GastroIntestinal / Gastroenterology Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses Nutrition / Diet

Gastritis: What are the available treatments?

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach’s lining that affects the digestive system. There are a variety of factors that might contribute to it, but medications, dietary modifications, and other interventions can help.

Gastritis can manifest itself unexpectedly, generating obvious symptoms that may disappear quickly if the condition is left untreated. Chronic gastritis, on the other hand, may go unnoticed for long periods of time. It can potentially lead to issues in the long run if left unattended.

The germs Helicobacter pylori are the most common causes of gastritis in the world. In other circumstances, inflammation is caused by irritation, which can occur as a result of the consumption of alcoholic beverages or the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example.

Chronic gastritis is a frequent medical condition. In fact, according to some estimates, more than half of the world’s population has it to some degree. This is a significant public health concern because the illness has been connected to consequences such as stomach ulcers and stomach cancer in the past.

This post examines the symptoms, causes, and treatments related to gastritis, as well as advice on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid in order to alleviate the discomfort associated with the condition.

Causes

inflammation of the stomach

Some probable causes of gastritis may include the following.

H. pylori bacteria

Most typically, gastritis is related to H. pylori bacteria. Around 35 percent of people in the U.S. have these bacteria in their body.

Irritating compounds

Reactive gastritis, which is induced by irritants, is also relatively prevalent. It affects roughly 15 percent of people Trusted Source in the U.S.

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil) and certain other common pain treatment medicines can induce stomach irritation and gastritis. NSAIDs are the most common cause of stomach ulcers.

Some other irritants that may be responsible for this condition include alcohol and bile.

Autoimmune conditions

Autoimmune diseases can cause to gastritis. For example, in persons with autoimmune atrophic gastritis, the immune system assaults the stomach lining.

Damage to the stomach

Physical trauma or injury to the stomach lining can also lead to gastritis.

For example, a person who has undergone surgery to remove part of their stomach may develop postgastrectomy gastritis, which causes the lining to deteriorate.

The mechanisms behind this condition are still unclear, although postgastrectomy gastritis may come from increased acid reflux, reactions from the vagal nerve, or a reduction in the number of acids generated by hormones.

Other factors

Dietary factors do not normally induce gastritis, however food allergies and celiac disease can contribute to it.

Some kinds of gastritis that result from other conditions include:

  • Ménétrier disease: This is rare. It involves the development of thick folds and cysts on the stomach wall.
  • Infectious gastritis not caused by H. pylori: People who have immunological problems or other long-term disorders are more susceptible to getting gastritis from viruses and fungi.
  • Eosinophilic gastritis: This can result from an allergic reaction.
  • Radiation gastritis: When the abdomen has exposure to radiation, it can irritate the stomach lining.

Symptoms

Some people with gastritis have no symptoms at all, while others have severe symptoms.

Typically, people report a sharp, stabbing, or burning pain in the upper-center or upper-left abdomen. The soreness often radiates to the back.

Other typical symptoms include bloating and nausea. Vomiting caused by gastritis might be clear, yellow, or green in color.

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of severe gastritis:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • vomit that contains blood
  • severe stomach pain
  • foul-smelling bowel movements

If a person experiences any of the following symptoms, they should seek medical assistance immediately:

  • a rapid heartbeat
  • excessive sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • abdominal pain with a fever
  • vomit that contains blood
  • a large amount of yellow or green vomit
  • black or bloody stool
  • dizziness and fainting

Types

Gastritis occurs when the stomach’s protective lining fails, allowing digestive acids to harm it. This leads to inflammation.

Gastritis can be chronic, developing slowly and continuing for a long time, or acute, starting and vanishing fast.

The disorder can potentially be erosive or nonerosive. Erosive gastritis is severe and causes the stomach lining to wear down. It may come on quickly or build over time. Nonerosive gastritis, on the other hand, induces alterations to the stomach lining rather than a progressive disintegration.

Subtypes exist as well. For example, acute stress gastritis is erosive, and it develops in reaction to changes due to critical sickness.

Risk factors

Some people, notably older adults and individuals with reduced immunological function, are more prone to getting gastritis.

Many health concerns and variables such as smoking might also raise the likelihood of having this illness.

