Abdominal Discomfort: Chronic and Acute Gastritis

Gastritis is a term used to describe a stomach condition that is characterized by inflammation of the stomach lining. Abdominal pain or discomfort is common. In fact, most people who visit their physician complain of persistent or unexplained stomach ailments. With gastritis, inflammation is caused by different types of bacterium. These same bacteria likely contribute to stomach ulcers. However, gastritis may also be caused by injury or overuse of certain medications.
Chronic gastritis is a serious condition that warrants a diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, the condition can worsen and increase the chances of developing stomach cancer. Nonetheless, some cases of gastritis are mild.

Signs and Symptoms of Gastritis

Some people suffer from acute gastritis which occurs suddenly, or chronic gastritis that persists for several weeks, months, or years. Common symptoms of gastritis include:

� Burning pain in upper abdomen
� Nausea
� Loss of appetite
� Vomiting
� Abdominal bloating
� Belching or hiccups
� Feeling of fullness

Because the symptoms of gastritis closely resemble the signs of other gastrointestinal problems, self-diagnosis is discouraged. Actually, gastritis is commonly confused with stomach ulcers, heartburn, or the stomach flu.

Causes of Gastritis

� Bacteria Infection
� Overuse of Pain Medications
� Alcohol Abuse
� Cocaine Use
� Extreme Stress
âÂ?¢ Crohn’s Disease
� Chemotherapy or Radiation

Diagnosing Gastritis

After accessing symptoms, doctors can easily identity gastritis. However, certain routine tests will be preformed to confirm the diagnosis. These include:

� Blood Test
� Stool Test
� Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
� Upper Gastrointestinal X-ray

Treatment Options

Treatment for gastritis varies. In some instances, symptoms may be relied by making simple lifestyle changes. On the other hand, medication may be the only solution for easing discomfort. Stomach acid contributes to inflammation, which leads to pain. Thus, the key is to minimize or alleviate stomach acid. By doing so, symptoms should subside. With this said, over-the-counter antacids are effective for mild cases.

If suffering from a severe case of gastritis, physicians may recommend a prescription strength acid blocker. Medications to guard the tissues of the stomach lining may also be prescribed. These are effective for decreasing the odds of developing stomach ulcers or stomach cancer.

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