Gastritis

Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining; in cases where the inflammatory process captures the duodenal mucosa, the disease is called gastroduodenitis.

Inflammation can be caused by a variety of causes and symptoms. Therefore, a number of varieties of gastritis are distinguished. In other words, gastritis is the designation of a whole group of diseases associated with a violation of the gastric mucosa.

The prevalence of gastritis is very high. At least every second person suffers from gastritis. Improper nutrition, so common for the inhabitants of the metropolis, further increases the likelihood of developing the disease.

Inflammation of the mucous membrane disrupts the work of the stomach, which means that it affects the intake of substances necessary for its vital activity into the body. Therefore, gastritis can cause disturbances in the work of almost all organs and systems and significantly worsen the quality of human life.

Varieties of gastritis
Acute gastritis
Acute gastritis occurs suddenly. The cause can be any factor that caused damage to the mucous membrane – poor-quality, too abundant or heavy food, infection, contact with an allergen (for food allergies), alcohol intake or drugs that irritate the mucous membrane.

Symptoms of acute gastritis are intense dull pain in the epigastric region (if the cause is food, pain usually occurs 20-30 minutes after eating). As a rule, the pain is accompanied by bloating, heartburn, belching, and bouts of nausea.

With proper treatment, acute gastritis disappears within a few days (up to 5-7 days), but the complete recovery of the mucous membrane takes much longer.

In addition to ordinary (catarrhal) acute gastritis, the following are possible:

erosive acute gastritis (not only the superficial, but also the deep layers of the mucosa are affected. As a rule, the cause is a chemical burn of the gastric mucosa);
phlegmonous acute gastritis – purulent inflammation that develops as a result of the ingress of a foreign object into the wall of the stomach (for example, a fish bone);
some other types of the disease.
Chronic gastritis
Chronic gastritis develops with improper treatment of acute gastritis or as an independent disease. It may be asymptomatic for some time. Pain in chronic gastritis usually alternates with prolonged periods of remission. Pain and other symptoms in chronic gastritis are usually less pronounced than in acute gastritis. However, mucosal lesions in chronic gastritis are more significant.

The following forms of chronic gastritis can be distinguished:

superficial chronic gastritis is the mildest and most common form;
atrophic gastritis. It is characterized by thinning of the mucous membrane, a decrease in the number of functioning cells. It manifests itself mainly as a feeling of heaviness in the stomach after eating. Pain is usually absent. Eating invariably causes belching, and then heartburn. Since food is poorly absorbed in atrophic gastritis, the patient may lose weight. Sweating after eating, dizziness may occur. With a long course of the disease, signs of vitamin deficiency develop ;
hypertrophic gastritis. It is characterized by pathological proliferation of the mucous membrane, the formation of cysts and polyps. Most often, this form of gastritis affects people over the age of 30 and, above all, men. It is considered dangerous, as tumors in the stomach can degenerate into cancerous tumors.
There are also gastritis with high and low acidity.

Causes of gastritis
In most cases, inflammation of the stomach lining is caused by the activity of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. The environment in the stomach is very aggressive, because the glands in the stomach produce hydrochloric acid, which is needed to break down food. It used to be thought that no microorganism could survive under these conditions. However, at the end of the 20th century, the presence of Helicobacter pylori in the human stomach and the role of these bacteria in the development of mucosal inflammation were proved. Factors that were previously considered an independent cause of gastritis, such as stress and nutritional errors, serve only as a trigger.

Helicobacter pylori is a very common bacteria. According to medical estimates, two-thirds of humanity is infected with it. It is assumed that it is transmitted by the oral-oral route: through dishes, toothbrushes, kissing, etc. However, its presence in the body does not always lead to the development of gastritis. But the provoking factor against the background of the presence of Helicobacter pylori in the human stomach makes gastritis very likely.

Over 80% of gastritis cases are associated with Helicobacter pylori. Other causes of the disease:

mucosal injury (physical or chemical). Work in hazardous industries can lead to the ingestion of aggressive or toxic chemicals into the stomach. Certain medications, primarily those belonging to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can cause irritation of the gastric mucosa, the most famous of which is acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin);
alcohol abuse. Alcohol has an alkaline pH value. The consumption of large doses of alcohol leads to a violation of acidity in the stomach, and this is against the background of the general negative effect of ethyl alcohol on the body;
allergic reaction ;
autoimmune process – when immune defense cells act against the mucous membrane;
throwing bile from the duodenum.
Symptoms of gastritis
The symptoms of gastritis depend on the type of gastritis. But you can still distinguish the symptoms that are characteristic in most cases. It:

Abdominal pain

Flatulence

Belching

Heartburn

Nausea

Vomit

Heaviness in the stomach

Sour taste in the mouth

Methods for diagnosing gastritis
The complex of diagnostic measures for suspected gastritis includes endoscopic and laboratory studies.

Gastroscopy

Blood chemistry

Blood test for antibodies to Helicobacter pylori

Stool analysis

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