Gastritis is a term used to describe inflammation and injury to the cells lining the stomach and can have many causes. Gastritis can be caused by a bacteria in the stomach called helicobacter pylori or h.pylori. This is a common stomach bacteria leading to a stomach infection called h.pylori gastritis, which can be a cause of stomach ulcers. Autoimmune conditions can also cause inflammation of the stomach. When we find h. pylori bacteria as the cause of gastritis during endoscopy, or via breath or stool test, h. pylori treatment is prescribed, which is in the form of antibiotics.
Damage to the intestinal lining can also occur from drugs, particularly nonsteroidal inflammatory agents, alcohol, and other substances. Your doctor can perform an upper endoscopy for complete visualization of the stomach and take biopsies at the same time in order to establish a diagnosis. Gastritis should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to exclude any underlying serious illness or condition.
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Gastritis pain has the tendency to occur in the upper portion of the abdomen and can radiate to the back at times, although it can present in many different ways. When asked to describe the sensation of gastritis, patients use terms such as burning, aching, gnawing, or sore. Usually, a vague sense of discomfort is present, but the pain may be sharp, stabbing, or cutting.
Though gastritis does not always present with symptoms, symptoms can include:
- Indigestion specifically in your upper abdomen that may become either worse or better with
- A pronounced feeling of fullness after eating
- Frequent belching
Risk factors for developing include:
- Extreme alcohol consumption
- Routine use of nonsteroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin
- Stress caused by severe injury, illness, or surgery
- Autoimmune disorders
- Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease
- Viral infections
How is gastritis treated?
When an upper endoscopy is performed, the stomach is fully visualized, and biopsies are taken at the time. Gastritis can be visualized grossly at times and can also be seen under a microscope. Once a diagnosis is made, gastritis is treated based on its underlying cause. Common treatments include avoidance of causes such as NSAID’s and treatment of h. pylori bacteria.
Gastritis is typically treated with prescription medications to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach, which allows for healing. There are other treatment options available based on the diagnosis, and your gastroenterologist will be able to customize your treatment based on this information.
Doctor’s Note: This information is only intended to provide general information pertaining to gastritis, not definitive medical advice. Please consult our NYC gastritis specialists about your specific condition for a conclusive diagnosis. Only trained, experienced gastroenterologists like can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
As best in class NYC gastroenterologists, our doctors provide highly personalized and comprehensive care. For more information about gastritis or to schedule a consultation, please contact our NYC gastroenterology offices.Dr. Shawn Khodadadian has either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Manhattan Gastroenterology Locations: Manhattan Gastroenterology (Upper East Side) 983 Park Ave Ste 1D, NY 10028
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