A stomach ache every now and then is usually nothing to worry about. But, if you’re experiencing a constant gnawing or burning sensation in your stomach, you might have a condition known as gastritis, and you should make an appointment with your gastroenterologist for a thorough exam and possible gastritis ulcer treatment.
What Is Gastritis?
The term gastritis covers several different conditions that share a common factor – inflammation of the stomach lining. The illness is mainly caused by a specific bacterium that is also responsible for causing stomach ulcers. Yet, things like taking too many NSAID pain relievers and excessive alcohol use can also cause the disorder.
Gastritis can be acute (sudden onset) or can slowly get worse with time (chronic). Untreated gastritis can result in the occurrence of stomach ulcers and contributes to a higher chance of developing stomach cancer. Most patients suffer with mild forms of the condition and improve rapidly with gastritis ulcer treatment.
Main Causes of Gastritis Ulcers
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) – This bacterium enters the body and takes hold in the digestive tract. It can live there for years without causing any problems. However, in some people, the bacterium breaks down the stomach lining, leading to painful ulcers forming anywhere in the upper GI tract.
Bile Reflux – This condition occurs when digestive fluid made in the liver backwashes up into the stomach and lower esophagus, which irritates the stomach lining.
Infections – Many bacterial, viral, and fungal infections can cause gastritis ulcers.
Other Causes of Gastritis
- Pernicious anemia (an autoimmune disease)
- Crohn’s disease
Symptoms of Gastritis and Ulcers
Gastritis and ulcer symptoms are often quite alike. Ulcers occur when the stomach’s own acid eats away at its protective lining, leaving a raw, irritated sore. Symptoms can include:
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Recurring stomach ache
- Gnawing or burning in the stomach in the evening and between meals
- Lack of appetite
- Feeling of indigestion
- Black stools
Visit your gastroenterologist for gastritis ulcer treatment if you experience any of the above symptoms for more than a week. Although everyone is prone to dealing with some of these symptoms occasionally, persistent abdominal pain is not normal and should be evaluated.
Treatment for Gastritis Ulcers
After a thorough examination that includes compiling your entire medical history, evaluating all medications you’re taking, and administering necessary blood and stool tests, you doctor will prescribe a gastritis ulcer treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms and if you test positive for H. pylori, your doctor may prescribe the following for your gastritis ulcer treatment:
- Over-the-counter or prescription-strength antacids
- Antibiotics to kill H. pylori bacteria
- Prescription medication to reduce the production of stomach acid
- B12 shots for pernicious anemia
- Eliminating food triggers (spicy food, lactose and gluten)
- Using acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead of NSAIDs for pain relief
If you think you’re experiencing the symptoms of gastritis, make an appointment today with Anthony S. Borcich, MD PA. Dr. Borcich is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine and has more than 30 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of gastritis and other diseases of the digestive tract. Dr. Borcich effectively and compassionately treats patients in the Greater New York City area and will tailor a gastritis ulcer treatment plan especially for you.