sept 25, 2009 from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com

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