Chronic gastritis consists of inflammation of the stomach lining that becomes chronic. It produces a series of certain symptoms and its causes are clear. We also discover your treatment.
There are different conditions and diseases that can directly or indirectly affect our digestive system, and particularly our stomach. As you surely know, the stomach is the main organ of digestion and the largest part of our digestive system. It basically consists of the widening of the digestive tube, which we find located between the esophagus and the intestine.
In its walls it has some glands that secrete the different gastric juices that play an important role in the digestion process, and it has the form of a kind of elastic bag capable of increasing or decreasing depending on the amount of food it contains.
Among the different diseases that can affect our stomach, the most common and usual is gastritis, being able to differentiate two basic types: acute gastritis and chronic gastritis. In addition, there is another type of gastritis known as emotional (or nervous) gastritis that appears as a result of nervous tension, anxiety and stress, and that actually has nothing to do with the typical causes that cause the other two types of gastritis: certain bacteria, excessive alcohol consumption or some medications, which tend to irritate the gastric mucosa.
What is chronic gastritis?
First of all, we must discover what gastritis consists of. Basically it is the inflammation of the lining of the stomach, which although it is actually strong enough to resist strong acids, there are different conditions (causes) that can influence it to become inflamed, irritated and therefore damaged.
In the particular case of chronic gastritis, we are faced with inflammation of the lining of the stomach that occurs gradually and persists for a long time. It differs precisely from acute gastritis in its time of presentation, since acute gastritis appears quickly but its symptoms may disappear as the person’s condition improves.
Causes of chronic gastritis
The causes that cause the appearance of chronic gastritis are absolutely the same as those that cause the appearance of acute gastritis, with the difference that in reality we are facing causes that last longer.
For example, it is usually caused by the following causes:
- Consumption of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): which cause irritation of the stomach lining?
- Infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria: this is a very common bacterium that infects the gastric epithelium, being able to survive in such an acidic environment. The infection can be produced by sharing fluids with contaminated people through liquids or food, or by ingesting water and food.
- Pernicious anemia: this is an autoimmune disorder that causes a type of megaloblastic anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency, usually caused by atrophic gastritis.
- Other related causes: there are also other causes that influence its appearance. We can mention, for example, chronic bile reflux or the normal degeneration of the lining of the stomach due to aging (age).
What are your symptoms?
Did you know that many people who suffer from chronic gastritis tend to have no symptoms? In fact, unlike acute gastritis, chronic gastritis does not have specific symptoms, in the same way that there are people who do not have symptoms.
When these symptoms do appear, they may suffer symptoms such as dyspepsia with pain in the epigastrium, heaviness after meals or aerophobia.
Treatment of chronic gastritis
Medical treatment depends on the cause that caused the appearance of chronic gastritis. Thus, for example, while when there are no symptoms, no treatment is required or prescribed, when the cause is due to infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, antibiotic therapy tends to be used with the aim of eradicating it.
Antacids are helpful in neutralizing or decreasing gastric acid in the stomach. For example, proposed pump inhibitors help eliminate symptoms and promote healing.
While, when it comes to gastritis caused by pernicious anemia, the treatment consists of the administration of vitamin B12.