Gastritis is a generalized term for inflammation of the stomach, caused when your body is producing too much stomach acid. Acute gastritis is typically a sudden onset of pain described as severe bursts. It’s temporary and can be caused by stress, alcohol, medications, surgery, and even spicy food.
Chronic gastritis, on the other hand, can include symptoms that are more constant, dull, and painful in the upper abdominal area. There are a number of things that can cause it, including H. pylori bacterial infection, excessive alcohol use, long-term use of over the counter pain medications (such as aspirin or NSAIDs), and stress.
Gastritis can be hard to diagnose, and will occasionally require an endoscopy to fully pinpoint the cause of your symptoms. Often, pain in the upper abdominal area is the main symptom of both acute and chronic gastritis. Over time, chronic gastritis can cause damage to the lining of the stomach, so it’s important to have checked.
Other symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
Treatment for Gastritis
Treatment for gastritis depends on the cause found during diagnosis. Diagnosing gastroenterological problems can be time-consuming, and can include blood work, breath tests, imaging, and upper endoscopy. As such, it can take time to learn the causes of your symptoms.
As a general recommendation, if you’re experiencing chronic pain and discomfort in your stomach, a few lifestyle changes you can make is limiting the use of NSAIDs, reducing alcohol use, and possibly even a temporary diet change that is low in fat and fiber. This kind of diet allows your system to rest and heal. Your doctor can help you treat additional symptoms as you are working towards a diagnosis as well.
For further discussion and to be seen by a doctor, contact Carolina Digestive today.