Gastritis Causes and Symptoms
Gastritis is a general term for a group of disorders that have one thing in common: inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The inflammation of gastritis is usually the result of infection with the same bacteria that cause most stomach ulcers or regular use of certain pain relievers. Excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to gastritis.
Gastritis Causes and Symptoms
Gastritis Symptoms – The signs and symptoms of gastritis include:
- Aching or burning pain (indigestion) in the upper abdomen that gets worse or better with eating
- Feeling stuffed after eating
- Gastritis might not always show signs and symptoms
Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Weaknesses or injuries in the mucosal barrier that protects the stomach lining leading to digestive juices damaging and inflaming the stomach lining. Several diseases and conditions can increase the risk of gastritis, including inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s disease.
The factors that increase the risk of gastritis include
Bacterial infection. Although infection with Helicobacter pylori is a very common human infection worldwide, only a few people with the infection develop gastritis or other gastrointestinal disorders.
Doctors believe that susceptibility to the bacteria can be inherited or caused by lifestyle choices such as smoking and diet.
Taking painkillers regularly
Pain relievers commonly known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, AnaproxDS), can cause acute gastritis and chronic gastritis. Regular use of these painkillers or taking too many of these medications can deplete an important compound that helps maintain the protective lining of the stomach.
Older adults are at higher risk of gastritis because the lining of the stomach thins with age and older adults are more likely to have H. pylori infection or autoimmune diseases than younger people.
Excessive consumption of alcohol
Alcohol can irritate and erode the lining of the stomach, making the stomach more susceptible to digestive juices.
Severe stress from major surgery, injury, burns, or serious infection can cause acute gastritis.
Chemotherapy, drugs, or radiation therapy can also increase the risk of gastritis.
When your own body attacks the cells in your stomach
This type of gastritis is called autoimmune gastritis and occurs when your body attacks the cells that make up the lining of your stomach. This reaction can weaken your stomach’s protective barrier. Autoimmune gastritis is more common in people with other autoimmune conditions, such as Hashimoto’s disease and type 1 diabetes. Autoimmune gastritis can also be associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Other diseases and conditions
Gastritis can be associated with other conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, sarcoidosis, and parasitic infections.
Gastritis, if not treated, can lead to stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding. In rare cases, some forms of chronic gastritis may increase your risk of STOMACH CANCER, particularly if you have severe thinning of the lining of the stomach and changes in the cells lining the stomach.
When to see a doctor
Almost everyone has had an episode of indigestion and upset stomach at some point. Most cases of indigestion are short-lived and do not require medical attention. Contact your doctor if you have signs and symptoms of gastritis for a week or more.
See a doctor right away if you experience severe pain, vomiting, loose motions, or feel light-headed or dizzy.
Tell your doctor if your upset stomach occurs after taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, especially aspirin or other pain relievers.
If you vomit blood, have blood in your stools, or have stools that are black, see your doctor immediately to determine the cause.