What is Gastritis?
Gastritis is a stomach lining inflammation resulting in discomfort and pain. It is essential to treat it promptly and prevent it from becoming a long-term issue.
If your gastritis is mild, a few lifestyle changes and medications available without a prescription might be enough to treat it. If it is severe, long-lasting, or not treated properly, it can cause further issues.
Gastritis can occasionally be asymptomatic, mainly when triggered by a bacterial infection like H. pylori. However, it can manifest as:
- Indigestion or heartburn (the most prevalent symptom).
- Vomiting, nausea, or persistent stomach discomfort.
- A burning or gnawing sensation in the stomach between meals or during the night.
- A feeling of fullness after eating.
- Abdominal bloating.
- Decreased appetite.
A diagnosis is often made after a doctor has inquired about the following:
- The symptoms you’ve been experiencing
- Your alcohol intake
- How stressed you are
- Your food intake habits and diet
- How much sleep you get
If those factors aren’t enough to get an accurate gastritis diagnosis, your physician may order some tests such as:
- Breath tests
- Stool examination
- Endoscopy (in more severe cases)
Your Mobidoctor physician may arrange to have these tests done to ensure an accurate diagnosis of the causes of your gastritis.
Several things can cause gastritis, one of the most common being the Helicobacter pylori bacteria (H. pylori). Although this bacteria is relatively common, it does not always produce symptoms, meaning you may not be aware of its presence. If you do experience symptoms, it can be mistaken for indigestion.
Other factors that can trigger gastritis include:
- Exposure to a stressful event.
- An autoimmune response where the body's immune system attacks the stomach lining tissues and cells.
Certain lifestyle choices can also increase the risk of gastritis, such as:
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Regularly use ibuprofen, aspirin, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Gastritis treatment options encompass various approaches, from dietary and lifestyle adjustments to medication.
At-home treatments include:
- Eating frequent, smaller meals.
- Reducing alcohol consumption or abstaining from alcohol entirely.
- Limiting or avoiding hot, spicy, fried, fatty, or acidic foods and beverages, such as fruit juices.
- Efforts to manage and reduce stress levels.
- If you suspect painkillers are the cause of your symptoms, consult a doctor for potential alternatives.
In cases of persistent or severe gastritis, medications may be prescribed, including:
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
- Histamine 2 (H2) blockers.
Diet changes for Gastritis
Reducing symptoms can be achieved by avoiding highly spicy, fatty, or excessively acidic foods and opting for frequent, smaller meals.
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Gastritis in Pregnancy
Treatment of gastritis in pregnant women requires caution, as certain medicines may not be safe during this time.
Identifying gastritis early during pregnancy can help prevent the potential onset of stomach ulcers and the associated complications.
If you are pregnant and currently taking medicines for gastritis, it is essential to consult a doctor. The doctor can evaluate whether the medicines are safe during pregnancy and provide an appropriate alternative.
If you are concerned about the potential implications of gastritis during pregnancy, our doctors can provide you with the necessary advice and support. They can answer any questions you may have and help ease your mind.