Gastritis is basically an erosion of the stomach lining, which can occur suddenly due to certain factors or happened gradually over a longer period of time. Inflammation or irritation of the lining of the stomach is also a form of gastritis.
Gastritis can occur in adults and in children, which when left untreated can give rise to other gastrointestinal problems. There can be a number of different causes that give rise to gastritis. An infection caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or other bacteria and viruses living in the mucous lining of the stomach could have been one of the causes. A back flow of bile from the bile tract into the stomach, which is known as bile reflux could give rise to gastritis. Pernicious anemia, which is the stomach's inability to properly digest vitamin B12 could be another cause.
People who are on prolonged pain medication can develop gastritis. Patients who undergo chemotherapy can also develop gastritis. Accuracyly diagnosing the cause of the condition is therefore essential to prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.
Symptoms Of Gastritis In Children
Some of the most common symptoms of gastritis in children include:
- An upset stomach
- Stomach ache, especially before eating meals or after eating meals
- A bloating of the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting. The appearance of a coffee ground look in the vomit would indicate bleeding in the stomach
- Indigestion after meals
- A loss of appetite
- Trouble going to sleep
- Disrupted sleep during the night due to stomach pain
- Recurrent hiccups
- Melena or black tarry stools which indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
- A gnawing or burning sensation in the stomach in between meals or during the night
Different individuals may have different symptoms of gastritis. And some people with the condition may not have any associated symptoms at all. Diagnosing the problem could have been more difficult in such instances.
Diagnosis of Gastritis
The doctor will initially review the personal medical history of the patient and their family and perform a complete physical evaluation and then decide on some tests which could include blood tests, stools test and upper endoscopy.
A blood test can determine the presence of H. pylori infection or pernicious anemia. A stools test is used to check for the presence of blood in the stools, which could be an indication of gastritis. Through endoscopy, the doctor can look down into the stomach and examine the stomach lining by using an endoscope that consist of a tiny camera enclosed in a thin tube.