When a person suffers from an irritation, erosion, or inflammation of the stomach’s lining, it very well may be gastritis. This is a problem that can come on slowly, which is considered as chronic, or it can happen very suddenly, which is considered to be an acute case.
There are actually quite a few different causes of gastritis. Some of the most common problems that are known to cause this problem include the following:
- Infections that have been caused from some type of virus or bacteria
- The consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol that leads to irritation
- Bile reflux, which is caused when a backflow in the stomach occurs consisting of bile from the bile tract that connects the person’s gallbladder and liver
- Vomiting that is chronic
- Pernicious anemia, which is a type of anemia that happens when there isn’t enough of the natural substance in the stomach essential for absorbing and digesting vitamin B12
- An excessive amount of stress
- Helicobacter pylori, also known as H. pylori, and is a bacteria found in the stomach’s lining that can lead to ulcers and stomach cancer
- The use of certain medicines like aspirin and various other anti-inflammatory medications
Left untreated, this is a condition that can cause a person to suffer from severe blood loss. In some situations, it has also been known to develop into stomach cancer.
Symptoms Commonly Noticed with Gastritis
The symptoms that are associated with gastritis can be quite different from one person to the next. There are even some individuals with this condition that do not experience any symptoms at all. When they do occur, the most common symptoms that are noticed with this condition include the following:
- Stools that have the appearance of being black and tarry
- Nausea or an upset stomach that keeps recurring
- Vomiting blood or substance that has the appearance of being like coffee grounds
- Bloating of the abdominal area
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the abdomen
- Recurring hiccups
- Experiencing a gnawing like feeling or burning sensation in the stomach that tends to happen in between meals or during the night
Along with taking a review of the patient’s family and personal medical history and performing a physical examination, there are other tests a physician may suggest. Some of the tests that your physician may recommend if they think you might have gastritis may include the following:
- Various types of blood tests – Blood may be drawn in order for your physician to see if the H. pylori infection shows up. They may also want to check for pernicious anemia and red blood cell count.
- Upper endoscopy – This is a test that allows the physician to look at a patient’s lining of the stomach, which is performed with an endoscope. This is a medical instrument that has a small camera on a thin tube that is placed through the mouth and down into the patient’s stomach. Sometimes a biopsy is also performed, where a small tissue sample is taken and sent to be analyzed in a laboratory. They can also check for inflammation while performing this procedure.
- Fecal occult blood test – This is a test that can let the physician know if there appears to be any blood in the patient’s stool, which is one of the signs of gastritis.