Gastritis: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Your gut feels sore, hot, and is accompanied by nausea and bloating in the abdomen? If so, this could be a sign of a condition known in the medical world as gastritis. So, what is gastritis? Check out the following information!

What is gastritis?

Gastritis is a stomach disease that is characterized by inflammation (inflammation), irritation, or erosion in the lining of the wall of the organ. Gastritis can be a short and sudden disease (acute gastritis), or it can be a longer condition (chronic gastritis). In addition, this condition can also be part of a number of medical disorders such as atrophic gastritis, autoimmune gastritis, and eosinophilic gastritis.

Examples of acute gastritis are stomach disorders that may be caused by consumption of alcohol or certain drugs such as aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). While chronic gastritis is usually caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori), a type of bacteria that infects the stomach.

Causes of Gastritis

The cause of gastritis is damage to the mucous layer (mucus) that covers the stomach wall (mucosa). This mucus should protect the mucosa from exposure to gastric acid and an enzyme called pepsin. When the mucus is damaged, the mucosa will automatically be exposed to stomach acid until it leads to the inflammation of the stomach.

What causes the damaged mucous layer? There are a number of factors that are thought to play a ‘role’, namely:

1. Lifestyle

Lifestyle becomes one of the common factors causing a person to suffer from gastric inflammation. The lifestyle in question includes:

  • Eat spicy, sour, coconut milk and fatty foods
  • Consumption of drinks containing alcohol
  • Consumption of drinks containing caffeine (tea, coffee, etc.)
  • Smoke
  • Stress

2. Use of drugs

The use of several types of drugs is also suspected to be the cause of the emergence of this disease, namely:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Cancer drug

3. Disease

Suffering from a certain disease did not escape the factors causing inflammation of the stomach wall. The diseases in question include:

  • Reflux of bile
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Tuberculosis

4. Infection

The other most common factors that cause gastritis are infection, which are:

  • Pylori bacterial infection
  • Virus infection
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasitic infection

5. Medical measures

Inflammation of the gastric mucosa also in some cases caused by medical procedures, such as:

  • Endoscopy
  • Gastric surgery
  • Cancer therapy

In addition to the factors above, there are other factors that are suspected to have contributed to the increased risk of developing the disease, namely age. Yes, gastritis is very vulnerable experienced by those who are elderly. Increasing age certainly also has an impact on the decline in the function of a number of organs, including the stomach.

Characteristics and Symptoms of Gastritis

This disease makes the sufferer experience a number of symptoms. The characteristics or symptoms referred to are as follows:

  • Nausea
  • Throw up
  • Flatulence, especially after eating
  • Heartburn feels sore, hot, and painful

In more severe cases, the disease is characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Dark stool
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hard to breathe

Immediately consult a hospital if you experience the symptoms above. However, this disease must receive medical treatment as early as possible before the condition worsens to lead to serious complications.

Complications of Gastritis

Yes, inflammation of the stomach that is not immediately treated over time will develop into a serious illness that can even threaten the safety of the soul.

If you continue to be exposed to stomach acid, the mucosa will experience erosion which can cause bleeding in these organs. Unfortunately, this condition can also provide a gap for cancer cells to grow and develop. As a result, there was gastric cancer!

Therefore, do not delay to see a doctor immediately if you feel that you often experience the symptoms mentioned above for a long period of time.

Gastritis diagnosis

To determine whether a patient has gastric inflammation, the doctor needs to carry out a series of examination stages consisting of:

1. History

First of all, the doctor will ask a series of questions to the patient regarding the perceived complaint.

  • How long has this condition lasted?
  • How often do you experience this condition?
  • What symptoms are felt?
  • What foods are consumed daily?
  • Are you taking medication?
  • Do you consume alcohol?
  • Do you smoke?

2. Physical Examination

Next, the doctor will do a physical examination of the patient to find out whether there is a possibility the patient has inflammation of the stomach.

Physical examination carried out, among others, by directly checking the condition of the stomach with endoscopic procedures, namely inserting a special hose equipped with a camera into the patient’s body. The device will send a physical picture of the stomach for further examination by the doctor.

In addition, the doctor will also ask the patient to provide stool samples. This sample will be further investigated through laboratory testing mechanisms. Usually, this is to find out if there is a bacterial infection that occurs. The same purpose also applies in other examination methods, namely blood tests.

3. Supporting Examination

Meanwhile, investigations are carried out if the disease is accompanied by other symptoms such as an increase in heart rate, even if there is a tendency for this condition to lead to gastric cancer.

The supporting examinations referred to include:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG), to check the condition of the heart’s electricity
  • Biopsy, to find out whether there are cancer cells in the stomach cells or tissue

Gastritis treatment

The method of treating gastritis depends on the cause and severity. Usually to relieve symptoms, the doctor will prescribe a number of medications such as:

1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics are used if the disease is caused by infection with H. pylori bacteria or other types of bacteria. Common antibiotics are given such as:

  • Metronidazole
  • Clarithromycin

2. Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) aim to inhibit the production of gastric acid as well as relieve symptoms. Common medicines given include:

  • Omeprazole
  • Lansoprazole

3. Histamine inhibitors (H-2)

Like PPI, treatment using drugs from the histamine inhibitor (H-2) class aims to inhibit the production of stomach acid. The drugs in question such as famotidine and ranitidine, although the use of ranitidine has been banned in Indonesia.

4. Antacids

In mild cases, your doctor may only prescribe medications from the antacid group. This medicine works to neutralize stomach acid.

Antacid drugs are also classified into the category of over-the-counter medicines and you can buy them at pharmacies and supermarkets.

5. Coating Agents

This medicine functions as a coating to protect the stomach wall. Sucralfate and misoprostol are two examples of drugs that fall into this class of drugs.

6. Other Medicines

In the meantime, you may also be given medicines that work to relieve accompanying symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. These drugs can be found and purchased at the nearest pharmacy or supermarket.

Prevention of Gastritis

Gastritis can be prevented in the following ways:

  • Limit consumption of spicy, sour, and fatty foods
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Avoid smoking habits
  • Drink lots of water
  • Manage stress well
  • Maintain the hygiene of the food you want to consume
  • Wash hands before eating

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