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Gastritis and the main characteristics

Gastritis is actually a medical term for the inflammation of the lining of the stomach, and it refers to several conditions that have this characteristic in common and that may affect the stomach. It can be acute or chronic, which means that it can develop all of a sudden, or gradually, over time.

The main causes for stomach gastritis are bacterial infections, excessive consumption of alcohol, frequent use of pain relievers, stress and various diseases and conditions, among which are also bile reflux disease, Crohn’s disease, liver or kidney failure and even HIV and AIDS. For gastritis to occur, it is usually enough that the protective layer in stomach gets either weakened or damaged, because this allow digestive juices to inflame the stomach lining. However, having in mind that certain unhealthy life habits lead to this condition, people should try to avoid them, so that, they would decrease the chances of developing gastritis.

Medications for the treatment of gastritis

Gastritis is not serious in the majority of the cases and it is easily treated, but the fact is that in some cases, it may lead to the occurrence of ulcers and it can increase the possibility for stomach cancer to develop. The treatment differs from case to case and it depends on the cause, but medications are an inevitable part in the greatest number of cases, because they will neutralize the stomach acid, or reduce it.

Mild cases are treated with antacids such as Malox or Mylanta, and they can be found in liquid form or as a tablet. These medications do not have to be prescribed. However, there are cases in which antacids aren’t effective, and they require the treatment with acid blockers that will contribute to the reduced production of the stomach acid. A group of medications that is called proton pump inhibitors works by blocking the production of stomach acid, and they can also be used in the treatment of gastritis. The most frequently suggested from this group are Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex and Nexium.

In cases when gastritis is caused by the bacterium H. Pylori, antibiotics have to be used for the treatment of the infection, but besides them, proton pump inhibitors may also be used in order to ease the pain, heal inflammation and even increase the effectiveness of antibiotics. Bismuth may also be a part of this treatment, since it also blocks the activity of H. pylori.

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