Gastritis is a disease caused by inflammation of the stomach wall. This condition is generally characterized by pain in the solar plexus. If left unchecked, gastritis can last for years and cause serious complications, such as stomach ulcers.

Gastritis is divided into two types, namely acute and chronic gastritis. Acute gastritis occurs when inflammation of the stomach lining occurs suddenly. This condition causes severe heartburn that is temporary. However, if left untreated, acute gastritis can progress to chronic.

In chronic gastritis, inflammation in the lining of the stomach occurs slowly and over a long period of time. Pain due to chronic gastritis is milder than that of acute gastritis, but appears more frequently and lasts longer.

Causes of Gastritis

The stomach wall is composed of tissue that produces digestive enzymes and stomach acid. The stomach wall also produces thick mucus (mucus), which protects the stomach lining from damage by stomach acid.

Gastritis occurs when the stomach wall becomes inflamed. The causes can vary, depending on the type of gastritis itself. Here is the explanation:

Acute gastritis

Acute gastritis occurs when the stomach wall is damaged or weakened suddenly. As a result, the stomach can be exposed to gastric acid and experience irritation.

A person can develop acute gastritis if:

  • Using certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids
  • Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Suffering from certain illnesses, such as bile reflux, kidney failure, viral infections, or bacterial infections such as Helicobacter pylori
  • Experiencing heavy stress
  • Suffering from an autoimmune disease that causes the body's immune system to attack the stomach wall
  • Swallowing substances that are corrosive and can damage the stomach wall, such as poisons
  • Experiencing side effects due to surgical procedures
  • Using a respirator
  • Abusing drugs, especially cocaine

Chronic gastritis

Chronic gastritis occurs due to inflammation of the stomach wall that occurs for a long time and is not treated. Chronic gastritis can affect some or all of the protective mucus layer of the stomach.

Several things can cause chronic gastritis, including:

  • Weak immune system
  • Use of certain drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen
  • Certain diseases, such as diabetes or kidney failure
  • Severe stress that occurs continuously so that it affects the immune system

Gastritis risk factors

Gastritis can be experienced by everyone, but there are several factors that can increase a person's risk of developing this disease, namely:

  • Smoking habit
  • A diet high in fat or salt
  • Increasing age, because over time the gastric mucosal layer will experience thinning and weakening
  • Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Taking painkillers too often
  • Autoimmune diseases , such as HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease
  • Parasitic infection

Symptoms of Gastritis

Symptoms of gastritis can be different for each patient. In fact, this condition can also occur without symptoms. However, people with gastritis usually experience symptoms such as:

  • Pain that feels hot or sore in the solar plexus
  • Bloated
  • Nauseous
  • Vomit
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiccup
  • Quickly feel full when eating
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Indigestion
  • Defecate with black feces
  • Vomiting blood

When to see a doctor

Check with your doctor if you experience symptoms of gastritis for more than a week, or if you feel abdominal pain that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Please note, not all abdominal pain indicates gastritis, because many diseases have these symptoms. Therefore, an examination to determine the cause of abdominal pain is important to do.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience serious symptoms, such as vomiting blood or bloody stools that are characterized by blackish stools.

Diagnosis of Gastritis

Diagnosis of gastritis begins with a question and answer regarding the symptoms experienced and the patient's medical history, followed by a physical examination. Furthermore, the doctor will recommend that the patient undergo further tests to confirm the diagnosis, including:

1. Test for Helicobacter pylori infection

The tests carried out are a blood test, a stool sample test, or a urea breath test . In addition to detecting the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria , blood tests can also detect anemia.

Examination of a stool sample can also detect gastritis, especially erosive gastritis, by detecting the presence of blood in the stool.

2. Gastroscopy

Gastroscopy aims to detect signs of inflammation in the stomach. Examination is carried out using a camera tube. This tube will be inserted through the mouth to see the condition of the stomach .

Gastroscopy can be combined with a biopsy (tissue sampling) in areas of the stomach that are suspected of having inflammation. Furthermore, the sample will be examined in the laboratory.

A biopsy can also be done to look for the presence of H. pylori bacteria .

3. X-ray photo

This examination aims to see the condition of the upper digestive tract. So that wounds in the digestive tract, especially the stomach, can be seen, the doctor will ask the patient to swallow liquid barium before X-rays are taken.

Gastritis Treatment

Gastritis treatment aims to overcome this condition and relieve the symptoms it causes. Depending on the cause, the doctor can give medicines in the form of:

1. Antacids

Antacids can relieve pain quickly, by neutralizing stomach acid. This drug is also effective for relieving other symptoms, especially in acute gastritis.

Examples of antacid drugs to treat gastritis are aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide.

2. Histamine 2 blockers (H2 blockers )

This drug relieves the symptoms of gastritis by decreasing the production of stomach acid. Examples of histamine 2 blocking drugs are ranitidine , cimetidine, and famotidine.

3. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

This drug also aims to reduce stomach acid production, but with a different mechanism of action. Examples of proton pump inhibitor drugs are omeprazole , lansoprazole, esomeprazole, rabeprazole, and pantoprazole .

4. Antibiotics

This drug is used in gastritis caused by infection with the H. pylori bacteria . The type of antibiotic given is amoxicillin , clarithromycin, tetracycline, or metronidazole.

5. Antidiarrhea

This drug is given to patients with complaints of diarrhea. An example of an anti-diarrheal drug that can be given is bismuth subsalicylate.

In addition, doctors can also give drugs that can increase blood flow to the stomach and the production of gastric protective mucus. This can support the healing of the stomach wall damaged by inflammation. An example of this type of drug is rebamipide .

In order to help relieve symptoms and the healing process, patients are advised to adjust their lifestyle, namely by:

  • Develop a regular eating pattern and schedule
  • Eat smaller portions so that you eat more often than usual
  • Avoid oily, sour, and spicy foods, as they can irritate the stomach, making symptoms worse.
  • Manage stress well
  • Do not smoke

Gastritis complications

Untreated gastritis can lead to a number of serious complications, including:

  • gastric ulcer
  • Stomach bleeding
  • gastric cancer

If the symptoms of gastritis often recur due to the use of non -steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) , the patient is advised to consult a doctor regarding this.

Gastritis Prevention

Gastritis can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Some of the efforts that can be done are:

  • Washing hands with soap and running water before cooking and eating, to prevent transmission of pylori bacterial infection
  • Avoid spicy, sour, fatty, or fried foods
  • Eat smaller portions of food
  • Avoid lying down after eating until 2-3 hours afterward
  • Reduce consumption of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages
  • Control stress
  • Avoid consuming excessive non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or without consulting your doctor first
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