the stomachs lining gets inflamed, irritated, or eroded in gastritis. It may either happen gradually or suddenly. Excess alcohol consumption, chronic vomiting, anxiety, stress, certain medicines like aspirin can all cause gastritis.
The following may cause gastritis as well:
- H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) - It is a bacteria living in the stomach lining. Without treating it, there may be ulcer formation and in extreme cases stomach cancer.
- Bile reflux - Bile backflow in the stomach through the biliary tract (connecting the gallbladder and liver)
- Bacterial and viral infections
There might be a lot of blood loss and chances of getting stomach cancer increase if gastritis is untreated. A doctor will see your family and your medical history, will do a proper physical evaluation and might ask you to get these tests:
- Upper endoscopy- A narrow tube (endoscope) having a small camera attached to it is sent down to the stomach through the mouth to check the stomach’s lining. The doctor checks for inflammation. Depending on the investigation, they might do a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a small tissue sample to send it for analysis to a clinical laboratory.
- Blood tests- The doctor might do some blood tests like testing the RBC count to see whether there might be anemia. They can also look for pernicious anemia or H. pylori infection.
- Stool test- It is done to check for blood in the stool, to rule out gastritis.
Here are the treatments for gastritis:
- Take antacids and drugs which reduce the stomach’s acid (like proton-pump inhibitors)
- Avoid spicy and hot foods
- For H. pylori induced gastritis, a doctor might prescribe few antibiotics along with an acidity regulator
- For gastritis caused due to pernicious anemia, vitamin B12 shots are given
- Eliminating troublesome foods like gluten and wheat
Gastritis usually goes away after the underlying problem is addressed.
A doctor should be consulted prior to starting gastritis treatment or stopping medicines.
Gastritis is usually curable if no other complications are there and treatment starts and is followed through.