However, regular use of some pain relievers and excessive alcohol consumption can also contribute to gastritis.
Gastritis can occur in two general ways. These are acute gastritis that comes on suddenly or chronic gastritis that comes on gradually over time.
In some cases, gastritis can cause ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. However, in many cases, gastritis is not a serious condition and gets better quickly with the right treatment.
What causes gastritis?
Any condition that can cause inflammation of the stomach lining can lead to gastritis. The weakening or damage of the mucus-enclosed barrier that protects the inner wall of the stomach causes the gastric juice used by the stomach for digestion to destroy the stomach lining and become infected.
However, a number of diseases and medical conditions can increase a person's risk of gastritis, including Crohn's disease and sarcoidosis, a condition characterized by an uncontrolled increase in the number of inflammatory cells in the body.
Conditions that increase the risk of gastritis primarily include bacterial infections. Although Helicobacter pylori infection is the most common strain among human infections worldwide, only a small proportion of people infected with this infection develop gastritis or other related upper gastrointestinal disorders.
Therefore, medical professionals believe that the reasons for being vulnerable to this bacterium may be inherited or due to lifestyle choices such as smoking and diet.
Regular use of pain relievers can cause gastritis. Painkillers can cause both acute and chronic gastritis because regular use of painkillers or an overdose of drugs can reduce the amount of an important substance in the stomach's protective layer that helps protect it.
The stomach lining tends to thin with age. Additionally, older individuals are more likely to have a Helicobacter pylori infection or autoimmune disorders, increasing the risk of gastritis.
Alcohol can irritate and erode the stomach lining as a result of excessive alcohol use, making the stomach more vulnerable to digestive juices. Excessive alcohol use is more likely to cause acute gastritis.
Severe stress from serious surgery, injury, burns, or serious infections can cause acute gastritis.
The body's own immune system attacking stomach cells can cause a type of gastritis called autoimmune gastritis. The cells that make up the stomach lining are eroded by the immune system, and a weakening of the stomach's protective barrier is seen.
It is more common in people with other autoimmune disorders such as autoimmune gastritis, Hashimoto's disease, and type 1 diabetes. Autoimmune gastritis is also associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Besides these, other medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, and parasitic infections can cause both acute and chronic gastritis.
Gastritis can cause stomach ulcers and stomach bleeding if not treated properly. Some rare types of chronic gastritis can increase the risk of stomach cancer, especially if they cause changes in the stomach lining or lining cells.
How to Prevent Gastritis
Although it is not clear how H. pylori infection, which causes the most common type of gastritis, spreads, there is some evidence that it can be transmitted from person to person through contaminated food and water.
It is possible for a person to protect themselves from infections such as H. pylori by practicing safe hygiene, i.e., washing their hands frequently with soap and water and choosing to eat fully cooked food.
In order to be protected from other gastritis types, it is necessary to act in accordance with each type. For example, limiting alcohol consumption or being careful with the use of pain medication will prevent gastritis caused by these.
How is gastroenteritis treated?
Gastritis treatment differs according to the specific cause. For example, acute gastritis caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or alcohol may be relieved in a short time by discontinuing the use of these substances.
In addition, various drugs are used in the treatment of gastritis, depending on the cause of the disease. For example, if there is P. hylori bacteria in the digestive tract, the doctor may recommend using various combinations of antibiotics continuously for seven or fourteen days to kill this bacteria.
In order for the bacteria in the stomach not to become resistant to the drug, it must be used completely for the period specified by the doctor.
Drugs that inhibit the production of stomach acid and accelerate healing can also be used in the treatment of gastritis. Proton pump inhibitors reduce acid by partially blocking the action of acid-producing cells.
However, long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, especially in high doses, may increase the risk of hip, wrist, and spine fractures. For this reason, it should only be used under the supervision of a doctor. If the doctor deems it necessary during this process, he may recommend a calcium supplement.
Acid blockers, also called histamine (H-2) blockers, reduce the amount of acid released into the digestive tract. This relieves gastritis pain and promotes healing.
There are also antacids that neutralize stomach acid. The doctor may prescribe these antacids for use with other medicines. But among the side effects of antacids are constipation or diarrhea, depending on the components of the drug and its combination with other drugs.