Gastritis and gastropathy are two common stomach ailments. Gastritis is inflammation of the gastric mucosal lining of the stomach. This infection is caused by a bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which also causes stomach ulcers. As a result, there occurs upper gastrointestinal bleeding. There are many factors that contribute to the development of gastritis. One of them is alcohol. Certain diseases like crohn’s disease, HIV etc., also increases the risk of gastritis. Gastritis may occur suddenly, this type is called acute gastritis while the type that appears slowly over time is chronic gastritis. For most cases, gastritis is not a serious complication and improves by treatment. In some cases however, it causes ulcers and even becomes the cause of stomach cancer. Gastropathy is a condition in which stomach lining is damaged but no inflammation occurs. Inflammation of the whole stomach is called PANGASTRITIS and inflammation of a part of the stomach is called ANTRAL GASTRITIS.
There occurs an imbalance between the aggressive and defensive factors that maintain the integrity of the gastric lining. The continuous mucosal injury due to H. pylori infection which is long-standing, leads to stomach atrophy. This pathological process leads to ulceration and erosion of mucosa leading to destruction of glandular layer and followed by fibrous replacement. The gastric mucosa is protected from high acidity of hydrochloric acid in the stomach by mucus secretion. Mucosal damage occurs through hyper secretion of acid, reduction of mucus production and as a result generalized inflammation results. Where the acute type leads to necrosis, scarring and perforation.
But gastritis does not always cause signs and symptoms. It is required to see a doctor when there occurs-
The cause of inflammation of the lining of the stomach occurs due to weakness or injury to the muscle-lined barrier of the stomach that protects the stomach wall, allowing digestive juices to damage and inflame the stomach lining. Factors that increase risk of gastritis are-
Rare symptoms and causes of gastritis are sarcoidosis, collagenous gastritis, eosinophilic gastritis and lymphocytic gastritis. Other bacteria that cause gastritis are Mycobacterium avium intracellulare, Herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus.
In the erosive type, there is inflammation and erosion of stomach lining called reactive gastritis. In non-erosive type inflammation occurs without wearing away or erosion of stomach lining. In autoimmune gastritis, a special type, body’s attacks the cells that make up the stomach lining. It is usually seen in people with autoimmune disorders. This reaction can wear away the stomach's protective barrier and inflame the lining. Vitamin B12 deficiency also causes autoimmune gastritis which is mostly seen in younger women. All types of gastritis can sometimes mimic indigestion symptoms. But both differ. Alcohol, smoking, stress etc., all cause erosive gastritis. Indigestion occurs due to gastritis. Gastritis is a very common but treatable condition.
Gastritis is not contagious however, the causative agent is contagious via feco-oral route. Good hand washing and sanitation are protective measures. Gastritis can be diagnosed by these tests-
It includes medications such as:
Gastritis can cause a plethora of complications if not treated. These include anemia, pernicious anemia, peritonitis, stomach ulcer and stomach cancer.