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Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining

Updated: Monday, Jun 21,2010, 2:53:30 PM
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the most common symptoms of gastritis include:

    * stomach upset or pain
    * belching
    * abdominal bloating
    * nausea and vomiting
    * a feeling of fullness or of burning in your stomach

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. The stomach is part of the digestive system. Some people have gastritis after drinking too much alcohol eating too much, eating spicy food or smoking. Others develop gastritis after prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or infection with bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella or helicobacter pylori. Sometimes gastritis develops after major surgery, traumatic injury, burns or severe infections. Certain diseases, such as pernicious anemia, autoimmune disorders and chronic bile reflux, are associated with gastritis as well.

If you see blood in your vomit or stool, your stomach lining may be bleeding and you should see your doctor.

Diagnosis & treatment options

gastritis is diagnosed through one or more medical tests, including:

    * Gastroscopy - The doctor eases a gastroscope, a thin tube or endoscope that works like a tiny camera, through your mouth and down into your stomach to look at the stomach lining. The doctor will check for inflammation and may remove a tiny sample of tissue for tests. This procedure to remove a tissue sample is called a biopsy.
    * Blood test - The doctor may check your red blood cell count to see whether you have anemia, which means that you do not have enough red blood cells. Pernicious anemia is associated with gastritis.
    * Stool test - This test checks for the presence of blood in your stool, a sign of gastritis.

Treatment usually involves taking antacids and other drugs to reduce stomach acid and thereby help relieve symptoms and promote healing. (Stomach acid irritates the inflamed tissue in the stomach.) You will also need to avoid any foods, beverages or medicines that cause symptoms. If you smoke, you should quit.
If your gastritis is related to an illness or infection, that problem will have to be treated as well. For example, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear up a bacterial infection or vitamin B12  to treat the pernicious anemia. Once the underlying problem disappears, the gastritis usually does too. Talk to your doctor before stopping any medicine or starting any gastritis treatment on your own.

Tags: gastritis

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