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Gastritis Specialists in Concord, NC

What is Gastritis?

Gastritis describes a group of conditions involving inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis may occur suddenly (acute), or it can occur slowly over time (gastritis). In some cases, gastritis can lead to ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. For most people, it isn't serious and improves quickly with treatment.

Common Symptoms of Gastritis

Signs and symptoms of gastritis may include:

  • Gnawing or burning pain in your upper abdomen
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • An early feeling of fullness in your upper abdomen when eating

Nearly everyone has experienced indigestion and stomach discomfort. Most cases are short-lived and not serious. See your gastroentolorogist in NC if symptoms persist or if you are vomiting blood or have bloody stools.

Common Causes of Gastritis

Gastritis is most often the result of infection with the same bacterium that causes most ulcers. Injury, regular use of certain pain relievers, and drinking too much alcohol may also contribute to gastritis. Gastritis may also develop as the result of an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy body tissue. In a condition known as autoimmune gastritis, the immune system attacks the cells of the stomach lining, which can wear away the stomach’s protective barrier to cause gastritis.

How To Get Diagnosed

Your Northeast Digestive Health Center gastroenterologist in Concord, NCmay be able to diagnose gastritis following a physical exam. However, additional tests may be required to confirm or rule out other causes. This may include blood, stool, or breath tests. Your doctor may order an endoscopy to examine for signs of inflammation. If a suspicious area is located, a biopsy can be taken during the procedure.

Are There Any Risk Factors For Gastritis

Certain factors can increase the likelihood that you will develop gastritis. These risk factors include:

  • Bacterial infection – infection with the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria may increase the body’s vulnerability to the development of gastritis in some people
  • Regular use of pain relievers – using a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can cause both acute gastritis and chronic gastritis by reducing a substance that helps preserve the protective lining of the stomach
  • Being older – because the stomach lining often thins over time, older adults have an increased risk of gastritis; older adults are also more likely to have autoimmune disorders or H. pylori infection than are their younger counterparts
  • Excessive alcohol use – alcohol can irritate and erode the stomach lining to make the stomach more vulnerable to caustic digestive juices. Excessive use of alcohol is more likely to cause acute gastritis than chronic gastritis
  • Stress – severe stress from a major surgery, serious injury, burn, or severe infection can cause acute gastritis, sometimes known as stress gastritis
  • An autoimmune disorder – autoimmune gastritis is more common in people with Hashimoto's disease, type 1 diabetes, or other autoimmune disorders; autoimmune gastritis is often associated with vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Other diseases and conditions – having certain other diseases or medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, or parasitic infections, can increase the risk of developing gastritis

Possible Complications of Gastritis

Left untreated, gastritis can cause complications. The specific complications depend largely on the type of gastritis a person has. Many types of gastritis can lead to stomach bleeding and ulcers, or sores on the lining of the stomach. Some types of gastritis can even increase the risk of stomach cancer, especially in people with thinned stomach linings.

Other complications of gastritis include:

  • Anemia – infection with H. pylori can cause gastritis or stomach ulcers that bleed, which reduces the number of red blood cells to cause anemia
  • Pernicious anemia – a type of anemia in which autoimmune gastritis prevents the digestive tract from absorbing vitamin B12, which the body needs to create red blood cells
  • Peritonitis – ulcers can break through the stomach wall and spill the contents of the stomach into the abdomen, potentially spreading bacteria to cause the dangerous infection known as peritonitis
  • Sepsis – ruptures and the spread of bacteria can cause widespread inflammation known as sepsis, which can be fatal

What is The Treatment for Gastritis in NC

Treatment of gastritis in Concord depends on the underlying cause. Acute gastritis caused by frequent alcohol consumption or use of certain medications may be relieved by discontinuing use.

Chronic gastritis caused by bacterial infection can be treated with antibiotics. In most cases, your doctor will recommend medications that treat stomach acid to reduce symptoms and promote healing in your stomach.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is gastritis?

About 8 in every 1,000 people in the United States develop acute gastritis. Chronic gastritis is less common, affecting about 2 out of every 10,000 Americans.

Is Gastritis contagious?

Gastritis is not a contagious condition, but the H. pylori bacteria can spread from the infected stool of one person into the mouth of another; good handwashing and sanitation are the first lines of defense against the spread of H. pylori.

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Contact Info

Northeast Digestive Health Center
1070 Vinehaven Drive NE
Concord, North Carolina 28025
Phone: (704)783-1840
Fax: (704)783-1850
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