Gastritis Q & A
What is gastritis?
Gastritis is a condition where your stomach lining is swollen or inflamed. Gastritis comes in two forms, erosive and nonerosive:
- Erosive gastritis: your stomach lining may wear away, causing breaks (erosions) in the lining, or ulcers
- Nonerosive gastritis: inflammation of your stomach lining without erosions or ulcers
Gastritis usually is caused by the same type of bacteria that causes the majority of stomach ulcers. However, drinking too much alcohol or over-using certain pain relievers also can contribute to gastritis.
Gastritis may come on suddenly, causing indigestion and other symptoms, or creep up over time. The condition can lead to complications, including:
- Narrowing of the passage out of your stomach
Gastritis also increases your risk of getting stomach cancer. However, most gastritis gets better quickly with proper treatment.
What are the symptoms of gastritis?
Gastritis may not have symptoms. Still, signs to look for include:
- An indigestion-like feeling in your upper abdomen (that may feel better or worse after eating)
- A full feeling in your upper abdomen after eating
Gastritis can cause serious health issues. It’s best to contact Capitol Gastro if your symptoms last a week or longer.
How is gastritis diagnosed?
Your doctor at Capitol Gastro performs a physical exam and takes a complete medical history. They typically test for the presence of a bacterium called H. pylori, which can cause infections and ulcers in your stomach. The evaluation might be performed with a:
- Blood test
- Breath test
- Stool test
To pinpoint the exact cause of your gastritis, your doctor sometimes performs an endoscopy. During this procedure, they insert a thin, camera-equipped tube into your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine to look for signs of inflammation.
During the endoscopy, your doctor also takes a tissue sample of any suspicious areas. Lab tests of these samples determine whether you have H. pylori in your stomach lining.
How is gastritis treated?
Your doctor at Capitol Gastro tailors your treatment plan to your symptoms. Typical treatments include antacids and medications to minimize the production of stomach acid, antibiotics to treat H. pylori infection, and therapies to stop bleeding.
For the proper evaluation and care of gastritis call today.