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Gastritis

Gastritis is a very common digestive condition which occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed. It has many causes, including drinking too much alcohol, taking anti-inflammatory medication, having a bacterial infection and stress on your body e.g. after a surgery or a major illness. If diagnosed and treated quickly, gastritis usually isn’t serious however without treatment it can last for years and cause complications including stomach ulcers and tumours.

If you think you might be suffering from gastritis, don’t put off seeing a doctor – book an online consultation with a babylon GP today.

Symptoms

The symptoms of gastritis can come on over a long period of time (chronic gastritis) or you may experience them suddenly (acute gastritis).

  • Feeling very full after eating
  • Indigestion
  • A burning pain in the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

If you are showing any of these symptoms for longer than a week then it’s time to talk to a GP. There are many causes of stomach ache so they will have to conduct some tests to diagnose gastritis.  

Common causes of gastritis

There are a number of possible causes of gastritis:

  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Using a lot of certain painkiller medications (ibuprofen and aspirin being the most common ones)
  • A trauma to the body (a critical illness or major surgery)
  • A weakened immune system
  • Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection

Stomach infections caused by helicobacter pylori are more common than we realise, because there are often no symptoms. However, the bacteria can cause inflammation of the stomach lining which leads to severe indigestion. 

Treatment

It is important to establish the cause of gastritis before deciding on the treatment. The best way to allow the stomach lining to heal is to reduce acid in the stomach which could relieve some of the unpleasant symptoms.

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently
  • Avoid irritating foods which are too spicy or acidic
  • Cut down on alcohol consumption
  • Switch to a different painkiller medication if this is the cause

If you are diagnosed with a helicobacter pylori infection, then you will be prescribed antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor, which will reduce the amount of acid the stomach creates while it heals naturally.

If you think you might have gastritis or any other stomach problem, book to see a doctor.