Gastritis is the inflammation of the lining
of the stomach. This condition can be an acute
(with rapid onset, short period, and usually severe intensity)
or a chronic condition.
The two most common forms of gastritis:
- Erosive gastritis
- Non-erosive gastritis
The symptoms of gastritis are:
- Pain or burning sensation in the stomach, especially between
meals or at night
- Upset stomach
- Blood in stool
In some people, gastritis does not have any symptoms.
How is Gastritis Diagnosed?
Your doctor may perform the following tests to diagnose this
- Upper endoscopy
Here, an endoscope or a flexible tube with
a camera is carefully threaded into the stomach to see the signs
In erosive gastritis, there are visible tiny, superficial abrasions,
erosions or holes in the stomach lining.
In non-erosive gastritis, the stomach lining may be red or inflamed
but there are no erosions. In some people, the lining may appear
completely normal and a biopsy or tissue sample need to be taken,
and further tests need to be performed.
- Blood test
For non-erosive gastritis, blood test may be done to see the
presence of Heliobacter pylori (H. pylori)
infection. Vitamin B12 level can also be tested,
to confirm or rule out pernicious anemia as
one of the cause.
Causes of Gastritis
The causes of gastritis include:
- H. pylori infection
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
These are painkillers that can reduce the protective nature
of the stomach lining against the digestive acids and enzymes
in the stomach.
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
Alcohol stimulates the production of stomach acid and large
doses of alcohol can damage and inflame the stomach.
- Autoimmune disorder
Here, the body’s immune system mistakenly attack the stomach
lining. In this form of gastritis, the body is no longer able
to absorb vitamin B12 thus resulting in a condition called pernicious
- Immune response to other diseases
Gastritis may also be caused by improper immune responses to
other diseases such as Crohn’s disease and syphilis.
Treatment for Gastritis
Gastritis is treated with:
If H. pylori is present, antibiotics are prescribed
to eliminate this bacteria.
- Medications to reduce stomach acid
- Histamine or H2 blockers, which prevents
the histamine receptors from stimulating the production
of stomach acids
- Proton pump inhibitors, which stop stomach