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Gastritis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Gastritis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation and erosion of the stomach lining leading to severe pain or irritation. Gastritis symptoms can either be acute or chronic. Acute gastritis occurs suddenly while chronic gastritis occurs gradually over time. 

This condition is caused by several factors including reaction to medications such as aspirin, excessive consumption of alcohol, or even stress. It can also result from infection by the Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) bacteria that resides in the stomach lining, from a backflow of bile inside the stomach, and as a reaction of Pernicious anemia which is an anemic condition that occurs when the body is incapable of digesting and absorbing vitamin B12. Gastritis can cause severe blood loss or stomach cancer if left untreated.   
Symptoms of gastritis differ from one individual to another. However, the most common signs of gastritis include recurrent stomach upset, nausea, abdominal pains, stomach bloating, incessant vomiting, loss of appetite, indigestion, hiccups, and black tarry stools among others.
Diagnosis of gastritis usually involves a review of your individual and family medical history and a thorough physical evaluation. The doctor will then recommend a blood test, an upperendoscopy test, or a stool test to check for possible signs of gastritis.
Gastritis is usually treated through several procedures. In most cases the condition is treated by taking antacids to reduce stomach acid and by dietary changes aimed at eliminating hot and spicy foods that are likely to cause stomach irritation. Dietary treatment can also include removing lactose in dairy products or gluten in wheat from your diet. Gastritis caused by H. pylori bacteria is treated using antibiotics and acid-blocking drugs. It is important to consult with your doctor before embarking on a gastritis treatment procedure to avoid unforeseen complications. However, most patients suffering from gastritis have quick improvement once they embark on the proper diet and treatment procedures. 


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