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Gastritis is an inflammation of the protective lining of the stomach that can occur suddenly or may develop gradually. It is described as a group of conditions which have one symptom in common, i.e., inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis is mainly caused by bacterial infection, heavy drinking of alcohol, stress, and excess use of medications such as aspirin.
There are two main types of gastritis, acute and chronic. Acute gastritis is a sudden, severe inflammation of the stomach lining and chronic gastritis is a long-lasting inflammatory condition that develops for years, if left untreated. There is one more type called erosive gastritis which doesn’t cause inflammation but can lead to bleeding and ulcers in the stomach lining.
Gastritis can be easily managed with treatment. But if the condition is serious and if it is left untreated, the patient may develop severe ulcers, bleeding, and sometimes cancer.
Usually, the symptoms of gastritis vary depending on the severity of the condition and few patients do not experience any symptoms until the condition gets severe. The most common symptoms are:
Consult the doctor if the symptoms persist for more than a week. Inform the doctor about the use of OTC drugs such as aspirin or other pain relievers.
Damage or weakness of the mucus lining of the stomach makes the digestive juice to damage and inflame the stomach lining. Conditions like excess alcohol use, medications, and stress also cause gastritis. Other causes of gastritis include:
Many factors increase the risk of gastritis such as:
The doctor assesses the medical history and performs a physical examination. If gastritis is suspected, the following tests are recommended:
Treatment of gastritis depends on factors like cause and severity of the disease. If gastritis is caused by regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs, then the condition may be managed just by stopping the use of those drugs. If the condition is severe, then following gastritis treatment options are considered:
Gastritis can be managed quickly after undergoing treatment and by making certain life-style changes. These include:
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