What is Gastritis?
Gastritis is a condition where infections and conditions cause inflammation in the lining of your stomach. The stomach lining becomes inflamed or swollen and can have a variety of warning symptoms.
- A burning or gnawing feeling in the stomach
- Feeling full or bloated after eating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Upper abdominal pain or discomfort
Causes of Gastritis:
- Infection from bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori (H, pylori)
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Frequent use of pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
- Long-term use of medications for acid reflux and indigestion
- Chronic stress
- Autoimmune disorders
- Cocaine use
- Recurring bile reflux from the small intestine
- Diets high in fat and oil, especially saturated and trans fat
- Age – Your stomach lining thins as you age, making you more vulnerable to inflammatory infections
Diagnosis of Gastritis
If you are experiencing symptoms of gastritis for more than a week, you should seek help from one of the doctors at Digestive Care Physicians in Cumming, Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, or Johns Creek, GA. It could be possible that you are having internal bleeding if you experience dizziness, unexplained weakness, plaeness, black, tarring stools, red, fresh-looking blood in the stool, red blood in vomit or vomiting blood.
One of the gastroenterologists at Digestive Care Physicians can use a wide range of tests and tools to give you an accurate diagnosis of your condition:
- Medical History
- Physical exam
- Stool tests
- Endoscopy where a camera or tube is put down the throat into the stomach
- Blood tests
- Urea breath test to check for H. pylori infections
Most gastritis medications focus on reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. Common acid reducing medications include:
- Antacids. Antacids typically contain magnesium, calcium, sodium, or aluminum salts that can help neutralize stomach acids. Antacids can sometimes cause constipation or diarrhea and other side effects.
- Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). These reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces. People can buy low-strength versions of lansoprazole and omeprazole over the counter, but most PPIs are only available on prescription.
- H2 blockers. H2 blockers are antihistamines that can help reduce stomach acid production. Most types of H2 blockers are available in both over-the-counter and prescription strengths.
Regardless of the cause or severity of symptoms, making dietary and lifestyle changes may help treat or reduce the symptoms.
- Avoid or reduce alcohol consumption
- Avoid spicy foods
- Avoid rich, oily, or fried foods
- Avoid acidic foods, especially citrus fruits and juices
- Eat smaller meals but more frequently
- Reduce salt consumption
- Eat less red meat
- quitting smoking
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated
- Manage stress
Chronic gastritis can cause pain and discomfort and lead to serious complications if left untreated. People should seek help from one of our board certified gastroenterologists at Digestive Care Physicians if they have symptoms of chronic gastritis. They have 4 locations north of Atlanta in Cumming, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, and Lawrenceville, GA.