Gastritis causes. With gastritis or gastric mucosal inflammation, there is an inflammatory reaction of the mucous membrane of the stomach. The mucous membrane lines the wall of the stomach. With gastritis, the mucous membrane is red and swollen.
Gastritis often causes upper abdominal pain. The pain can get worse at night. After eating, the pain often decreases. Other complaints may include heartburn, belching, nausea and bloating.
How does gastritis develop?
Gastritis can have many causes. The mucous membrane can become inflamed due to the action of stomach acid. The mucous membrane can also be damaged by infections (helicobacter pylori), painkillers, alcohol, and smoking. Stress and obesity also play a role in the development of complaints. There are also some food products that can irritate the stomach lining very much.
With stomach flu, the stomach wall can also become inflamed, often there is vomiting and diarrhea.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Usually, gastritis is not serious and there are plenty of options to reduce the symptoms and make them disappear by adjusting the eating and living pattern. Your doctor will first advise you on these adjustments. If the result is insufficient, he can prescribe medication to calm the stomach wall. If your symptoms do not diminish sufficiently or if your doctor suspects that something else is going on, he will refer you for a stomach examination (gastroscopy).
With the results of this research, more targeted treatment can be instituted. Serious symptoms that will require faster research are: giving up blood, pitch-black stools, weight loss, anemia or a lot of pain in the abdomen.
When to the doctor?
Often the complaints will resolve themselves within a short time. You should contact your GP practice in the following cases:
- if your complaints persist for more than two weeks
- if your complaints become more serious
- if your complaints keep coming back
- If you cannot swallow the food properly
- if you notice your stool turning black or when you vomit blood
- if the abdominal pain becomes unbearable and does not go away
What can you do about it yourself?
If the gastric mucosa is inflamed, you should spare the stomach and see if you can explain why the symptoms started. Below are some recommendations:
- do not smoke
- avoid alcohol
- do not use fatty foods
- do not use sharp foods, such as mustard, sambal, pepper, and other sharp herbs. These substances ensure that extra stomach acid is produced, which can additionally stimulate the lining of the stomach
- take three to five small meals spread over the day, instead of one or two large meals
- do not take pain killers (NSAIDs)
- try to avoid stress
- aim for a healthy weight
- sleep with a few extra pillows
General advice and precautions
Be cautious about using some types of pain killers called NSAIDs. If you really need a pain reliever, use acetaminophen. In addition, it is always advisable not to smoke and to be moderate with the use of alcohol, sharp spices, and fatty foods.
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