Gastritis

gastritis ulcers

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of gastritis

Health and hygiene are two primary factors that determine the quality of life of an individual. Any deviation from the rules of a healthy and hygienic life can create a huge socio-economic impact.Digestive disorders are the primary threats to healthy living and can disrupt the normal body functions. Gastritis is considered as the most severe forms of digestive disorder that can cripple an individual within a short time. Gastric disorder cases are steadily rising due to increased negligence on the part of individuals to maintain a balanced, healthy and hygienic lifestyle.

Studies by World Health Organization (WHO) show that gastric infection rate of adults exceeds 90% in low-income and underdeveloped countries. A holistic approach is necessary to eliminate the root causes of gastritis and help the patients maintain better standards of living.

What is gastritis?

Gastritis is the inflammation and corrosion of the inner lining of the stomach called mucosa as a result of an immune response to infection or external injury.

It is accompanied by excessive pain in the upper abdomen.

In this condition, less acid (gastric juice) and enzymes (pepsin) are produced, which leads to incomplete breakdown and digestion of food.

Also, due to decreased secretion of mucous, the stomach lining becomes damaged by the acidic digestive juice, which causes inflammation of stomach lining.Gastritis has become a very common occurrence these days and requires immediate attention.

What causes gastritis?

The main causative agent of gastritis is the Helicobacter pylori bacteria, that triggers acute infection conditions and inflammation of the stomach lining. The generalized causes of gastritis are as follows:

  • Severe damage to the stomach lining, which leads to reactive gastritis (immune response to bacterial infection)
  • Contamination through food items or water
  • Few medications like NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen that cause damage to stomach lining.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine
  • Prolonged and unprotected exposure to radiation (during radiotherapy, chemotherapy)
  • Bile reflux from small intestine to stomach (in case of patients who had part of their stomachs surgically removed)
  • Trauma caused by external injuries, chronic illnesses, critical surgeries or severe burns. This is usually called stress gastritis.
  • Crohn’s disease which causes inflammation of any region of the gastrointestinal system.
  • Abnormal formation tissue clusters causing inflammation of inner linings of organs (patients suffering from sarcoidosis)
  • Allergy triggered by food items like cow milk, soy (mainly in children)
  • Excessive tobacco intake through smoking causes irritation of stomach linings
  • Repeated consumption of spicy and greasy food
  • Excessive stress (mental and physical) that leads to disturbed secretion of digestive juices.
  • Accidental consumption of acid or alkali
  • Non-bacterial pathogens like Cytomegalovirus, Histoplasma capsulatum (fungal), Cryptosporidium (parasitic)

What are the signs and symptoms?

gastritis bacteria H pyloriThe symptoms of gastritis are easily identifiable. But in minor cases they are mostly overlooked, and give rise to severe complications (mostly ulcers) in future. The major and minor symptoms of gastritis are described below:

  • Persistent burning pain in the upper abdomen (usually after consumption of certain food items)
  • Feeling of gas formation in stomach
  • Mild pain in the chest (occasional) causing breathlessness
  • Nausea and vomiting (with blood)
  • Extreme fatigue and dizziness
  • Pale complexion
  • Blood in stool (indicates bleeding of stomach lining) or discoloured stool (turns blackish)
  • Frequent hiccups
  • Repeated belching and irritation of throat due to release of excess acidic juice
  • Diarrhoea (occasional)
  • Loss of appetite

Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, immediate diagnosis should be carried out to avoid future complications.

Can it take different forms?

Based on the cause or nature of occurrence, gastritis can be broadly classified into two types-

  • Acute: It initiates as sudden spasm in the gastrointestinal tract and is of short duration.
  • Chronic: It relapses within short time gaps and is of permanent nature if not diagnosed. It can of three types – (i) Autoimmune gastritis (ii) Helicobacter pylori gastritis and (iii) Chemical gastritis

Based on the severity, this disorder can be classified into two types:

  • Erosive type: It causes wear and tear of stomach linings and can lead to deep sores or ulcers within the stomach
  • Non-erosive type: Inflammation of stomach lining occurs without formation of ulcers.

There are few other forms of gastritis which are elaborated below:

  • Iatrogenic type: It causes erosion of mucous layer and formation of brown pigments.
  • Autoimmune type: It occurs due to parietal cell damage
  • Granulomatous type: It occurs due to bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections
  • Lymphocytic type: It is characterized by increased number of T lymphocytes along the surface epithelium
  • Collagenous type: It is characterized by deposition of collagen bands on the sub-epithelial layer
  • Eosinophilic type: It is characterized by connective tissue diseases caused by parasitic infections (due to infiltration of excess eosinophil across gastric epithelium)

What are the long-term implications?

