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Gastritis-Causes , Symptoms and Treatment of Gastritis, Gastritis Diet, Chronic and Acute Gastritis and Atrophic Gastritis

Gastritis means inflammation of the stomach. It means that white blood cells move into the wall of the stomach as a response to some type of injury. Gastritis does not mean that there is an ulcer or cancer. It is simply inflammation-either acute or chronic. Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or gradually (chronic gastritis) The term 'acute' means that the attacks are short, not necessarily that the symptoms are severe. The term 'chronic' means the infection has developed slowly and there may be few symptoms. .

Some of the disorders associated with gastritis are:

•  Helicobacter pylori gastritis (chronic gastritis) it is the name of a bacteria that has learned to live in the thick mucous lining of the stomach. Although it doesn't actually infect the underlying tissue, it does result in acute and chronic inflammation. It probably occurs early in childhood and remains throughout life unless antibiotics cure it. The infection can lead to ulcers and, in later life, even to stomach cancer in some people. Fortunately, there are now ways to make the diagnosis and treat this disorder. .

•  Autoimmune gastritis, here, the body's immune system mistakenly attack the stomach lining. In this form of gastritis, the body is no longer able to absorb vitamin B12 . This causes acute and chronic inflammation which can result in a condition called pernicious anemia .

•  Chronic atrophic gastritis is a disorder of the stomach where gland loss and intestinal metaplasia (change in the lining of the stomach-the lining appears more like the intestine). It is found in the stomach of 80-90 percent of patients with gastric cancer. One type of chronic atrophic gastritis is associated with pernicious anemia (sometimes associated with other autoimmune disorders ). There are other but rarer types of gastritis conditions such as eosinophilic, phlegmonous (a severe bacterial infection) and glaucomatous gastritis .

Symptoms of acute and Chronic Gastritis

The signs and symptoms of gastritis, which are often relatively mild and short-lived, include :

•  Loss of appetite

•  Nausea,

•  Vomiting,

•  Headache

•  Dizziness.

•  There is also pain and a feeling of discomfort in the region of the stomach.

•  In more chronic cases, there is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen especially after meals. The pa­tients complain of heartburn.

•  Prolonged illness often results in loss of weight, anemia and occasional hemorrhage from the stomach.

•  There may be an outpouring of mucus and a reduction in the secretion of hydrochloric acid during acute attacks and also in most cases of chronic gastritis.

•  Other symptoms are a coated tongue, foul breath, bad taste in the mouth, increased flow of saliva, scanty urination, a general feeling of uneasiness, and mental depression .

Because gastritis is one of many common digestive problems with similar signs andsymptoms, it's easy to confuse with other conditions

Causes of Gastritis

The most frequent cause of gastritis is a dietetic in­discretion such as habitual overeating, eating of badly combined or improperly cooked foods, excessive intake of strong tea, coffee or alcoholic drinks, habitual use of large quantities of condiments, sauces, etc. It may some­times follow certain diseases such as measles, diphtheria influenza, virus pneumonia, etc. Frequently, it also results from worry, anxiety, grief and prolonged tension. Use of certain drugs, strong acids and caustic substances may also give rise to gastritis.

Diagnosis of Gastritis

The physician may suspect gastritis by listening to the medical history.

Gastritis is diagnosed through one or more medical tests:

•  Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy.

The doctor eases an endoscope, a thin tube containing a tiny camera, through your mouth (or occasionally nose) and down into your stomach to look at the stomach lining. The doctor will check for inflammation and may remove a tiny sample of tissue for tests. This procedure to remove a tissue sample is called a biopsy.

•  Blood test.

The doctor may check your red blood cell count to see whether you have anemia,which means that you do not have enough red blood cells. Anemia can be caused by bleeding from the stomach.

•  Stool test.

This test checks for the presence of blood in your stool, a sign of bleeding

Treatment of Gastritis

Don't eat solid foods on the first day of the attack, give your stomach a rest and drink liquids only, milk or water are preferred. Add bland foods to your diet slowly and as tolerated (cooked cereals, bananas, rice, potatoes, toast) and avoid greasy, spicy foods.

More severe cases may require hospitalization, especially if you have blood in yourbowels.

Call your doctor if you vomit blood, if your bowel movements become dark or bloody, if you have severe pain, if you become dehydrated (dry mouth, excess thirst, decreased urination, wrinkled skin).

Complication

The stomach, as everyone knows from watching TV ads, is J-shaped and collects swallowed food and liquid. It then methodically grinds the food into small pieces and squirts it out in tiny jets of fluid into the duodenum, which is the first portion of the small intestine.

There are several types of cells lining the stomach. One produces hydrochloric acid and another, pepsin, a digestive hormone. Along with the grinding motion of the stomach, these chemicals break down the food and prepare it for digestion.

Home remedies of Gastritis

•  Coconut water is an excellent remedy for gastritis.

•  Rice gruel is another excellent remedy for acute cases of gastritis. One cup of rice gruel is recommended twice daily. In chronic cases where the flow of gastric juice is meager, such foods as require prolonged vigorous mastication is beneficial as they induce a greater flow of gastric juice.

•  Potato juice has been found valuable in relieving gastritis. The recommended dose is half a cup of the juice, two or three times daily, half an hour before meals.

•  The herb marigold is also considered beneficial in the treatment of gastritis. An infusion of the herb in doses of a tablespoon may be taken twice daily.

•  He should, however, undertake breathing and other light exercises like walking, swimming, and golf.

•  Application of heat with a hot compress or hot water bottle, twice a daily, either on an empty stomach or two hours after meals, will also be beneficial.

Gastritis Diet

•  The patient should undertake a fast for two of three days or more, depending on the severity of the condition. He should be given only warm water to drink during this period. This will give rest to the stomach and allow the toxic condition causing the inflammation to subside.

•  After the acute symptoms subside, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for the next three days and take juicy fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, peaches, and melons.

•  He may, gradually embark upon a balanced diet consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

•  Eat three small meals and three snacks evenly spaced throughout the day. Eat slowly and chew foods well.

•  Be relaxed at mealtime. Sit up while eating and for 1 hour afterward.

•  The patient should cut the use of alcohol, tobacco, spices and condiments, meat, red pepper, sour foods, pickles, strong tea and coffee . Caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, and cola drinks) and decaffeinated coffee cause increased gastric acid production but may be taken in moderation at or near mealtime, if tolerated.

•  Curds and cottage cheese should be used freely. Too many different foods should not be mixed at the same meal..

•  Milk and cream feedings should not be used as antacid therapy. Although milkprotein has an initial neutralizing effect on gastric acid, it is also a very potent stimulator. Hourly feedings of milk have been shown to produce a lower pH than three regular meals.

•  Eight to ten glasses of water should be taken daily but water should not be taken with meals as it dilutes the digestive juices and delays digestion. Above all, haste should be avoided while eating and meals should be served in a pleasing and relaxed atmosphere.

•  Avoid eating within 3 hours before bedtime. Bedtime snacks can cause gastric acid secretion during the night.

•  Antacids should be taken in the prescribed dose, One-hour and 3 hours aftermeals and prior to bedtime. This regimen is most likely to keep the acidity of the stomach at the most stable and lowest level.

When to call a doctor

Consult with a general surgeon for most acute complications, such as perforation, bleeding, and outlet obstruction.

In some instances, the GI endoscopist may be able to treat bleeding definitively.



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