Many people mistakenly use the term “gastritis” to refer to any stomach discomfort; however, true gastritis requires being diagnosed by a pathologist during an endoscopy procedure.
Stress may increase hydrochloric acid release that irritates stomach lining; however, there’s no direct evidence to link stress with chronic gastritis.
Misconception 1: It’s a symptom
Gastritis is a term frequently used by both patients and physicians to refer to episodes of stomach discomfort associated with nausea and vomiting, and diagnosed on evidence of inflammation and damage to the stomach lining seen through upper endoscopy tissue samples. Gastritis may last only temporarily or could persist over many months.
The stomach’s lining produces acid, enzymes and mucus to aid in digesting food while protecting itself against its own acids. If the lining becomes inflamed, these production levels diminish significantly, leading to erosion over time and developing ulcers if left untreated. Infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria as well as prolonged pain reliever use or alcohol use may contribute to gastritis; other potential sources include ageing, stress or cancer treatment medications may lead to gastritis symptoms.
Gastritis can usually be treated effectively. Your GP may refer you to a gastroenterologist, who can take a sample from your stomach lining to diagnose the condition and discover its source. They might also run additional tests to detect complications like pernicious anemia – an immune response whereby antibodies mistakenly attack proteins responsible for binding vitamin B12 in the stomach lining; it can result in symptoms including severe indigestion and fatigue over time.
Misconception 2: It’s a disease
Gastritis is often misunderstood as a disease; in reality it’s just a symptom. Gastritis may result from drinking too much alcohol, taking medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or smoking; but it could also be brought on by extreme stress, autoimmune disorders or chronic bile reflux – conditions in which bile leaks into your stomach and food pipe and causes discomfort.
Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria most responsible for gastritis cases, can lead to several conditions including ulcers and stomach cancer – though they themselves aren’t contagious.
Although your stomach lining is generally strong, it can still become compromised from time to time by various circumstances. Acute gastritis often strikes suddenly while chronic gastritis develops slowly over time.
As you age, the risk of gastritis increases exponentially. It is also more likely to strike people living with health conditions such as autoimmune disorders, Crohn’s disease or HIV/AIDS, as well as people who have weak stomach lining due to surgery or trauma, serious illness or prolonged stress. Doctors can confirm gastritis diagnosis by performing physical exams and asking pertinent questions; additionally they might administer urea breath tests that measure carbon dioxide levels to detect H. pylori infections.
Misconception 3: It’s fatal
People often associate gastritis with pain, bloating and cramping; many mistakenly believe it to be fatal; this isn’t the case though! Gastritis can be diagnosed via various methods including an upper endoscopy; other tests include blood tests such as the CBC test or H. pylori screening which looks for small amounts of blood in stool; while its condition itself is not contagious but its bacteria that cause it are via fecal-to-oral transmission – the most prevalent bacteria being Helicobacter pylori which infects 90% of world population!
Misconception 4: It’s caused by stress
When experiencing stomach pain and bloating, it may be tempting to assume you have gastritis; however, it’s essential that a professional diagnose the condition to make an accurate assessment. Since symptoms often overlap with multiple conditions, accurate diagnostics may prove challenging.
Your doctor will likely conduct several tests to help them pinpoint the source of your gastritis, including blood tests and possibly Helicobacter pylori screening tests, to check for an overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori bacteria that increases risk for gastritis. They may also order an endoscopy procedure which uses thin tubes fitted with cameras to inspect both your stomach and esophagus.
Stress may make it more difficult for the stomach lining to defend against food and chemicals, but it doesn’t cause gastritis directly. Extreme stress, however, may force your body to divert blood away from digestion in favor of more essential organs – thus weakening its defenses against gastritis symptoms.
If your doctor suspects gastritis, they may prescribe antacids and medications that reduce stomach acid production to ease your symptoms and heal the stomach lining. They may also address any underlying health issues which might be leading to gastritis.
Misconception 5: It’s caused by spicy foods
Everyone experiences stomach irritation on occasion, though for most it doesn’t require medical treatment. If however, symptoms persist and lead to longer-term issues like gastritis that could require further medical care in order to address.
Foods that irritate your stomach lining should also be avoided, including spicy, acidic or fatty items. Furthermore, drinking plenty of water and eating whole grains is highly recommended to promote regular bowel movements and decrease risk for digestive conditions like gastritis.
Research shows that smoking increases your risk of stomach ulcers or even esophageal cancer.
The stomach is a muscular organ connected to the esophagus, large intestines and small intestines, and where most digestion occurs. While its lining usually does not experience irritation from acid very often, its integrity can still be damaged by alcohol consumption or over-the-counter pain relievers like Aspirin or Grand-Pain. Furthermore, inflammation diseases like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic bile reflux and extreme stress, as well as certain health conditions like pernicious anemia (when vitamin B-12 cannot be digested properly).
Misconception 6: It’s caused by a bacterial infection
Gastritis, or stomach inflammation, is most frequently caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria but may also result from heavy alcohol use, stress or overusing pain relievers. Gastritis may either go away on its own, or it could become more serious leading to complications like peptic ulcers or stomach cancer.
Gastritis symptoms include stomach pain, abdominal bloating, nausea and vomiting. It may develop suddenly or over time; either way it could affect one or both sides of your stomach.
Avoid foods or drinks that irritate your stomach lining; use over-the-counter pain relievers; if your symptoms are chronic, consult a physician about using H. pylori antibiotics or medicines to reduce acid production in the stomach.
Risk factors for gastritis include having an underpowered immune system, drinking too much water and becoming dehydrated, as well as age related thin lining of your stomach. You can prevent some cases of gastritis through practicing good hygiene – particularly by washing hands regularly – avoiding fried, salty and sugary foods while drinking two to three liters per day in form of soup, fruit salads coffee and tea are some ways to combat gastritis.