  • Gastritis can be caused by a number of reasons, including:
  • high levels of stress
  • exposure to radiation, either as a treatment option or by contamination
  • swallowing corrosives or foreign objects
  • regular use of prescription steroids, chemotherapypotassium supplements, or iron supplements
  • smoking
  • excessive use of alcohol or cocaine
  • a history of chronic vomiting
  • a vitamin B12 deficiency
  • routine use of NSAIDs
  • bile reflux after stomach surgery
  • an autoimmune condition, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or type 1 diabetes
  • HIV
  • Crohn’s disease

Other illnesses that can raise the risk of gastritis include TB and syphilis.

H. pylori can spread in many different ways. For example, tainted food, drink, or utensils may have a role.

Complications

Chronic gastritis can raise the risk of other gastrointestinal diseases, including stomach ulcers, or peptic ulcers, and bleeding in the stomach.

Certain kinds of gastritis, particularly autoimmune atrophic gastritis and H. pylori gastritis, can impair the body’s ability to absorb iron from the blood. Autoimmune atrophic gastritis can also disrupt vitamin B12 absorption, which might lead to anemia.

In addition, having H. pylori gastritis may marginally raise the risk of developing stomach cancer.

Diagnosis and tests

The following factors can assist a doctor in determining whether or not a patient has gastritis:

  • conducting a physical examination
  • taking the person’s medical history and noting their current symptoms
  • checking for the presence of H. pylori using blood, breath, or stool testing
  • performing endoscopy
  • performing electrocardiography

X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine can sometimes be used to diagnose gastritis. An upper gastrointestinal series or a barium swallow are two terms they might use to describe these X-rays.

The doctor may also request:

  • evaluations of kidney and liver function
  • a test for anemia
  • gallbladder and pancreas function tests
  • pregnancy tests

If these results come back negative, the doctor may recommend an upper endoscopy. To undertake a visual inspection, a thin, flexible, illuminated tube inserted down through the mouth and throat and into the stomach.

Diet

Although diet and nutrition do not usually cause gastritis, it can be exacerbated by alcohol, dietary allergies, and some supplements.

Dietary changes are not a common treatment for gastritis, unless it is caused by celiac disease or food allergies.

However, some people find that consuming certain foods relieves their symptoms, and that doing so may also aid in the removal of H. pylori bacteria from the body.

Foods to eat and avoid

Gastritis can be managed by eating less items that irritate the stomach, such as spicy, acidic, or fried foods, as well as eating smaller, more frequent meals.

Treatment

The appropriate course of action is determined by the origin of the problem and whether it is acute or chronic.

A variety of medications may be used to treat the condition, including:

  • Antibiotics: A single course of antibiotics can often directly treat H. pylori. A doctor may prescribe clarithromycin (Biaxin) and metronidazole (Flagyl).
  • Proton pump inhibitors: Omeprazole (Prilosec) or lansoprazole (Prevacid), for example, can block the production of acid and aid healing.
  • H2 blockers: These drugs, which include famotidine (Pepcid), can decrease acid production.
  • Antacids: These medications can neutralize stomach acid.
  • Coating agents: Sucralfate (Carafate) and misoprostol (Cytotec) can coat and protect the stomach lining.
  • Antinausea medications: 

The best strategy to alleviate gastritis is to combine the proper medications with the required dietary adjustments.

Home remedies

Some people may benefit from natural therapies that they can try at home in addition to making dietary adjustments and using the preceding therapy choices. Probiotics, vitamins, and herbal teas could all be used in this way.

Techniques for reducing stress, such as meditation and yoga, may also be beneficial in alleviating symptoms for some people.

Prevention

Scientists have yet to completely investigate the numerous factors that may contribute to gastritis. Because certain reasons are unknown, preventing the problem may be impossible.

However, a person can strive to lower their risk by doing the following:

  • avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption
  • avoiding drugs that can cause gastrointestinal irritation
  • eating well-cooked foods and maintaining proper hand hygiene

Conclusion

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining caused by infection with the H. pylori bacteria.

Gastritis, if not treated, can lead to consequences such as stomach ulcers or vitamin shortages. Gastritis, if left untreated, can raise the chance of stomach cancer.

Treatment may include over-the-counter or prescription drugs, antibiotics, and dietary changes, depending on the cause of the inflammation and whether it is acute or persistent.

Sources

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544250/
  • https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gastritis-gastropathy/definition-facts
  • https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gastritis/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/309046
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499926/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4231502/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673514/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25626944

About the author

Obianuju Chukwu

She has a degree in pharmacy and has worked in the field as a pharmacist in a hospital. Teaching, blogging, and producing scientific articles are some of her interests. She enjoys writing on various topics relating to health and medicine, including health and beauty-related natural treatments, the nutritional worth of various foods, and mental wellness.