Gastritis is a medical condition characterized by the inflammation of the lining of the stomach. There are many possible causes of gastritis but it usually affects people who take large amounts of alcohol over prolonged periods of time, as well as those who use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aspirin and ibuprofen. Bacteria, namely Helicobacter pylori, usually cause chronic gastritis but it may also emerge as a side effect of chronic bile reflux, stress or different autoimmune disorders. In most of the cases, gastritis is diagnosed based on the symptoms and confirmed by gastroscopy, blood test or stool test. Symptoms of gastritis
In many cases, patients suffering from gastritis will not have any recognizable symptoms. However, upon careful inspection, patient may find that there is a slight dull pain in the abdominal region. However, the pain may be different in nature and manifest as burning sensation, aching, gnawing or sharp sensation, normally located in the upper central part of the abdomen. When the symptoms are present they typically include nausea and vomiting, belching, bloating, feeling of fullness after eating even the smallest amounts of food, decrease in appetite and unexplained weight loss. Patient’s vomit is usually clear but it may be green, yellowish, blood streaked or even completely bloody, which is a strong indicator of the severity of the condition.
As already mentioned, some cases of gastritis are caused by viral infection. This means that a person may protect his or her own health by preventing contact with Helicobacter pylori. However, there is no evidence this bacteria spreads from simple contact with contaminated person, surfaces, food or water. The only thing one can do to prevent bacterial infection is to wash hands frequently and eat only foods that have been cooked completely. It is also recommended to live a healthy lifestyle and work on improving the immune system.
Another important restriction to make, in order to prevent gastritis, is to stop using Aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and any other medications that can irritate the stomach lining and cause inflammation.
People should also drink alcohol only in moderation. This means up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. For example, this means a woman should drink 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters) of wine, or 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters) of distilled spirits.
It is also important to avoid taking acid and carbonated beverages, coffee and juices with citric acid. One should also avoid smoking, and stop it completely if possible.