Gastritis is a condition in which the stomach lining—known as the mucosa—is inflamed. The stomach lining contains special cells that produce acid and enzymes, which help break down food for digestion, and mucus, which protects the stomach lining from acid. When the stomach lining is inflamed, it produces less acid, enzymes, and mucus..
Gastritis may be acute or chronic. Sudden, severe inflammation of the stomach lining is called acute gastritis. Inflammation that lasts for a long time is called chronic gastritis. If chronic gastritis is not treated, it may last for years or even a lifetime. Erosive gastritis is a type of gastritis that often does not cause significant inflammation but can wear away the stomach lining. Erosive gastritis can cause bleeding, erosions, or ulcers. Erosive gastritis may be acute or chronic.
The relationship between gastritis and symptoms is not clear. The term gastritis refers specifically to abnormal inflammation in the stomach lining. People who have gastritis may experience pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, but many people with gastritis do not have any symptoms.
The term gastritis is sometimes mistakenly used to describe any symptoms of pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen. Many diseases and disorders can cause these symptoms. Most people who have upper abdominal symptoms do not have gastritis.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection causes most cases of chronic nonerosive gastritis. H. pylori are bacteria that infect the stomach lining. H. pylori are primarily transmitted from person to person. In areas with poor sanitation, H. pylori may be transmitted through contaminated food or water. The most common cause of erosive gastritis—acute and chronic—is prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Other agents that can cause erosive gastritis include alcohol, cocaine, and radiation.
Traumatic injuries, critical illness, severe burns, and major surgery can also cause acute erosive gastritis. This type of gastritis is called stress gastritis.
Less common causes of erosive and nonerosive gastritis include autoimmune disorders in which the immune system attacks healthy cells in the stomach lining some digestive diseases and disorders, such as Crohn’s disease and pernicious anemia
Many people with gastritis do not have any symptoms, but some people experience symptoms such as
Upper abdominal discomfort or pain
These symptoms are also called dyspepsia.
Erosive gastritis may cause ulcers or erosions in the stomach lining that can bleed. Signs of bleeding in the stomach include
Blood in vomit
Black, tarry stools
Red blood in the stool
Most forms of chronic nonspecific gastritis do not cause symptoms. However, chronic gastritis is a risk factor for peptic ulcer disease, gastric polyps, and benign and malignant gastric tumors. Some people with chronic H. pylori gastritis or autoimmune gastritis develop atrophic gastritis. Atrophic gastritis destroys the cells in the stomach lining that produce digestive acids and enzymes. Atrophic gastritis can lead to two types of cancer: gastric cancer and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma.
The most common diagnostic test for gastritis is endoscopy with a biopsy of the stomach. Other tests used to identify the cause of gastritis or any complications include the following: Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series. The patient swallows barium, a liquid contrast material that makes the digestive tract visible in an x ray. X-ray images may show changes in the stomach lining, such as erosions or ulcers. Blood test. The doctor may check for anemia, a condition in which the blood’s iron-rich substance, hemoglobin, is diminished. Anemia may be a sign of chronic bleeding in the stomach. Stool test. This test checks for the presence of blood in the stool, another sign of bleeding in the stomach.
Homeopathy can give absolute freedom from recurrent attacks of dyspepsia and flair ups of gastritis. One of the biggest advantages of starting with Homoeopathic treatment for gastritis is that the medicine is safe and gives no side effects. It is recommended that if your gastritis is as a result of recurrent use of NSAIDs which you have to take to get relief in your recurrent and chronic joint pains or headaches or backache, then you must start treatment for such joint pains along with treatment for gastritis. Homeopathy can give you pain free life with its most effective medicines on your chronic and recurrent joint pains. Necessary life style changes are must along with Homoeopathic treatment to get maximum benefits out of Homoeopathic treatment for gastritis.