Gastritis-causes,symptoms and Prevention

Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. There are many possible causes of this disorder including an infection,an irritant, an autoimmune disorder, or a backup of bile into the stomach. The stomach lining may be “eaten away,” leading to sores (peptic ulcers) in the stomach or first part of the small intestine. Left untreated, these ulcers may bleed. Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or gradually (chronic gastritis). In most cases, gastritis does not permanently damage the stomach lining and sometimes no specific cause of the inflammation is identified.

Erosive Gastritis
Erosive gastritis is gastric mucosal erosion caused by damage to mucosal defenses. It is typically acute, presenting with bleeding,but may be subacute or chronic with few or no symptoms. Diagnosis is by endoscopy. Treatment is supportive, with removal of the inciting cause. Certain ICU patients (eg, ventilator-bound, head trauma, burn, multisystem trauma) benefit from prophylaxis with acid suppressants.

Causes of erosive gastritis include NSAIDs, alcohol, stress, and less commonly radiation, viral infection (eg, cytomegalovirus),vascular injury, and direct trauma (eg, nasogastric tubes).

Because gastritis is one of many common digestive problems with similar signs and symptoms, it’s easy to confuse with other conditions, including:
·    Gastroenteritis. Also called stomach flu, gastroenteritis usually results from a viral infection of your intestines. Signs and symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and nausea or vomiting, as well as indigestion. Symptoms of gastroenteritis often resolve within a day or two, whereas the discomfort of gastritis may be ongoing.

·    Heartburn. This painful, burning sensation behind your breastbone usually occurs after a meal. It develops when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Heartburn can also lead to a sour taste and the sensation of partially digested food re-entering your mouth.

Immune Cells May Induce Gastritis During H. Pylori Infection
H. pylori is the causative agent of human chronic gastritis, a condition that often leads to gastrointestinal ulcers and cancer.
The gastric mucus found in the human stomach of a H. pylori infection-free adult or child is populated by very few macrophages,however previous research shows that macrophages increase in number in response to H. pylori infection.

Symptoms
The main symptoms of gastritis are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, headache and dizziness. There is also pain and a feeling of
discomfort in the region of the stomach. In more chronic cases, there is a feeling of fullness in the abdomen especially after meals. The patients complains of heartburn. Prolonged illness often results in loss of weight, anaemia and occasional haemorrhage from the stomach. There may be an outpouring of mucus and a reduction in the secretion of hydrochloric acid during acute attacks and also in most cases of chronic gastritis.

Prevention
To help prevent gastritis:
·    Don’t smoke.
·    If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Most experts recommend that women limit alcohol use to no more than one drink a day and that men have no more than two drinks a day.
·    If you take an NSAID to treat a medical problem, and the medicine upsets your stomach, stop taking the medicine and speak with your doctor.