11 Silent Signs of Gastritis

Gastritis is inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach. It may occur as a sudden episode (acute) or a long-term (chronic) that can last for several years if it’s left untreated, depending on the symptoms and the nature of the inflammation of the gastric mucosa. It may give rise to a severe loss of blood and can increase your risk of developing stomach ulcers or stomach cancer. If you’re having persistent problems with your stomach, you need to see your gastroenterologist.  

Causes of Gastritis

Certain habit and conditions may cause gastritis, such as: 

  • Excessive alcohol consumption or smoking
  • Eating unhealthy foods (fried, fatty foods)
  • Chronic stress
  • Food poisoning
  • Digestive tract injuries
  • Poisoning by inorganic acids, salts of heavy metals
  • A severe infectious disease caused by bacteria (Helicobacter pylori), fungi and viruses
  • Complications of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer
  • Use of certain drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Cocaine use
  • Bile reflux (A return flow of bile into the stomach from the bile tract)
  • Older age
  • Hereditary predisposition
  • Autoimmune disorders

Gastritis Symptoms

Several people with gastritis do not exhibit symptoms. However, when gastritis manifestations occur, here are the most common signs and symptoms of gastritis: 

  1. Indigestion
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Feeling full, even after a small meal
  4. Burping a lot
  5. Heartburn
  6. Bloating
  7. Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  8. Constant burning in the upper abdomen between meals or at night
  9. Abdominal pain
  10. Loss of appetite
  11. Belching

Symptoms of chronic gastritis may include weakness, vomiting blood, blood in the stool (black, tarry stool), decreased energy, paleness, loss of interest in life, irritability, and anemia.

How is gastritis diagnosed?

Gastritis is usually diagnosed based on the patient’s symptoms and history of alcohol and NSAIDs use. Also, your physician may recommend any of the following tests:

  • Blood tests
  • Stool test
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (endoscopic examination)- this is the primary instrumental method of diagnosing gastritis. Throughout the procedure, an endoscope is inserted through your mouth, which allows your physician to examine the mucous membrane of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
  • Abdominal X-rays
  • Breath test for Helicobacter pylori 

Gastritis Treatment 

Treatment of gastritis is based on the underlying causes of the disease and the general condition of the patient’s body. For instance, if the cause by H. pylori, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics (amoxicillin and clarithromycin) alongside a proton pump inhibitor (omeprazole and lansoprazole). In severe and complicated circumstances, treatment should be done in a hospital. 

To relieve the symptoms of gastritis, your doctor will prescribe safe and effective antacids to lessen acid in your stomach. If conventional treatment is ineffective, surgical treatment may be done.

Gastritis diet

Here are some foods that can ease and manage gastritis symptoms: 

It is recommended to identify and exclude foods that provoke symptoms of gastritis such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Fried foods
  • Acidic foods like tomatoes and oranges
  • Spicy foods 
  • Fruit juice
  • Chocolate
  • Fatty foods
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Cigarette smoking

For more information about Gastritis, you should talk to your physician.