Gastritis is a stomach inflammation that must be treated quickly to avoid possible complications, like gastric ulcer or in more severe cases stomach cancer.
Although the treatment is usually easy, it is very important to find out what causes it so you can avoid its reappearance because it provokes very uncomfortable symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting or lack of appetite. Find out how to identify the symptoms of gastritis.
The most common causes of gastritis are:
1. Excessive Stress
Stress is one of the most common causes of gastritis and other gastric discomforts. In some intense moments of life, the stomach can produce more hydrochloric acid and less protective mucus which can lead to stomach irritation or inflammation, causing gastritis. It can also be called acute, erosive or stressed induced gastritis, which is characterized by a superficial lesion. Find out more stress induced gastritis.
What to do: Generally this type of gastritis heals itself by controlling the anxiety and nervousness that caused it. It is very common for students in exam periods to develop acute gastritis, as well as people who undergo too much pressure at work, for example.
2. Consumption of contaminated food
Consuming contaminated foods with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium is a common cause of gastritis and often the person remains symptomless for many years. This bacteria remains on the surface of raw foods and, when ingested, colonize in the stomach. This causes an infection, disrupting the control of hydrochloric acid secretion and causing a decrease in protective mucus.
What to do: Gastritis is usually cured with the eradication of the bacteria, through the use of specific antibiotics, prescribed by a gastroenterologist. The presence of the bacteria can be confirmed through a biopsy of the stomach tissue removed during a digestive endoscopy, this confirms the diagnosis.
Not all people who ingest the bacteria are sensitive to it, but some people develop gastritis when they eat food that is contaminated with this bacteria. See how your diet should be if you have an ulcer or gastritis.
3. Use of some medication
The need to take some medications, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause gastritis because they weaken the stomach lining, which is a common cause of this problem in older people. Gastritis caused by long-term use of the medication is known as chronic gastritis and usually has a slow development, appearing ulcers and bleeding. See what is a chronic gastritis and what to eat.
What to do: The lesions caused by gastritis through the continued use of medication usually disappear when the intake of that medication is suspended following doctor's advice.
4. Alcohol and cigarette consumption
Both alcohol and cigarettes can provoke irritation and inflammation of the lining of the intestine and stomach, leading to the formation of gastric ulcers and gastritis.
What to do: To reduce the symptoms of gastritis caused by alcohol and cigarette smoking, it is important to eliminate these habits from your routine and adopt healthy habits, such as exercising regularly and following a balanced diet.
5. Crohn's Disease
Crohn's disease, is an inflammation of the digestive system, which can also lead to gastritis, as well as characteristic symptoms such as ulcers, diarrhea and the presence of blood in the stool.
What to do: Crohn's disease has no cure, and doctors recommend changes in your eating habits, such as reducing the amount of fat consumed and dairy products.