Around 50% of the global population is infected with H. pylori, which is the cause of most gastritis cases. Patients experience irritation, inflammation, or erosion of stomach lining. It can happen suddenly in an acute form or gradually as a chronic condition.
What Causes Gastritis?
A number of factors can increase your risk of developing gastritis, including some that are lifestyle related. High stress and excessive alcohol consumption are common causes. People who suffer from chronic vomiting or those that use anti-inflammatory medications are also at risk. Other causes include:
- pylori (Helicobacter pylori) – bacteria in the mucous of the stomach lining that can cause ulcers or stomach cancer.
- Bile Reflux – A condition that results from bile flowing back into the stomach from the bile tract.
- Infections – Infection caused by viruses or bacteria
The Symptoms of Gastritis
Each patient may experience a different list of symptoms. If you notice any of the following, consult a gastroenterologist.
- Abdominal pain or bloating
- Recurrent upset stomach or nausea
- Loss of appetite
- Burning or gnawing feeling between meals or in the evening
- Stool that is black and tarry
Treatment for gastritis will vary based on the cause of the condition. Your gastroenterologist may recommend:
- Antibiotics – This is often used to kill H. pylori and may contain a combination of medications like metronidazole, amoxicillin, or clarithromycin.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors – Acid-blocking medications like Prilosec and Nexium may be recommended.
- Antacids – Antacids may also be suggested to neutralize stomach acid and provide pain relief.
If you notice the symptoms of gastritis or have questions about other stomach conditions, contact your gastroenterologist to schedule an appointment.