Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining, which may last for a short or long time. Treatment usually addresses the underlying cause, such as medications, stress, or handwashing practices.
Gastritis is a term that describes episodes of nausea and vomiting after eating. It occurs when the mucosa or stomach lining is inflamed, causing heartburn or bloating. However, people who get gastritis may not develop any symptoms regardless of the underlying cause — bacterial or otherwise.
- Acute: This means the inflammation develops and resolves quickly. Acute gastritis — particularly if viral — often resolves on its own with supportive treatment and no medication.
- Chronic: This is long-term inflammation that can last for months or years if a person does not receive treatment.
This article focuses on the treatment and preventive measures of gastritis. It also explains the types of tests doctors use during diagnostic exams and any possible complications.
Both medications and home remedies can treat gastritis.
The medication doctors prescribe depends on the type of gastritis an individual has.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
H2 blockers block the histamine hormone to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved H2 blockers for short-term use to treat gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and heartburn.
Examples of H2 blockers that doctors prescribe for gastritis include ranitidine and famotidine.
Individuals may take aluminum hydroxide or magnesium hydroxide.
A person may also consider the following:
Several tests can help healthcare professionals diagnose gastritis, including:
- Stool sample: Doctors take a stool sample and send it to a laboratory to check for stomach bacteria that can cause gastritis. They may also take a separate stool sample to check for blood.
- Upper endoscopy: During this procedure, the gastroenterologist inserts a thin tube with a camera into the stomach to check if there is inflammation. They may also take a small tissue sample for testing.
- Blood test: This may be helpful to check if the individual has developed iron-deficiency anemia from stomach bleeding.
Diet and lifestyle habits can cause gastritis, such as:
- drinking alcohol in excess
- taking NSAIDs for a long time
A person may also develop gastritis from a bacterial or viral infection or traumatic injury.
In general, gastritis responds well to treatment. However, complications may arise,
- peptic ulcers
- vitamin B12 deficiency
- gastric cancer
- iron-deficiency anemia
- gastric bleeding
- autoimmune or chronic gastritis
In people with autoimmune gastritis, physicians
However, if they develop pernicious anemia, injectable vitamin B12 could be an option.
It may not be easy to prevent gastritis, as it depends if people have any other condition that can increase their risk for gastritis.
However, steps people can take to help prevent developing gastritis include:
Gastritis is a gastrointestinal issue that occurs when the stomach lining becomes inflamed.
There may be different causes for gastritis, such as infections, stress, NSAIDs, and eating spicy foods. Reducing food portions, learning how to manage stress, and avoiding smoking can lower the risk of developing gastritis.
Medications to help treat the condition mostly reduce acid production in the stomach.
If a person does not treat their symptoms, they may develop ulcers, vitamin deficiency, and anemia, among other complications.