What is Gastritis ?
Gastritis is an inflammation of the gastric mucosa lining (stomach lining). It may cause discomfort, pain and digestive problems. The gastric mucosa contains special cells that produces stomach acids to help break down food for digestion, and at the same time produces mucus to protect the stomach lining from the acid. When the stomach lining is inflamed however, it produces less acid, enzymes, and mucus which can cause a number of digestive malfunction and symptoms.
Gastritis or gastritis like symptoms are very common. Most people would have experienced stomach pain or discomfort because of irritation or inflammation one time or another.
In most cases gastritis like symptoms are simply a mild acute situation of something we ate. Obviously if it is food poisoning it may not be simple it can be extremely serious. However, with an acute problem you usually know what the cause is. You have consumed something which irritated your stomach linings, which can be any food item you had too much of, or spoiled food in the case of food poisoning, or any other bacterial, viral, fungal, parasite type of infection.
Chronic Gastritis (more than 2 weeks’ duration), can be for similar reasons, meaning you just haven't responded to the warning signs of pain and discomfort. Have you checked your diet, is something irritating you? Too much coffee which can cause stomach acid aggravation, alcohol, fatty foods or an allergy?
Other long term Gastric irritation may have been caused by medications, back flow of bile into the stomach, alcohol, excessive gastric acid secretion, ingested poisons, and in case of stomach ulcer the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)can be the reason for the chronic infection as well as the ulcer.
Underlying causes of inflammation or irritations are; anxiety, stress, worries and irritants such as cigarette smoking, too much coffee, alcohol etc. .
The medical term Gastritis is often mistakenly used to describe any type of pain or discomfort in the stomach or upper abdomen. Many diseases and disorders can cause gastritis like symptoms. Actually most people who have upper abdominal symptoms may not even have gastritis.
Chronic Gastritis is an obvious risk factor for stomach ulcers, that's why stomach discomfort should not be treated lightly, and the constant use of over the counter pharmaceuticals is not recommended.
Whenever there is a prolonged time of gastric up-sets it needs to be investigated.
On the positive side, you may find that most gastric problems can be managed and cured with natural therapies, lifestyle and diet advice.
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*Medical Disclaimer: All information given is of a general nature and not to be taken as medical health advice.