Gastritis is inflammation of the lining of the stomach. It may occur as a short episode or may be of a long duration. Common symptoms include heartburn, nausea, bloating and upper central abdominal pain. Often you can alleviate the problem yourself by avoiding sour drinks and fried foods. Stress can also play a role.
Gastritis affects most adults at some point in their lives.
Gastritis can be caused by different factors. In mild cases, it is often connected with stress, worry or irregular eating habits.
If the gastrointestinal tract undergoes chronic stress and if you eat irregularly, it can lead to acute or chronic gastritis – an inflammation of the lining of the stomach which causes the increased production of hydrochloric acid. It can be caused not only by long-term stress, but also by alcohol intake or painkillers. Chronic gastritis can also be caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can also cause peptic ulcers.
Gastritis can cause reflux that sometimes leads to the inflammation of the esophagus, called esophagitis. In case of prolonged problems, the mucous membrane of the pharynx can also become irritated.
Dyspepsia is a collective diagnosis of upper abdominal pain and discomfort – acid reflux is a common symptom. Functional dyspepsia may occur in connection with alcohol intake, smoking or anti-inflammatory drugs. So-called organic dyspepsia may occur due to gluten or lactose intolerance.
In some cases, the symptoms may be associated with food allergy, gallstones or more serious illnesses.
Gastritis often appears in the form of abdominal pain in the upper central abdomen. Common symptoms include heartburn, bloating, nausea and early satiety. The symptoms are usually connected with food and drink intake.
- Heartburn (acid reflux)
- tense stomach and stomach gas
- nausea and vomiting
- early satiety
- loss of appetite.
The stomach is sensitive and can react to variation in diet, stress and other everyday external factors. Gastritis, with the typical pain in the upper abdomen, nausea and heartburn, often occurs in combination with peptic ulcer and IBS.
Prevention and protection
You can relieve your symptoms by healthy and regular lifestyle habits. It is good to avoid fried foods, sour drinks and some medicines. Many people feel better eating smaller portions and more frequently. Try to reduce the stress of everyday life.
Try to avoid:
- spicy and fried food
- coffee and sour drinks (such as juice and soda)
- alcohol and smoking
- anti-inflammatory drugs.
In pharmacies you can purchase non-prescription drugs that reduce or neutralize stomach acid and relieve symptoms if you have heartburn and abdominal pain.
There are both prescription and non-prescription drugs that can relieve symptoms. In order to treat chronic gastritis, a medical examination with esophagogastroduodenoscopy is usually required – this is especially important if the gastritis debuts when you are over 50 years old.
When to consult a doctor
If you have long-term symptoms and prescription medicines don’t give any relief, you should consult your healthcare provider. In case of severe abdominal pain you should also seek care. This also applies to heartburn that does not go away or if you have not had problems before – especially if you are over 50 years old. Involuntary weight loss or decreased appetite also needs to be followed up.
If you experience acute pain, bloody vomiting or black stools you should seek urgent care.
How APPOTEK can help
APPOTEK can help you with Gastritis. During the initial consultation, a nurse or doctor will make an individual assessment based on your symptoms. You may then be prescribed medicine or referred for further treatment. A physical examination is often required if an upset stomach is accompanied by abdominal pain. If your child has a problem, he or she may need a physical examination.