If you have frequent digestive problems, it might not be a bad idea to check that you are at increased risk of developing gastritis. Some factors may make you more vulnerable to the problem, and if you are aware of it, you are more likely to ignore the symptoms.
Gastritis is an inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which is a protective barrier for the stomach, and if it is damaged or weak, the gastric acid begins to erode the gastric mucosa and cause a number of unpleasant symptoms and may eventually cause an ulcer. The most typical symptoms of gastritis are burning pain in the upper abdominal cavity, which worsens or eases when eaten, nausea, vomiting, and feeling full in the upper abdominal cavity after eating.
There are a number of diseases and conditions that can increase the risk of gastritis, including Crohn’s disease and sarcoidosis, a condition that causes the buildup of inflammatory cells or granulomas in the body.
These are some of the most common risk factors for developing gastritis:
Although Helicobacter pylori infection is one of the most widespread, only some of those infected will develop gastritis or some other disorder of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Experts believe that the susceptibility to this bacterium may be hereditary or may result from a lifestyle, or unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking or unhealthy eating.
Constant use of painkillers
Common painkillers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can cause both acute and chronic gastritis. Taking these medications for a long time and taking them excessively for a short period of time can reduce the amount of the substance in the body that is crucial for maintaining the gastric lining.
Older people are at increased risk for developing gastritis because gastric mucosa naturally develops with age and because older people are more likely to have H. pylori infection or an autoimmune disorder than younger people.
Excessive alcohol consumption
Alcohol can irritate and bite the mucous membrane of the stomach, which makes the stomach more sensitive to the action of strong gastric juices. Excessive alcohol consumption is more likely to cause acute gastritis than chronic.
Severe physical stress, such as surgery, injury, or serious infection, can also cause the development of acute gastritis.
Your body attacks the stomach cells
Autoimmune gastritis is called a type of gastritis that develops when the body attacks the cells that make up the gastric mucosa. This reaction is detrimental to the protective barrier of the stomach and can lead to the development of gastritis. This type of gastritis is more common in people with other autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto’s disease or type 1 diabetes, but it may also be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.
Other diseases and conditions
Gastritis can be associated with some other diseases, such as HIV, Crohn’s disease or infections with some parasites.
Almost everyone at least once experienced the episode with digestive problems or irritation of the stomach. In most cases, such problems are short-lived and do not require treatment. But if you notice that symptoms that can be associated with gastritis last one week or longer, see your doctor.