Gastritis is a painful irritation or erosion of the lining of the stomach. It is usually caused by excessive consumption of alcohol, chronic vomiting, stress and the use of some medications such as aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This condition is shared by nearly half of the adult population in the world. The condition worsens with age and should be addressed as early as possible.
Gastritis takes on two main forms: when it comes all at once out of a sudden, it is acute gastritis. When it lasts for a long while, it is chronic. In either case, your body is sending you a clear signal that there is a problem.
Gastritis is not an isolated condition. It can be caused by other illnesses or emerge from side effects of other medical treatments. Gastritis can be a major symptom of Crohn’s Disease. People undergoing radiation will often experience symptoms similar to gastritis.
Diagnosing gastritis is also not easy. The diagnosis requires an analysis of the entire stomach apparatus, including the duodenum – the part of the small intestine connected to the stomach. In gastritis, the duodenum is often chronically inflamed. The term gastritis refers specifically to abnormal inflammation in the stomach lining, but the duodenum is often affected too.
This complex interplay between multiple factors can make gastritis very difficult to properly diagnose and understand – and then again, there’s the bacteria.
H-Pylori is a bacteria that is closely related to gastritis. In fact, they have the same growth rate in patients (50%.) H-Pylori is a bacteria that burrows into the cells of the stomach lining. This bacteria, often causes gastritis, and these issues can escalate into long-term or chronic problems, ulcers, and sometimes cancer.
H-Pylori is passed from person to person through direct contact. This means through saliva, vomit, or fecal matter or through contaminated food or water. The bacteria typically enter the body during childhood, and settle in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and can be quite difficult to get rid of.
As you can see, being diagnosed with gastritis encases a lot of specific issues that must be handled if you are to be cured. It takes a team of professionals to address each issue and the supplements you take must be scientifically proven to balance your body.
Treating gastritis was never easy. In the past, patients seeking help received little relief. Doctors would recommend stomach soothers, a light diet, and reducing alcohol and cigarettes. That is, of course, good advice – but it doesn’t really deal with the problem itself. Furthermore, it does nothing to actually cure the bacterial infection and inflammation associated with gastritis.
Different treatments can be implemented for gastritis treatments, depending on the cause of the disease. For instance, antibiotics can be administered to deal with the H. pylori infection, and other medicine can be administered to reduce inflammation and promote healing. These drugs also often reduce acid production. Acid blockers can also be administered, and antacids are often used to neutralize existing stomach acid and can provide rapid pain relief. However, you should always consult with a doctor before taking any treatment.
Other approaches can also work, at least as a complement to these treatments.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet and in general, avoiding any foods that are fat/fried/heavy can go a long way. Reducing smoking and drinking is also good. Somegastritis supplements can also help manage the disease. You can read more about that on the inernet, but you always need to ensure that the supplements are safe, and always consult with a physician or pharmacist to ensure that the products have been reviewed by a team of medical specialists to ensure their effectiveness – which is very important.
Probiotics have also been shown to have some promise in gastritis management, and having an active, low-stress life has also been found to help.
Gastritis is no joke. It’s something that can degenerate and cause a series of nasty health problems, in addition to excruciating pain. If you feel you might suffer from this condition, don’t hesitate to reach out to a doctor for a diagnosis.
Andrei's background is in geophysics, and he's been fascinated by it ever since he was a child. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science -- and the results are what you see today.