Gastritis Definition

Inflammation of the lining of the stomach. There are two broad classifications of gastritis: erosive and nonerosive. The most common cause of erosive gastritis is repeated irritation from ingested substances such as alcohol, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids). The most common cause of nonerosive gastritis is infection with helicobacter pylori, the strain of bacteria that causes peptic ulcer disease.

Occasionally viral infections can cause acute gastritis, which resolves when the infection runs its course. Autoimmune gastritis, in which the immune system attacks the cells that form the mucosal lining of the stomach, interferes with the absorption of certain nutrients, notably vitamin b12 (pernicious anemia).

Symptoms of Gastritis and Treatment

Symptoms include dyspepsia (upset stomach), pain, nauseavomiting, and a sensation of fullness. the diagnostic path may include barium swallow and endoscopic examination of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first segment of the small intestine and the site of peptic ulcer disease).

The gastroenterologist may biopsy samples of stomach tissue. Treatment targets the underlying cause. Eliminating ingestion of the responsible substance often ends erosive gastritis. Antibiotic medications can eradicate h. pylori. Treatment for autoimmune gastritis focuses on countering any nutritional deficiency that results as well as eliminating other sources of irritation to minimize gastric inflammation.


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