Gastritis does not limit itself to minor signs and symptoms. If left undiagnosed, these symptoms will grow and take the form of the following chronic disorders:

  • Peptic ulcers (on stomach and duodenum)
  • Anaemia (due to bleeding of stomach wall)
  • Atrophic gastritis ( loss of stomach lining and glands due to acute inflammation)
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anaemia (due to auto-immune attacks)
  • Tumour-like growths (often malignant) on the stomach lining (might lead to lymphoma, duodenal ulcer or carcinoma).

Treatment and Prevention

Since the inflammation of the stomach’s lining is mainly caused by the action of H.

Pylori bacteria, foods that contain adequate fiber and flavonoids will help in reducing the growth of the said bacteria.

Such diet includes onions, garlic, soy products, broccoli, legumes, and ginger.

Whole grains such as brown rice, eggs, nuts, and olive oil can be consumed safely.

A person suffering from gastritis must refrain from smoking and drinking.

Limit the use of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and painkillers if you have gastritis. Also, it is important to drink adequate amount of water every day and control stress.

Sugary foods, junk food, oily and deep-fried items, and carbonated drinks also tend to exacerbate the gastritis condition. Antacids might be consumed to get relief from acidity.

Prevention of gastritis can be effectively done by two things – refraining from drinking and smoking, and limiting on the consumption of NSAIDs and painkillers. Sometimes, certain types of toxic compounds if ingested can also cause gastritis.

Gastritis can be prevented on a global scale by following proper hygiene conditions like consumption of properly washed food and disinfected water, living in a clean environment etc. According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports, nearly 5,00,000 to 8,50,000 cases of peptic ulcer cases are reported globally.

Facts

  • More than 80% of gastritis cases are caused by the bacteria H.pylori.
  • Gastritis is often confused with upper abdomen discomfort and is often associated with the occurrence of peptic ulcers.

Facts

  • 1 out of every 100 Americans suffers from gastritis issues.
  • In extreme cases, gastritis causes gradual erosion of gastric lining of the digestive tract leading to gastric cancer.

Facts

  • Acute gastritis (phlegmonous), which is characterized by bleeding through gastric lining, can cause death in more than 60% of the patients.
  • Breathlessness, blood in vomit, black-coloured stools, and paleness are the classic signs of erosive gastritis.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Capsaicin can protect the inner gastric lining from the action of NSAIDs. It is actively found in chillies.
  • Similarly, foods rich in vitamin A, amino acids, anti-oxidants, and vitamin C are beneficial for individuals suffering from gastritis.
  • Many herbal and natural remedies can also be used to alleviate the symptoms. Chamomile, liquorice, and goldenseal are effective against the action of H.pylori bacteria.
Don'ts
  • Use NSAIDs to treat the pain or infection.
  • Eat food items that have high fat content or are deep-fried.
  • Consume alcohol, tea, coffee, and other foods that increase the acidic content of the stomach.

 

 

 

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BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Vagus nerve: 7 health benefits of stimulating the “gut-brain” connection As a matter of fact, there are two vagus nerves namely the left and the right but is…
liver cleanse detox
14 go-to foods that are best for a complete natural liver detox Liver cleanse can be achieved by just choosing or avoiding certain types of food. Liver itself is a detoxifying…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
Vitamin-D-blood-test
25-Hydroxy Vitamin D test 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test is a blood test used to measure the level of vitamin D in the…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
Strep throat pain
Anti-Streptolysin-O Test The ASO or Anti-Streptolysin-O is a blood test designed to check for the presence of streptococcus bacterial infection…
Unbelievable health benefits of gooseberries (and a few tasty recipes) Gooseberries are antioxidant-rich tasty fruits that can be easily added in daily diet to improve overall health and…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
Oil of Oregano: The one-stop essential oil you’ve been looking for Are you plagued by a weak immune system? High body inflammation accompanied by pain and infections? Why not…
Valerian Root: The best way to achieve tranquil sleep every night Valerian root is probably one of the oldest and safest way to cure your insomnia. Find out how…
Did you know drinking alkaline water could be the healthier choice for you? Ever wondered how safe is your drinking water in terms of pH? Recent studies have revealed that Alkaline…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
free psa test
Free PSA Test The free PSA test is used to detect the level or percentage of free PSA in the body…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
DHEA wrinkles
DHEA: Now get unbelievable age defiance with this wonder hormone! DHEA is known popularly as the age-defying hormone. This supplement is widely used to slow down aging and…
How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
asab antisperm antibody test
Antisperm Antibody Test The ASAB or anti-sperm antibody test is a blood/semen test that analyzes the level of sperm-killing antibody protein…
AHBC Igm
Anti-Hepatitis B Core Antigen (AHBc) IgM Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (AHBC) IgM is an investigative procedure to detect the presence of IgM antibodies in…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…