What Causes Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining, a condition that can cause discomfort and affect overall well-being. Let’s delve into the details of what causes gastritis, its symptoms, risk factors, and potential complications.

## Causes of Gastritis:
1. Infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori): This bacterium is a common culprit. It weakens the protective mucus barrier of the stomach lining, allowing digestive juices to inflame the tissue.
2. Regular Use of Certain Pain Relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin can irritate the stomach lining, leading to gastritis.
3. Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can contribute to gastritis.
4. Extreme Stress: Serious health problems or life-threatening situations can trigger gastritis.

## Symptoms of Gastritis:
– Indigestion: A gnawing or burning ache in the upper belly, which may worsen or improve after eating.
– Feeling of Fullness: An upper abdominal fullness after meals.

## When to Seek Medical Attention:
– If you experience symptoms of gastritis for a week or longer, consult a healthcare professional.
– Seek immediate medical attention if you have severe pain, vomiting, or feel lightheaded or dizzy.
– Inform your healthcare provider if stomach discomfort occurs after taking medications, especially aspirin or other pain relievers.
– Urgently seek help if you notice blood in your vomit or stools, or if your stools appear black.

## Complications of Gastritis:
Untreated gastritis can lead to:
1. Anemia: Chronic inflammation may affect red blood cell production.
2. Atrophic Gastritis: Prolonged inflammation can cause loss of stomach lining and glands.
3. Peptic Ulcers: Ulcers may form in the stomach or duodenum lining.
4. Growths in the Stomach Lining: These can be benign or malignant.

## Prevention Strategies:
1. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Moderation is key.
2. Avoid Over-the-Counter Drugs: Be cautious with NSAIDs.
3. Consume Well-Cooked Foods: Avoid raw or undercooked items.
4. Seek Treatment Promptly: Address symptoms early to prevent complications.

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