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Gastritis is a term that generally describes the inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach. Gastritis, or stomach inflammation, can increase the risk of stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, or stomach cancer. The two main types of stomach inflammation are erosive gastritis and nonerosive gastritis. Erosive gastritis erodes the lining of the stomach while nonerosive gastritis changes the lining of the stomach.

Gastritis can come about suddenly (acute gastritis) or occur gradually over time (chronic gastritis). In most cases, gastritis does not cause serious complications and improves quickly with treatment. To receive treatment for this condition, connect with your GI physician at GI Alliance by scheduling an appointment today.

Gastritis primarily occurs when damage is done to the mucus barrier that protects your stomach, and the digestive juices are able to inflame the stomach lining. It can be worse for patients who suffer from conditions such as liver disease, kidney disease, and respiratory failure. In general, gastritis or chronic stomach inflammation can be caused by:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • Chronic/extreme stress
  • Vomiting
  • Overuse of aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen
  • Bacteria – such as H. pylori
  • Bile reflux from the liver or gallbladder
  • Infections from bacteria or viruses
  • Eating spicy foods
  • Eating fatty or fried foods
  • Eating very salty foods
  • Eating acidic foods like tomatoes and some fruits
  • Drinking too many caffeinated drinks
  • Smoking

The use of certain medications can also contribute to the development of gastritis. These medications include:

  • Pain relievers (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
  • Corticosteroids
  • Chemotherapy drugs

For more information on how to properly manage and get treatment for your gastritis, contact your nearest GI Alliance location and schedule an appointment with a GI doctor.

Some of the main symptoms of gastritis or stomach inflammation include:

  • Vomiting and indigestion
  • Blood in vomit
  • Sharp abdominal pain
  • Nausea and bloating
  • Burning feeling in the stomach between meals or at night
  • Hiccups
  • Black or tarry stools
  • Burping

Treatment for gastritis varies from person to person, depending on the cause. The most common treatments for gastritis include:

  • Avoiding hot or spicy foods
  • Over the counter or prescription-strength antacids
  • Antibiotics
  • B12 vitamin shots (pernicious anemia)
  • Eliminating certain foods from your diet like dairy or gluten.

If you are experiencing any or a combination of these symptoms, please contact your nearest gastroenterologist at GI Alliance so that you can receive the reliable treatment and the relief that you deserve.

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What foods should I avoid if I have gastritis?

If you have gastritis, it's important to avoid foods and beverages that can irritate your stomach lining and exacerbate symptoms. Here are some types of foods and drinks you should generally avoid:

  • Spicy foods
  • Acidic foods
  • Fatty and fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated beverages

It's also advisable to eat smaller, more frequent meals to help manage symptoms and consider keeping a food diary to track which foods specifically trigger your gastritis symptoms.

What complications can gastritis lead to?

Gastritis can lead to several serious complications if left untreated. Common issues include the development of stomach or small intestine ulcers, which can cause severe pain and bleeding, and an increased risk of stomach cancer, particularly with Helicobacter pylori infection. Chronic gastritis may also cause atrophic gastritis, leading to digestive issues and potential vitamin B12 deficiency-related anemia.

Is there a way to prevent gastritis?

Yes, there are several ways to prevent gastritis or reduce its symptoms. First, it's important to manage stress effectively, as it can exacerbate or contribute to the development of gastritis. Avoiding irritants such as alcohol, spicy foods, and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which can damage the stomach lining, is also crucial. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet and eating smaller, more frequent meals can help. Quitting smoking and managing the use of medications that may irritate the stomach, under the guidance of a healthcare provider, are further preventative measures. Implementing these strategies can significantly reduce the risk of developing gastritis.

If you're dealing with the symptoms of gastritis and looking for a place to turn for treatment, look no further than our team at GI Alliance. Our providers are highly skilled and dedicated to helping you find solutions that improve your GI health. Connect with us today to request a consultation to get started.

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