At GIDOCJHB, board-certified gastroenterologist, Dr. Schneider, and his team understand how gastritis, stomach ulcers, hernias, and other stomach disorders can interfere with your daily life.
At our offices in Milpark, Johannesburg, we offer on-site diagnostics and specialised treatments.
If you or a loved one is experiencing problems due to digestive tract and related disorders, book an appointment to see Dr. Schneider to get a diagnosis and learn about the treatment options available for Gastritis.
What Is Gastritis?
Gastritis refers to the inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach.
Gastritis or stomach inflammation can increase the risk of stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, or stomach cancer.
Gastritis may occur suddenly but is temporary (acute gastritis) or it can occur slowly over time and last for weeks or even years (chronic gastritis).
It’s important to seek evaluation and treatment for chronic gastritis because it can lead to complications such as ulcers and bleeding.
For the majority of people, however, gastritis isn’t serious and improves rather with appropriate treatment and lifestyle remedies.
To find out more about gastritis, I recommend reading this article
Causes of Gastritis
Gastritis can be caused by several different factors, including:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Aspirin and pain relievers
- An overflow of gastric juices, which is a stress response in some people
- The backflow of bile from the small intestine (duodenum)
- Radioactive treatments to the upper abdomen or lower part of the chest
- Persistent, intense stress that affects a patient’s digestive system
- Surgery to remove parts of your stomach
Gastritis symptoms do not always correspond to the extent of physical changes in the lining of the stomach. Most noticeable symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Excessive vomiting or vomiting blood
- Feeling full
- Shortness of breath or light-headedness
- Abdominal bloating and discomfort.
- Abdominal pain
- Burping or belching and hiccups.
- Bloody or black vomit
- Acid reflux
- Bloody or dark black, tarry stools
If gastritis is suspected after a detailed medical history and physical examination, other tests will likely follow.
Blood tests can help detect anemia, a condition in which there are not enough red blood cells present.
Anemia can be a strong indicator of blood loss, which can be linked to gastritis.
Upper GI Series
X-rays with a special dye to highlight abnormal areas (also called a barium swallow) various gastritis-related abnormalities can be seen with an upper gastrointestinal series, including ulcers and inflammation.
If the diagnosis of gastritis remains unclear, and/or if your symptoms are severe or persistent, an upper endoscopy may be performed.
During endoscopy, a gastroenterologist passes a flexible tube equipped with a lens (endoscope) down your throat and into your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine.
Using the endoscope, he or she will look for signs of inflammation.
If a suspicious area is found, your gastroenterologist may remove small tissue samples (biopsy) for laboratory examination.
Stool tests can be used to check for the presence of Helicobacter Pylori or other infections.
With this test, a scientist will look for an antigen that is normally located on the surface of the bacteria.
Treatment for Gastritis
Treatment will depend on a range of factors such as your age, medical history, how severe your symptoms and conditions are, and general health.
- Treating the bacterial infection With a combination of antibiotics
- Blocking acid-producing cells with proton pump inhibitors
- Reducing acid production with histamine blockers
- Antacids to neutralize the stomach acids and provide pain relief.
- Vitamin B12 supplements to treat pernicious anemia
Lifestyle and Home Remedies
You may find some relief from signs and symptoms if you:
- Eat smaller and more regularly. If you experience frequent indigestion and bloating, it’s best to eat smaller meals more often to help ease the effects of stomach acid.
- Don’t eat foods that irritate your stomach, especially those that are spicy, acidic, fried, sugary, or fatty.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol can irritate the mucous lining of your stomach.
- Consider changing pain relievers. If you use pain relievers that increase your risk of gastritis, ask your doctor whether acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may be an option for you
Does Gastritis Go Away?
Yes, once diet or lifestyle changes are made, the acute symptoms of the condition can resolve.
Other more serious lifestyle changes can cause gastritis to go away as well.
These changes include removing irritants completely, like avoiding alcohol, removing stress, and quitting smoking.
However, If an individual’s gastritis symptoms are caused by the H. pylori bacteria, medication and treatment are required to ensure proper recovery.
What Foods Help Ease Gastritis?
Foods that help with gastritis symptoms are those that help reduce and control the amount of acid in the stomach. These foods are often high in fiber and can include:
- Brown rice
- Apple cider vinegar
Are there lifestyle improvements I can make that will help?
- Take your medicines exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Follow the diet prescribed by your gastroenterologist or nutritionist. Avoid any food or drink that can irritate your stomach and high in acid
- Keep a journal of foods that trigger symptoms
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco
- Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
- Exercise regularly at least 3 x week
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Learn healthy ways to manage stress.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.