There are many people around the world that are suffering from the condition Gastritis. Gastritis is a term used to describe problems regarding the lining of the stomach. This condition includes acute or chronic irritation, inflammation and erosion of the stomach. Acute gastritis means the symptoms come on suddenly. Chronic gastritis means that the symptoms have come on gradually. Gastritis can be caused by many different things. Stress, poor diet, alcohol use, medications and excessive vomiting can all cause stomach problems. Gastritis can also be caused by bacteria, anemia, reflux problems, virus and infection.
Symptoms of gastritis can include stomach pain, bloating, vomiting, nausea, indigestion, burning, black stools, hiccups and excessive burping. People suffering from gastritis may have some or all of the symptoms listed above. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they are recurrent then you may need to discuss the possibility of having gastritis with your doctor. It is very important to have gastritis diagnosed as early as possible to prevent further damage being done to the inner lining of the stomach. If symptoms are left untreated a person may develop ulcers or even stomach cancer.
Before gastritis symptoms can be treated, it must first be diagnosed. Diagnosing gastritis can be done with a few simple tests. The first test that may be performed is an upper endoscopy. This involves a small tube being inserted down the throat and into the stomach. The tube contains a camera that can show what the inside of the stomach and esophagus looks like. With these images a doctor can determine exactly what is causing the stomach discomfort. Blood tests may also be performed to check the red blood cell count. By checking these levels a doctor will know whether or not the patient has developed anemia or not. Anemia means the patient has a very low iron level in the blood. Blood tests can also determine whether a person is suffering from a bacterial infection.
Once the reason for the gastritis is found, the proper treatment can then be administered. Once the underlying cause of the symptoms is determined and treated, the symptoms will usually start to fade with time. For a lot of people, making some lifestyle changes can drastically improve the symptoms one has with gastritis. By eliminating certain foods, such as spicy foods, alcohol, and caffeine the symptoms can be lessoned. Also quitting smoking is very important in reducing stomach inflammation.
For those that are suffering from a form of bacteria, antibiotic medications may be necessary to heal the stomach. If the gastritis is coming from a virus then eating bland foods and taking some over-the-counter medications may get you through until the virus has passed. Antacids are good for alleviating a stomach upset, heartburn and indigestion. If the gastritis is caused by pernicious anemia then the doctor may have to give the patient a vitamin B12 shot.
If none of the over- the- counter medications seem to help with the gastritis symptoms then prescription strength medications can be prescribed by a physician. Medications such as Histamine blockers can help prevent the release of acid into the stomach. With less acid, the stomach lining can begin to heal. Other medications for gastritis can work to coat the inner lining of the stomach to prevent the acid from causing more discomfort. If one is suffering from nausea and vomiting, anti-nausea medications may be prescribed as well.
Gastritis can be overwhelming and painful, but with proper treatment methods the lining of the stomach can begin to heal. Under medical supervision, gastritis is a treatable and curable condition.