What is Acute Gastritis?
It is a severe form of gastritis which may be caused by the intake of aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The sudden inflammation of the stomach lining may cause abdominal pain, bleeding and other symptoms. It is sometimes accompanied with enteritis.
This type of Gastritis affects all age groups.
Acute Gastritis Types
The disorder can be categorized into two types:
Picture 1 – Acute Gastritis
- Non Erosive
Acute Gastritis Causes
This condition is caused by several factors:
- Excess intake of alcohol
- Extreme stress
- Eating or drinking corrosive substances
- Infections caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria, cytomegalovirus or herpes simplex virus
- Medications such as aspirin, corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Fungal infections like Candidiasis, Histoplasmosis or Phycomycosis
- Direct trauma
- Bile- when bile gets refluxed from the small intestine to the stomach
- Ischemia, a condition caused due to excess supply of blood to the stomach resulting in damage
The condition is often related with a severe, acute illness or trauma. The following factors increase the chances of developing Acute Gastritis:
- Failure of respiratory systems
- Major surgery
- Failure of kidney
- Failure of liver
- Heavy usage of alcohol
Due to gravity, the causative agents lie on the greater curvature of the stomach. This explains why the disease develops distally, or near the greater curvature of the stomach, in case of orally administered NSAIDs. Prostaglandins, chemicals responsible for creating protection for the mucosa, get reduced, and the stomach lining gets injured by Gastric acid.
Acute Gastritis Symptoms
The primary symptom is abdominal pain and there is also a sensation of distention along with nausea and loss of appetite. The inflammation that occurs in this condition can involve the entire stomach or a part of the stomach.
Some people with this disease may not exhibit any symptoms at all. However, those who experience symptoms may suffer from problems like:
- Loss of appetite
- Dark colored stools
- Vomiting of blood or material that looks like coffee ground
- Feeling of abdominal burning
- Abdominal pain in the upper center of the abdomen
Symptoms that indicate life threatening conditions are vomiting of blood, abrupt occurrence of bloody stools and extreme pain in the abdomen. If symptoms stay for more than 3 or 4 days, a health professional should be contacted immediately.
Acute Gastritis Diagnosis
A few tests, which are conducted to detect the presence of this condition, include:
- Small bowel x-ray and upper GI X-ray
- Complete blood count can reveal anemia
- Stool test to detect the presence of bleeding
Acute Gastritis Treatment
The treatment for this condition is based on the cause and the nature and severity of the symptoms in sufferers. No particular therapy is present for this condition except for the one caused by H pylori.
If the disease results from H Pylori infection, antibiotic therapy will be the main treatment. Patients should strictly follow an antibiotic regimen to prevent a recurrence. Generally, two antibiotics are administered for 14 days in combination along with another medication to reduce the acid content. Antibiotics used for treating this disease are Amoxicillin, Metrozinadole, Clarithromycin and Tetracycline.
Another way to decrease the acid content in the stomach is by using Proton Pump Inhibitors and Histamine H2-receptor antagonists. The inhibitors, which are effective in treating the disease, include:
- Omeprazole (Prilosec)
- Rabeprazole (Aciphex)
- Esomeprazole (Nexium)
- Nizatidine (Axid)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet)
- Ranitidine (Zantac)
- Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
- Famotidine (Pepcid)
- Pantoprazole (Protonix)
If you experience diarrhea or vomiting due to the condition, fluid or electrolyte replenishment can be done.
Acute Gastritis Complications
In some cases, the disorder can lead to complications like:
- Increased risk of stomach cancer
- Extreme discomfort or pain
- Malnutrition due to loss of appetite, discomfort, and reduced nutritional supplement
- Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
- Spread of infection
- Perforated gastric ulcer, which results in bleeding
- Stomach ulcers
Acute Gastritis Prevention
Controlling the risk factors can help in minimizing the risks of this disease.
Acute Gastritis Diet
Following a strict diet will also help in controlling the condition and curing it rapidly. These are some of the foods that you should avoid when you develop Acute gastritis.
Picture 2 – Acute Gastritis Image
Avoid having refined food products while suffering from the disease. Foods such as white bread, pastas, and sugars are troublesome to digest when the stomach lining is inflamed. Drinks that contain caffeine such as soda, tea, coffee and chocolate must be avoided at all costs. Caffeine increases the amount of stomach acid which can contribute to stomach aches.
Reduce the intake of spicy foods. When citric acid comes in contact with raw and inflamed stomach lining, it causes a lot of irritation. Hence, avoiding the juice of tomatoes and other citrus fruits would be beneficial. Pain can be aggravated if one consumes black pepper, chilies, red pepper, jalapeno peppers or chili powder.
Do not have red meat during acute gastritis. Red meat contains saturated fat in high amounts which make it difficult for the stomach to digest. The stomach, due to such problems, produces more acid than is required for digestion. One can eat leaner meats like tofu, beans or fish as they are good substitutes for protein.
Trans-fats are partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid having foods that contain Trans-fats as the stomach does not process such fats and they maximize the pain which is secondary to acid production. Bakery items such as cookies, donuts, pastries, French fries and margarine contain Trans-fats.