Gastritis North Carolina
Do you believe that you have gastritis in North Carolina? Connect with Carolina Digestive Health Associates to find a North Carolina doctor near you. Many people experience abdominal pain, but how does someone know if his or her persistent pain is a hidden medical condition? Gastritis, or a group of conditions that inflame the stomach lining, is more common than many people think. However, chronic gastritis can lead to severe complications if left untreated.
What Is Gastritis?
Gastritis refers to the inflammation, erosion, or irritation of the stomach lining. This inflammation leads to abdominal pain, nausea, and other unpleasant and persistent symptoms. It can occur suddenly or develop slowly over time. Some cases are not serious and improve quickly, while others can lead to additional complications and the development of stomach cancer.
Many environmental and medical factors can lead to the development of gastritis, such as:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Use of certain medications, such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs
- Certain bacterial and viral infections
- The presence of H. pylori, or dangerous bacteria in the lining of the stomach
- Bile reflux into the stomach from the bile tract
- Chronic conditions such as Crohn’s disease
Common Symptoms of Gastritis
Gastritis symptoms vary among North Carolina residents and range from mild to severe, depending on the case. The most common symptoms of gastritis include:
- Abdominal pain
- Stool that is black and tarry
- Persistent nausea or upset stomach
- Indigestion that feels like a gnawing or burning pain
- Loss of appetite
- Blood in the vomit
- Fullness in the upper abdomen after eating
- Abdominal bloating
- Substance that looks like coffee grounds in the vomit
Gastritis Risk Factors
Certain conditions can increase a North Carolina resident’s chance of developing the disease. These risk factors include:
- Aging. Older adults are more likely to develop gastritis due to the thinning of the stomach lining.
- Bacterial infection. H. pylori is a bacterial infection that can lead to the development of gastritis. However, not everyone with the infection develops gastritis. Genetics, smoking, and dietary choices can increase the chance of developing gastritis in people with this infection.
- Alcoholism and chronic alcohol use. Alcohol can irritate and erode the stomach lining, which increases the risk of developing gastritis.
- Chronic diseases. The presence of HIV/AIDS, parasitic infections, and Crohn’s disease can all exacerbate gastritis.
- Stress. Increased stress levels due to burns, infections, injury, and certain major surgeries can lead to gastritis development.
- Regular pain reliever use. Overuse of pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can lead to gastritis. These drugs can reduce substances that protect the stomach lining.
How Do Doctors Treat Gastritis?
North Carolina doctors treat gastritis on a case-by-case basis. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if the overuse of pain relievers is the cause, doctors can simply tell the patient to avoid the medication. If H. pylori is responsible for the condition, doctors can prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
Certain medications can treat gastritis, such as:
- Antacids to neutralize stomach acid and provide pain relief
- Probiotics to promote the growth of healthy flora in the gut
- Acid-reducing medications to relieve pain and encourage healing in the stomach lining
- Proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid and block cell mechanisms that produce excess acid
For best results, North Carolina residents experiencing the symptoms of gastritis should visit a local doctor immediately to begin a course of treatment.
Potential Gastritis Complications
Gastritis can lead to dangerous complications if left untreated. Stomach bleeding and ulcers are some of the most common complications. In addition, certain forms of gastritis can increase a person’s risk for stomach cancer. If due to thinned stomach linings, the risk of stomach cancer increases significantly.
Contact Carolina Digestive Health Associates Today
If you experience any of the symptoms of gastritis or believe that you have a condition that exacerbates gastritis, visit a North Carolina doctor near you. Not sure where to look? Carolina Digestive Health Associates can help. Contact us today at (704) 372-7974 to connect with a North Carolina doctor near you.
Carolina Digestive Health Associates
Carolina Digestive Health Associates is a group of gastroenterologists serving the residents of North Carolina. We have fourteen highly rated GI doctors who provide service at eight offices and five endoscopy centers. Our doctors work in all major hospitals in the Charlotte metropolitan area.
Our physicians, together with our highly trained physician assistants and nurse practitioners, cover a wide range of specialties and are skilled in diagnosis and treatment. Whether you have chronic problems with your digestive tract, a recent, acute attack or simply want a checkup, our team is here in North Carolina to help you reach your healthcare goals.
What We Do
Our team of gastroenterologists in North Carolina is trained to diagnose gastric conditions involving the esophagus, the stomach, the liver, the colon and the rectum. Once we make a diagnosis, we can form a treatment plan tailored to the specific patient and their needs. Some of the common conditions we treat include:
- Bloating and gas
- Celiac disease
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Fatty liver
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Lactose intolerance
Our team has experience diagnosing and treating these conditions and many more. North Carolina residents in the Charlotte area have come to trust our expertise and our friendly customer service.
Our specialists cover a wide variety of fields within gastroenterology and can perform an array of procedures once they have made a diagnosis. Some of the more common procedures are:
- Rectal manometry. This test determines if the rectum is functioning properly and helps to diagnose fecal incontinence and chronic constipation.
- Breath test. A GI doctor can diagnose certain digestive conditions by measuring the gases which a patient exhales.
- Colonoscopy. By means of a camera inserted into the body, doctors can view the intestine and look for polyps, ulcers, bleeding, inflammation and even cancer.
- Polypectomy. If doctors discover polyps during an endoscopy, they will use this procedure to remove them.
- Upper endoscopy. Similar to a colonoscopy, this procedure views the esophagus, stomach and upper duodenum for inflammation, ulcers and abnormal growths.
- Esophageal manometry. This test is to determine the strength of the muscles that you use to swallow, which can affect conditions like heartburn.
- Feeding tubes. A GI doctor can insert a feeding tube when necessary if a patient is not able to feed him or herself.
- ORBERA Gastric Balloon. The FDA has approved our non-surgical program to help patients lose weight and form healthy habits to maintain a stable, healthy weight in the long term.
At Carolina Digestive Health Associates in North Carolina, we participate in many clinical research trials. Medicine is a field that constantly advances, and we encourage and participate in this process to discover new and better ways to diagnose and treat digestive disorders. Sometimes, these trials provide treatment options to our patients in North Carolina that they would not be able to get anywhere else.
When Should You Come to See Us?
Persistent or severe symptoms are reasons to schedule a consultation with us in North Carolina. We also recommend regular screenings starting at age 45 for colon cancer. You may need to see a general practitioner first to get a referral. Come see us if you experience any of the following:
- Constipation. Fewer than three bowel movements a week means constipation. If it persists, contact us.
- Diarrhea. Diarrhea is a common problem, but if it doesn't go away it could be a sign of something more serious.
- Heartburn. A burning your stomach and chest could be your stomach acid inflaming the lining of your esophagus.
- Stomach pain. Severe stomach pain could mean you have a gallstone. More persistent, burning pain could be an ulcer.
- Bloating. If you bloat after a meal, your body might be reacting to something you ate. A gastroenterologist can diagnose the cause.
- Hemorrhoids. If the veins in your rectum are swollen or feel irritated, you may have hemorrhoids, which a GI doctor can treat.
- Blood in your stool. If your stool is black and tarry, or if there is red in the water after a bowel movement, you may have a severe problem that requires immediate attention.
For any of the above symptoms or a cancer screening in North Carolina, contact Carolina Digestive Health Associates for a consultation. Call us at (704) 372-7974 and let one of our highly skilled gastroenterologists assist you.