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How to identify the symptoms of gastritis

Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach is inflamed due to excessive use of alcohol, chronic stress, use of anti-inflammatory drugs or any other cause that affects the functioning of the stomach. Depending on the cause, the symptoms may suddenly appear or worsen over time.

So if you think you may have gastritis, select your symptoms from the list below:

  1. 1. Constant, stabbing stomach pain
    Yes
    No
  2. 2. Feeling sick or upset stomach
    Yes
    No
  3. 3. Swollen and sore belly
    Yes
    No
  4. 4. Slow digestion and burping
    Yes
    No
  5. 5. Headache and general malaise
    Yes
    No
  6. 6. Loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting
    Yes
    No
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These symptoms can remain even while taking antacids like Sonrisal or Gaviscon, for example, and therefore should be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.

The symptoms of gastritis may be mild and arise while eating something spicy, greasy or after consuming alcoholic beverages, while the symptoms of nervous gastritis arise whenever the individual is anxious or stressed. See other symptoms in: Stress induced gastritis symptoms.

How to identify the symptoms of gastritis

How to know if it is gastritis

Although the diagnosis of gastritis can be done based on the symptoms that the person presents, the gastroenterologist may request an examination called digestive endoscopy, which allows to visualize the inner walls of the stomach and if the bacterium H. pylori is present.

Although 80% of the world population has this bacteria present in the stomach, people who suffer the most with gastritis also have it and its elimination helps in the treatment and relief of the symptoms. See the difference between these symptoms and the symptoms of stomach ulcer.

What causes gastritis

There are several factors that can provoke an inflammation in the lining of the stomach wall. The most common include:

  • H. pylori infection: It is a type of bacterium that attaches itself to the stomach, causing inflammation and destruction of the lining of the stomach. See other symptoms of this infection and how to treat it;
  • Frequent use of anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen: this type of medication reduce a substance that helps protect the walls from the irritating effect of the stomach's gastric acid;
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol: alcohol causes irritation to the stomach wall and also leaves the stomach unprotected from the action of gastric juices;
  • High levels of stress: Stress alters gastric functioning, facilitating inflammation of the stomach wall.

In addition, people with autoimmune diseases, such as AIDS, also have a higher risk of having gastritis.

Although it is easy to treat, when treatment is not done properly, gastritis can result in complications like ulcers or gastric bleeding. 

How to treat gastritis

The treatment of gastritis can be done with a combination of medication to protect the stomach, to eliminate the bacteria and to adapt the diet. The gastroenterologist may indicate taking antibiotics for 7 days in order to kill H. pylori.

After this time, if the symptoms are still present, the doctor may request a new endoscopy to check if the bacteria has actually been eliminated.

However, food is one of the most important parts of the treatment for gastritis and a diet should be given by a nutritionist. Fats, fried foods, acidic foods should be avoided and preference should be given to soft, easily digested foods such as cooked fruits, well cooked or mashed vegetables in the form of puree, and lean meats cooked like fish or chicken.

See home recipes that help cure gastritis:

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