Chronic gastritis: symptoms, causes and treatment

There are different conditions and diseases that can affect both directly and indirectly our digestive system, and particularly our stomach. As you surely know, the stomach is the main organ of digestion and the biggest part of our digestive system. Basically it consists of the widening of the digestive tube, which we find located between the esophagus and the intestine.

In its walls it has glands that secrete the different gastric juices that intervene in an important way in the process of digestion, and presents the form of a kind of elastic bag able to increase or decrease depending on the amount of food it contains.

Among the different diseases that can affect our stomach the most common and habitual is the gastritis, being able to differentiate two basic types: acute gastritis and the chronic gastritis. In addition, there is another type of gastritis known as emotional gastritis (or nervous) that appears as a result of nervous tension, anxiety and stress, and that actually has nothing to do with the typical causes that cause the other two types of gastritis: certain bacteria, excessive consumption of alcohol or some medications, which tend to irritate the gastric mucosa.

What is chronic gastritis?

First we must discover what gastritis is. Basically it's about the inflammation of the lining of the stomach, which although in fact is so strong as to resist strong acids, there are different conditions (causes) that can influence that it is inflamed, irritated and therefore damaged.

In the particular case of chronic gastritis we are facing the inflammation of the lining of the stomach that occurs gradually and persists for a long time. It differs precisely from acute gastritis in its time of presentation, since the acute one emerges quickly but its symptoms can disappear as the person's situation improves.

Causes of chronic gastritis

The causes that cause the appearance of chronic gastritis are absolutely the same as those that cause the onset of acute gastritis, with the difference that in fact we are dealing with causes that are prolonged over time.

For example, it is usually caused by the following causes:

  • Consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): which cause an irritation of the stomach mucosa.
  • Infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori : It is a very common bacterium that infects the gastric epithelium, being able to survive in such an acidic environment. The infection can be produced by sharing fluids with people contaminated through liquids or meals, or by ingesting water and food.
  • Pernicious anemia: It is an autoimmune disorder that causes a type of megalopathic anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency, usually caused by atrophic gastritis.
  • Other related causes: there are also other causes that influence its appearance. We can mention for example the chronic bile reflux or the normal degeneration of the lining of the stomach by aging (age).

What are your symptoms?

Did you know Many people suffering from chronic gastritis tend not to have symptoms? In fact, unlike acute gastritis, chronic gastritis does not have specific symptoms, in the same way that there are people who do not have symptoms.

When these symptoms do appear they may suffer symptoms such as dyspepsia with pain in the epigastrium, heaviness after meals or aerophagia.

Treatment of chronic gastritis

Medical treatment depends on the cause that has caused the onset of chronic gastritis. Thus, for example, when there are no symptoms, treatment is not required or prescribed, when the cause is due to infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, antibiotic therapy is used to eradicate it.

Antacids are useful to neutralize or decrease gastric acid in the stomach. For example, pump inhibitors propose to help eliminate symptoms and promote healing.

While, when it comes to gastritis caused by pernicious anemia, the treatment consists of the administration of vitamin B12. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesGastrointestinal disorders

Gastritis (December 2019)