Gastritis: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Having regular stomach problems can be unpleasant and interfere with eating healthily and absorbing nutrients. How can our doctors help, if gastritis is to blame?
Having stomach pain and feeling (or being) sick can be caused by various issues but may be linked to gastritis. This can linger and worsen if you don’t seek treatment.
What is gastritis? It’s when the lining of your stomach has been damaged – by a bacterial infection or erosion – leaving an area of inflammation.
Causes and symptoms of gastritis
If the inflammation is caused by bacteria, you may have mild symptoms or regular spells of indigestion, gnawing pain, discomfort after eating, nausea and actually vomiting.
Erosive gastritis is when your stomach lining is structurally damaged. Symptoms tend to be more obvious, including pain, bleeding and a stomach ulcer (open sore). Causes include certain drugs, alcohol, smoking, stress and over-reliance on painkillers such as Ibuprofen!
Severe symptoms flare up quickly (acute gastritis) or you can experience long-term stomach problems (chronic gastritis).
Getting help with gastritis
Milder discomfort caused by gastritis could be self-managed, using antacids for example.
However, consult one of our friendly physicians if you experience stomach pain or severe indigestion lasting more than a week, or see traces of blood in your vomit or poo.
Various tests can answer the question “Have I got gastritis?’, and other medical conditions such as IBS can be considered. Diagnosis can be from a stool sample, a breath test, or x-rays to trace barium’s progress in your digestive system.
Your doctor could then prescribe medicines that tackle gastritis, and advise you on improving stomach health, and preventing gastritis in the future. Treatment may include antibiotics and acid controlling tablets to combat Helicobacter Pylori. This is the bacteria that lives in some people’s stomach lining, which can cause ulcers,
Please speak to one of our GPS about stomach problems early! If left untreated, gastritis can lead to stomach ulcers, polyps or tumours (malignant and benign). Whereas early diagnosis and treatment can be highly effective.