Gastritis refers to the health irregularity that is characterized by inflamed stomach lining. It is not a single disease, but is the result of different conditions that lead to inflammation of the inner stomach walls. Increased consumption of alcohol is found to be the most major cause of this disorder.
Prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen also causes inflammation on the stomach walls. An infection caused by certain kinds of bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) also makes the stomach walls inflamed and lead to gastritis.
Gastritis also is found to develop as a natural consequence of major surgeries, traumatic injuries, severe burns, or chronic infections. Certain ailments also lead to gastritis. Pernicious anemia, autoimmune disorders, and chronic bile reflux are a few of such disorders that can cause gastritis.
Abdominal pain and the resultant irritability is the most common symptom of gastritis. Other symptoms of this disorder include belching, abdominal bloating, nausea and vomiting. Some people also experience a feeling of fullness or burning sensation in the upper abdomen.
If traces of blood get spotted in the vomit or if black stools are seen, immediate medical aid should be sought. These symptoms might indicate bleeding within the stomach.
It is through a series of medical tests that gastritis is diagnosed. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopies are done in order to check the presence of inflamed skin. A tiny sample is collected for biopsy. In some cases, blood and stool are tested to get a clearer picture. Blood test is done to rule out the possibility of anemia where as a detailed stool test help in detecting the presence of bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori in the digestive tract.
In most cases, treatment of gastritis involves medication done to reduce the stomach acid. By controlling stomach acid, the inflamed tissues are saved from further irritation. Complete avoidance of certain foods and beverages are recommended for easy healing.