What is Gastritis?
What is Gastritis? Gastritis is when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed after it’s been damaged. Gastritis is a common condition with a wide range of causes. For most sufferers, gastritis is not serious and improves quickly if treated. However, if it isn’t treated, it can last for years.
Symptoms of gastritis
The symptoms of gastritis may come on suddenly and severely (acute gastritis) or last a long time (chronic gastritis). Many people with gastritis caused by a bacterial infection do not have any symptoms.
Gastritis can also cause:
- Bad stomach pain
- Feeling nauseous
- Feeling full after eating
- In more serious cases, if the stomach lining has worn away (erosive gastritis) and exposed to stomach acid, symptoms may include pain, bleeding or a stomach ulcer.
When to see a GP
You should see a GP if you have indigestion and stomach pain, you can try treating this yourself with changes to your diet and lifestyle, or with medicines you can get from a pharmacy, such as antacids. You should also see a doctor if you have indigestion symptoms lasting a week or longer, or it’s causing you severe pain or discomfort. In addition, it is recommended that you see a doctor for any of the above issues if you believe that symptoms have occurred after taking a new medicine. Finally, you should see a doctor if you experience the above symptoms alongside vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
The pain could be caused by a wide range of other things, from trapped wind to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
How to Cure Gastritis?
Gastritis treatment aims to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach to relieve symptoms, allowing the stomach lining to heal and to tackle any underlying cause.
You may be able to treat gastritis yourself, depending on the cause.
- Antacids – these over-the-counter medicines neutralise the acid in your stomach, which can provide rapid pain relief
- Switching from medicines that you think may worsen symptoms
- Medicines such as Ranitidine decrease acid production and are available to buy from your pharmacist and on prescription
- Eating smaller portions
- Trying to relax/reduce stress
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), such as omeprazole – these medicines decrease acid production even more effectively than H2 blockers
- Avoiding food that can irritate your stomach such as spicy foods
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