Gastritis is an inflammation or irritation of the tissue lining the stomach. Although many conditions can cause gastritis, the most common cause of this condition is the Helicobacter pylori infection, a bacterium that commonly causes stomach ulcers. Other important causes of gastritis are the constant drinking of alcohol, eating spicy food frequently and the excessive use of some painkillers.
The symptoms of gastritis can appear suddenly (acute gastritis) or appear slowly and progress over the time (chronic gastritis).
Fortunately, in many patients the gastritis is a mild problem; however, when it is caused by the H. pylori infection, not treating this disease can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer. This is why it is always important to visit a doctor.
The following are the most common symptoms of gastritis:
1. Stomach pain
The pain in gastritis is typically referred in the middle area of the upper part of the abdomen or the stomach area. However, in some cases, it can irradiate to the entire upper portion of the abdomen and even to the back.
Most people refer to the pain of acute gastritis as a burning, aching or soreness sensation in the pit of the stomach that can worsen when eating. In fact, when inflammation is severe it can be confused with a heart attack.
In chronic gastritis, most patients refer a chronic discomfort in the abdomen. However, the pain can appear after eating certain types of food (especially spicy and fatty), drinking alcohol, or with some habits like smoking.
More symptoms on next page…