The term gastritis does not refer to a single condition. Rather, it is a group of diseases and illnesses characterized by inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This condition is most commonly caused by drinking alcohol or prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin. It can also be brought on by traumatic injury, severe infections, and burns. It often occurs as a result of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Those who have autoimmune diseases or disorders, chronic bile reflux, pernicious anemia and other conditions may develop gastritis.
If you have any of the symptoms of gastritis, it is necessary to work closely with your Brooklyn gastroenterologist for support. The symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain or upset
- Abdominal bloating
- Feeling of fullness
- Burning sensation in the upper abdomen.
Some people may see blood in their vomit or stools. This may indicate that there is bleeding in the stomach, which could require immediate medical attention. Most people experience pain or upset as a common indication of this condition.
There are several medical tests your Brooklyn gastroenterologist can perform to determine if you have gastritis. These include:
- An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, in which an endoscope, or a thin tube that includes a very small camera, is passed through the mouth or nose into the stomach. This procedure looks at the lining of the stomach to determine if inflammation is present. The tool can remove a sample of tissue from this area for further testing. This is called a biopsy.
- A blood test can help to measure the number of red blood cells in the bloodstream. This can determine if you have anemia, a condition in which your body does not contain enough red blood cells and which can be brought on by bleeding in the stomach.
- A stool sample can also help as it can indicate if there is blood in the stool, a sign of internal bleeding. This test can also determine if H. pylori is present in the digestive tract.
When you see your Brooklyn gastritis doctor, he or she will talk to you about the options available to you. Most medications and treatments work to relieve the symptoms you have and encourage healing by reducing the amount of acid produced. You may also see improvement by avoiding medications, beverages, or foods that may increase acid.
If there is an infection causing your condition, this will need treatment as well. This includes treating the H. pylori infection with medications. Gastritis is often secondary, which means the primary condition present often needs to be improved to see improvement in gastritis. If you have this condition, you can see our expert gastroenterologist at our Ocean Parkway or Cobble Hill office in Brooklyn, NY for a full set of steps to improve your health.