Definition

What is chronic gastritis?

Chronic gastritis is a condition occurs when your stomach lining becomes inflamed. The signs and symptoms of this disease can be painless or cause dull, persistent stomach pain.

The most common type of chronic gastritis is caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria. Chronic gastritis usually gets better with treatment, but may require ongoing monitoring.

Bacteria, consuming too much alcohol, certain medications, chronic stress, or other immune system problems can lead to inflammation. When inflammation occurs, your stomach lining changes and loses some of its protective cells. It may also cause early satiety. This is where your stomach feels full after eating just a few bites of food.

Because chronic gastritis occurs over a long period of time it gradually wears away at your stomach lining. And it can cause metaplasia or dysplasia. These are precancerous changes in your cells that can lead to cancer if untreated.

Chronic gastritis usually gets better with treatment, but may need ongoing monitoring

How common is chronic gastritis?

An estimated 50% of the world population is infected with H pylori; consequently, chronic gastritis is extremely frequent. H pylori infection is highly prevalent in Asia and in developing countries.

Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of chronic gastritis?

The common symptoms of chronic gastritis are:

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes chronic gastritis?

Several types of chronic gastritis exist, and they can have different causes:

Type A

This is caused by your immune system destroying stomach cells. And it can increase your risk of vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and cancer.

Type B

This is the most common type, is caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, and can cause stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, and cancer.

Type C

This is caused by chemical irritants like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), alcohol, or bile. And it can also cause stomach lining erosion and bleeding.

Other types of gastritis include giant hypertrophic gastritis, which can be related to protein deficiencies. There is also eosinophilic gastritis, which can happen alongside other allergic conditions like asthma or eczema.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for chronic gastritis?

There are many risk factors for chronic gastritis, such as:

  • Long-term use of certain medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • The presence of H. pylori bacteria
  • Certain illnesses, such as diabetes or kidney failure
  • A weakened immune system
  • Persistent, intense stress that also affects the immune system
  • Bile flowing into the stomach, or bile reflux
  • High-fat diet
  • High-salt diet
  • Smoking
  • A stressful lifestyle or a traumatic experience can also decrease your stomach’s ability to protect itself

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is chronic gastritis diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects that you may experience this condition, a physical examination will be performed.

Some tests may be then recommended by your doctor include

  • A test for the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers
  • A stool test to look for stomach bleeding
  • A blood count and an anemia test
  • An endoscopy, in which a camera attached to a long tube is inserted into your mouth and down into your digestive tract

How is chronic gastritis treated?

Medications

Your doctor may prescribe medication to reduce your stomach acid. The most common medicines to reduce gastric acid are:

  • Antacids, including calcium carbonate (Rolaids and Tums)
  • H2 antagonists, such as ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Reducing or eliminating aspirin and similar medicines is recommended to decrease stomach irritation.

Symptoms of chronic gastritis can sometimes go away in a few hours if medications or alcohol is causing your gastritis to act up. But typically chronic gastritis takes longer to disappear. And without treatment it may persist for years.

Diet

Your doctor may recommend changes to your diet to reduce stomach irritation. Things to avoid include:

  • A high-salt diet
  • A high-fat diet
  • Alcohol, including beer, wine, or spirits
  • A diet high in red meat and preserved meats

Recommended foods include:

  • All fruits and vegetables
  • Foods high in probiotics, such as yogurt and kefir
  • Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and fish
  • Plant based proteins like beans and tofu
  • Whole grain pasta, rice, and breads

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage chronic gastritis?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with chronic gastritis:

  • Monitoring your diet and stress levels
  • Limiting alcohol and the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin may also help to prevent the condition.
  • Stop smoking

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: August 14, 2017 | Last Modified: August 14, 2017

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